Tag Archives: when to wean

5 reasons why I prefer baby led weaning

Weaning. As soon as you have conquered bottle/breast feeding and are vaguely in the swing of things it comes to time for food. I love the fun of weaning. Letting babies explore tastes and textures with their hands and mouths. My first baby had to be weaned at 17 weeks so was on purée but quickly decided to only want to feed herself. My second we waited until he literally pulled food off my plate into his mouth at almost 6 months. We’ve been letting him feed himself unless he is too tired or not feeling well in which case he asks to be fed.

Dietitian UK Baby led Weaning 1

Lots of people seem worried about the idea of baby led weaning. Personally I’ve found it easier than the purée route and here is why:

1. There is no real preparation or precooking needed. As long as you eat healthily, baby can just eat what you eat. So roast dinners, fish with steamed vegetables, pasta dishes, sandwiches are all fab.

Dietitian UK: Salmon Foil Parcels with Potato Wedges.

2. Eating out is easy peasy. Baby can just eat of your plate. Mine loves jacket potatoes, risotto, picking at a salad or sharing my toddlers meal.

Baby led Weaning - 8 months

3. It doubles up as messy play. Feeling all those textures is a great learning experience. Let baby explore and practice picking up different sized pieces of food.

weaning 3

4. I don’t have to plan a separate menu. In our family we all eat the same meal. One meal fits all.

Dietitian UK: Salmon and Spring Vegetable Risotto: toddler portion.

5. It helps baby feel independent. My baby loves feeding himself. On the odd occasion I have tried to feed him to speed things up as we were running late he has shut his mouth firmly. “No mummy I am doing this myself”. That told me.

Weaning 2

Have you tried baby led weaning? How do you find it. Look out for my top tips on weaning and my meal ideas which I will be posting soon.

Baby Led Weaning: when is it time?

It’s a cliche, but time has literally flown by. Suddenly Baby J is almost 6 months and it’s been time to think about weaning. I absolutely loved weaning Miss K, so a big part of me has been looking forward to weaning, but another part of me has been putting it off as long as possible as I don’t want my baby boy to grow up too quickly! The time came when he showed me for sure that it was time for food. He had started trying to grab food when I was eating, leading to a few licks of fruit and fingers in my dinner. Then on Shrove Tuesday the boy was sat on my lap, grabbed my pancake and promptly munched away on it. That was the end of my pancake! Not bad as a first dinner 😉

 Dietitian UK: Baby led Weaning first meal

Signs a baby may be ready for weaning:

1. Able to sit upright in a chair.

2. Good head control.

3. Able to grasp objects and bring them to his/her mouth.

4. Watches you eating with interest.

5. Grabs food off your plate and puts it in his/her mouth!

This usually all happens around the 6 month mark but each and every baby is different and individual.

Now Baby J has been very good at speaking his mind on the matter of weaning, so I am completely following his cues.  So he refuses to be fed when in his highchair  – how? He closes his mouth and turns his head. However when offered foods he can hold and feed himself or a spoon loaded with food he will happily suck, slurp, squish, smear and lick it. Yes this makes a mess. Yes this is all a big, big part of development. Not only is baby learning how to eat but also all about textures, the pincer grip, hand-eye co-ordination and enjoying messy play. 

Embrace it. It only happens once.