Wondering when a good time to wean your baby is and how to go about doing it? At this week’s Walmart sponsored Baby Basics program, our momstown mamas discussed tips on baby-led weaning.
So what exactly is baby-led weaning?
The simple answer to this question is letting your baby feed himself. Babies love to copy what they see others doing, so it is only natural for them to want to eat what they see us and their older siblings are eating. Some experts believe that by offering a selection of nutritious finger foods, children will be less likely to refuse foods or become fussy eaters as they grow older. 6 months is a great age to begin weaning as babies have developed their hand-eye coordination enough to reach out and grasp their food.
It is recommended to introduce foods that have a "handle" (ex. cooked broccoli). As the babies are much younger, they have not yet developed their pincer grasp so they will have to hold the food in their fist. Start off with foods that are appropriate for their age. Bananas are a great choice as they generally will "melt" in your mouth. A great snack to introduce is Mum-Mums. Babies love them!
An obvious concern to many moms who decide to go this route, is choking. Most babies when ready for baby-led weaning are able to sit up on their own and are able to hold the food and move it to the back of their mouth. This makes the risk of choking minimal however it is important to remember that you should always supervise your baby when eating. There are some great products on the market that allow you to put fruit and veggies in a "netted" area that gives your child the independence to share in a healthy treat but without the worry of taking a big chunk of it. A good idea as a parent of a child learning how to eat finger foods is to take a first aid course. momstown Milton has a great relationship with the Canadian Red Cross and often holds classes for our members.
Baby-led weaning offers pros and cons.
Whatever weaning process you choose, you should talk to your doctor before starting. This is especially important for babies who were born premature and families who have a history of allergies, digestive problems and food intolerances.