If you’ve decided to try out BLW you may not know how to start baby led weaning. These tips and guide will teach you how to start baby led weaning the best way!
How to Start Baby Led Weaning
I remember when I had my first little one, I was clueless when it came to how to start baby led weaning! I knew I wanted to do it because of the many benefits of baby led weaning, but I was confused on how to introduce baby led weaning, I mean was I really supposed to give him a chunk of banana?
If you are new to baby led weaning you on how to start baby led weaning too, since most baby feeding tips come from the traditional spoon-feeding route.
So, if you are interested in baby led weaning, we are here to help you get started with baby led weaning!
This starter guide for BLW should help answer your questions and give you a successful start to your baby led weaning journey!
Starting baby led weaning
When your baby is about ready to try solid foods, there are a few things that you want to do before starting baby led weaning.
Step one: talk to your baby’s pediatrician
The first thing that you want to do when starting baby led weaning is figure out if you baby is ready. The best way to make that decision is by talking to your baby’s doctor.
Many doctors will advise you to introduce solid foods around 6-months, but every baby is different! You may need to start a little earlier or later depending on your baby’s health and development.
Step two: decide on your schedule
Before Introducing baby led weaning to your baby you will want to decide on a Baby led weaning schedule. This will depend on a couple of things:
Since your baby is still using milk as their main source of nutrients, you want to base your solid food schedule on your milk schedule.
It’s best to feed solids about 30 minutes after your baby has their milk.
You will also need to decide how many feedings your baby will have.
It’s wise to start with one or two at the beginning while your baby is testing things out.
Step three: grab your supplies
Other than the food, you are going to need some Baby led weaning essentials.
To help your baby and your family be successful with baby led weaning you may want to look into great baby led weaning high chairs, baby led weaning bib options, baby led weaning cups, and other must have baby led weaning products.
Baby led weaning getting started in your home
If you want even more advice for starting baby led weaning here are some helpful tips:
- Meal plan. If you already use a meal plan for your family, you can just adjust it easily to make sure it accommodates your baby. If not, it might be a good idea to make a plan for what your baby is going to eat that week!
- Plan for a safe BLW experience. Read about safety for BLW including our post about Baby led weaning choking and gagging to ensure your baby’s safety.
- Take an infant CPR course. If you want to be extra safe, it’s always a great idea to be prepared with an infant CPR course. Many local hospitals offer courses that you can look into.
- Explain BLW to caregivers. If anyone is going to be helping feed your child at any time, they need to be comfortable and confident with baby led weaning. So take the time to explain what is baby led weaning and baby led weaning tips so they feel more comfortable.
- Check out our other posts. We have a whole informative BLW series that will help answer every question you have and give you ideas to make the transition smooth.
- Get your baby excited. Talk to your baby about trying this new experience! And when the time comes for their first BLW meal make sure you are there cheering them on. Oh and of course, don’t forget the camera!
How to start baby led weaning after purees
Are you interested in the baby led weaning after purees? No problem!
If you want to try out BLW after purees you still can! You can start that transition however you would like, but here are a few pointers.
If your baby is under 8-months, you can start BLW similarly to how you would normally. Just expect an adjustment period as your baby gets used to not having you feed them their solids.
Make sure you are still starting with 1-2 portions a day to ease them into BLW.
If your baby is over 8-months, you may need a little more caution because your baby is further along in their development.
They will more easily navigate the food and get it to their mouths so make sure those shapes and sizes of food are safe and mom or dad is close by watching.
Keep in mind that if your baby is used to having you feed them, they may be a little more unsure of their abilities to feed themselves right at the beginning. Encourage them and they will soon be excited to try something new!
Can you do baby led weaning and purees?
Absolutely. You can do baby led weaning and purees at the same time.
You may have some people telling you that it is not technically considered BLW if you also serve purees, but it’s perfectly fine.
Do your own thing, and try a modified BLW if you like the idea of it but don’t want to give up those purees. So often I would supplement with apple sauce pouches and other purees when I needed to feed our baby when we were out and about.
Go ahead and try them with your baby!
Combining baby led weaning and purees
If you choose to combine baby led weaning and purees, you need to consider a few things.
The key to baby led weaning is that they are in control. So if you want them to get those extra developmental boosts from this process you may want to consider letting them take the spoon when you are serving purees and try to feed themselves or letting them hold the pouch of food.
Remember that especially at the beginning, the purpose of introducing solids isn’t necessarily to fill their bellies. They are just testing out their skills and still getting most of their nutrients from milk.
So if most of the puree ends up on the floor instead of your baby’s mouth the first few times… it’s okay! Let them explore.
Whether you decide to include purees or not, your baby will be healthy and fine. So just make the choice that makes you most comfortable.
There you have it! How to start baby led weaning! Share in the comments how it goes when you introduce your baby to baby led weaning!
There are more great articles in our baby led weaning series! Check out these BLW posts: