What are you looking for?

Introducing solid foods to your 6-month-old baby is an exciting milestone, but it can also be overwhelming. While spoon-feeding purees has been the traditional approach, baby-led weaning is becoming increasingly popular as a method for introducing new foods to infants. This post will guide you through the process of introducing solid foods to your baby using baby-led weaning, including the benefits of baby led weaning, how to start baby led weaning, a step-by-step guide to introducing new foods.

Why weaning baby at 6 months is important

From the time your baby is born until they are the full 6 months, 100% of all of their nutrition comes from milk. They get every single nutrient they need, with the exception of vitamin D which you are hopefully giving daily as drops.

At 6 months, your babies iron and nutrient stores have depleted and milk can no longer give your baby everything they need to thrive. This is the main reason we start weaning.

It is also really important to know that from 6 months to 12 months, your baby is getting 75% of all their nutrition from milk. So think of food as topping up the milk and not the other way around. Your babies tummy is also the size of their fist, so they don’t need much, but the food you do give them should be nutrient dense (packed full of iron and vitamins).

Benefits of Baby-Led Weaning for Introducing Solid Foods

Baby-led weaning is a method of introducing solid foods that allows babies to self-feed rather than being spoon-fed purees. Research has shown that there are several benefits to this approach, including:

  • Promoting self-regulation and a healthy relationship with food
  • Supporting the development of fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination
  • Encouraging babies to try new tastes and textures

Weaning baby where to start

Before you begin, it’s essential to prepare for messy eating. Baby-led weaning can be messy, but it’s part of the process. Use a bib and place a mat under your baby’s high chair to make clean-up easier. Also, ensure you have a high chair that allows your baby to sit up straight and reach the food.

When choosing foods to start with, opt for soft foods that are easy for your baby to pick up, such as cooked spears of vegetables, slow cooked meat that has been back forked, salmon or bean burgers. Cut them into manageable pieces that your baby can hold and bring to their mouth. Spears are a great shape as they are so easy for babies to manage.

Step-by-Step Guide to Introducing Solid Foods

Here’s a step-by-step guide to introducing solid foods to your baby using baby-led weaning:

  • Offer your baby a spear of food and let them explore it. At first they may eat very little, but that is completely o.k. Remember it is a journey and some babies may take longer to learn how to feed themselves.
  • Be safe with the foods you offer your baby. No hard foods that pose as a choking hazard or unsafe foods. This includes nuts, round fruit, whole cherry tomatoes, sweets, honey and salt. You should always be able to squash a food between your finger and thumb to keep them really safe.
  • Offer a variety of textures, including soft, mashed on a pre-loaded spoon.
  • Introduce water in a sippy cup or open cup with meals. Breast milk or formula should still be the primary source of nutrition until your baby is one year old.
  • Watch for signs of readiness to move on to more complex foods, such as chewing and swallowing skills.
  • Be patient and let your baby explore at their own pace. Don’t force them to eat if they’re not interested.

Baby Led weaning should I introduce food one by one?

Absolutely not! You can start by giving your baby the same dinner or lunch the family are eating. Once you can squash it between your finger and thumb, then it is really safe for your baby to eat.

There is one caveat to this though and that is the introduction of allergens. These should be introduced on a week by week basis. This way it will be really easy for you to identify if there are issues. Start on a Monday and introduce gluten as the first allergen. This way, if you baby doesn’t show any signs of a reaction, you can make foods like fritters, egg free muffins etc.

Tips for Success with Baby-Led Weaning

Here are some additional tips for success with baby-led weaning:

  • Make mealtime fun and engaging by offering a variety of colors, textures, and tastes.
  • Encourage self-feeding by placing food within your baby’s reach and letting them explore.
  • Introduce new foods in a relaxed environment, free from distractions.
  • Be prepared for gagging, which is a natural reflex as babies learn to swallow solid foods. Once food is squashable between your finger and thumb it is safe enough for your baby to chew it.
  • Join a baby-led weaning support group or connect with other moms who are also introducing solid foods to their babies.

Introducing solid foods to your 6-month-old baby using baby-led weaning can be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your baby. It promotes self-regulation, a healthy relationship with food, and supports developmental milestones.

Remember to start with soft foods, offer a variety of textures and tastes, and be patient. With time, your baby will learn to enjoy different foods and develop a healthy relationship with food.

If you have any concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to contact your paediatrician.

First foods broccoli first foods for baby led weaning broccoli Fussy eaters Starting baby led weaning Finger foods baby led weaning first foods Freezer Filler Recipes Buddah Bowl Buddha Bowl Toddler Food Baby Bowl Recipes

Writen by Aileen Cox Blundell - number one bestselling author, award winning blogger and Mum of 3 kiddies who all eat their veggies.

You might also like these posts

20 Baby Led Weaning Dinner Recipe Ideas babies 6 months +

20 Baby Led Weaning Dinner Recipe Ideas babies 6 months +

Uncategorized

These 20 recipes are not only nutritious but also easy to prepare.

Best Foods to Start Baby Led Weaning

Best Foods to Start Baby Led Weaning

Uncategorized

Babies tend to prefer sweet tastes from birth, like the breastmilk or formula they are already used to.

How do I give my baby Peppers as a first food for baby led weaning

How do I give my baby Peppers as a first food for baby led weaning

Uncategorized

When cooked properly and cut correctly, bell peppers make a great first food for baby led weaning.

Videos

MOST VIEWED VIDEOS

Blueberry Oat Bars

Up next

Baby Led Weaning Chilli Baked Bean Cowboy Pie

Play button

Videos

MOST VIEWED VIDEOS

Baby Led Weaning Chilli Baked Bean Cowboy Pie

Up next

Apple and Cinnamon Super Breakfast Muffins

Play button

Videos

MOST VIEWED VIDEOS

Apple and Cinnamon Super Breakfast Muffins

Up next

Chicken and Veggie Pies

Play button

Videos

MOST VIEWED VIDEOS

Chicken and Veggie Pies

Up next

Broccoli and Cauliflower Egg Free Fritters

Play button

Videos

MOST VIEWED VIDEOS

Broccoli and Cauliflower Egg Free Fritters

Play button

FREE Recipes

Let’s be Best Friends

On the gram

What us cool Moms call Instagram