Baby-led weaning is more than a buzz phrase, it’s an incredible way to introduce solid foods to your baby.
Alison Herman, Founder of The Nesting Place & Brittany Rodriguez, Educator
Right around the 6 month mark, pediatricians will start to discuss introducing foods to your baby. At this point in your baby’s life, they haven't had anything but infant milk, so their flavor window is excited for something new, and so are they. But where do you begin?
Many parents can feel overwhelmed by the rules, restrictions and options available for infant feeding. The supermarkets carry ever
y single flavor of every single food in a tiny packet or jar. There are things labeled for texture, ingredients and more. Baby-led weaning, or baby’s choice, as The Nesting Place has named it, is an alternative to traditional spoon feeding purees. As a part of your feeding and your baby’s eating journey, you can incorporate and you should include whole foods, purees, and their infant milk. This approach is just to introduce food to babies, it is not a meal replacement. And with that thought, you can relax a little, and have fun with it. Feeding your baby is exciting. This is the first step towards them developing their own little personality with preferences and dislikes.
We’ve put together some of the top benefits of baby’s choice.
1. Set your baby and future toddler up to
be less picky!
Rumor has it that most babies before the age of 2 will experience some sort of pickiness, so why not try and change that narrative? By trying tricky textures, and flavors you’ll take advantage of that flavor window which runs from 6-18 months. It is not to say that at 18 months, it all ends, but allowing your baby to try everything while they're interested is so beneficial for their palate!
Rather than the typical number of 10-15 foods most kids lean towards, your toddler will have a vast array to choose from when they inevitably have an opinion about what they want to eat.
2. Help manage the stress of feeding.
Trying to figure out what to feed your baby, how and when, is overwhelming. With the Baby’s Choice approach however, you can give your baby the sa
me whole foods that you eat, just prepared differently. This helps to alleviate some of the stress of feeding because there is less to think and worry about. And your baby will pick up on your cues when you’re eating the same foods together.
3. Safely empower your baby to feed themselves and set them up for a healthy food relationship.
Giving your baby the ability to guide their feeding journey helps them to develop a healthy relationship with food because they are controlling it rather than you. And since spoon fed babies do not navigate their eating themselves, babies who make their own choices have a lower risk of choking. By giving your baby the option to feed themselves, you are promoting their natural ability to want to feed themselves and they can practice putting the food in the best place in their own mouth.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Baby’s Choice approach and how to prepare fruits, vegetables and proteins, plus introducing allergens to your baby, sign up for our Starting Solids - Baby’s Choice class!