Baby-Led Weaning: Could It Work for You?

Food all over baby's faceThe word “weaning” may conjure up images of stopping or limiting breastfeeding for a baby, but baby-led weaning is the introduction of solid food to a baby, and allowing him or her to choose whether to eat the solid option, or not.

The Research
“Baby-led weaning” was a term coined by Gill Rapley, a nurse and midwife. The idea is that in years past, parents were encouraged to begin feeding their children purees at three to four months of age, before their ability to swallow has developed. At such a young age, the food is being forced into their throats and they are not actively swallowing. With baby-led weaning, you allow your child to make the choice to explore foods and eat them at his or her leisure. Instead of force-feeding your child food from a jar, you give him or her small portions of the food you are eating to encourage independent chewing and swallowing.

How to Begin
The first step in baby-led weaning is judging your child’s readiness. Your child should be interested in the food you are eating, able to grab items, and able to sit up unassisted. Your child needs to be in an upright position at all times during feeding.

{ MORE: The Best Foods for Baby-Led Weaning }

Provide your child small, fist-sized portions of the food you are eating. Six-month-olds have generally not developed the ability to release the food caught in their fists. The food you feed him should be long enough to fit in his fist with some sticking out for him to chew and suck on.

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Baby-Led Weaning: Could It Work for You?

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7 comments

  1. LIZ says:

    i wasnt in a rush to introduce food to baby, the doctor say the latter the better

  2. mommy nhoj says:

    When I was forced to stop breastfeeding, I cried. I was unprepared. Glad she’s healthy even if not breastfed for long.m

  3. This is very interesting! We already started introducing food.

  4. Amanda says:

    well first we are waiting for her to hold up her head more, she is 4 1/2 mos. we will prob start trying rice cereal next month

  5. april says:

    interesting article may actually consider doing some of the steps if not all of it. will mix it with a little of my own way. 🙂

  6. Melody says:

    good things to consider, here

  7. Amy says:

    interesting article

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