The Benefits of Baby-Led WeaningFebruary 17, 2021
Firstly, what is Baby-Led Weaning?
The baby-led weaning approach by-passes the puree and spoon feeding stage and goes straight to the introduction of solid foods so that the baby is able to feed themselves with finger foods - this usually starts around the age of 6 months.
What are the Benefits?
Improves the development of motor skills: By moving straight to finger foods a baby’s motor skills develop faster and more efficiently. This is because it takes a great deal of coordination when you’re 6 months old to control your body, neck, head, hands, fingers and eye’s, whilst learning how to develop your oral motor skills all at the same time! Furthermore, the early development of oral motor skills decreases the likelihood of choking.
Food time is exciting!: When food is pureed everything pretty much looks and feels exactly the same. No wonder when you first introduce solid foods later it’s so scary and takes a lot more presauding for infants to try new things. With the baby-led weaning approach baby’s get to see and feel what their food actually looks and tastes like, which is much more exciting!
Establishes a healthy relationship with food: Baby’s are more involved in the food process allowing a chance for them to self regulate and provides a better understanding of how much to eat and what full feels like, which is crucial in establishing a healthy relationship with food. When a baby gets to pick up food and explore at their own pace it’s more rewarding and they become less resistant and increases the likelihood of food aversions.
It’s healthy!: Let’s face it, most purees that are store bought are heavily processed leaving few if any nutrient. Baby-led weaning focuses on real whole finger food that feels, looks and smells like regular food. It’s packed full of nutrients and has lots of fibre. With fresh food comes the reassurance that you know exactly what they are eating and there are no hidden nasties, giving your baby the best start in life!