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Baby Lead weaning

Baby-led weaning (BLW) is an approach to introducing solids that allows babies to feed themselves hand-held food instead of being spoon-fed by an adult. This method can complement the guidelines provided earlier, focusing on whole foods and the baby’s active participation in eating. Here are some points to integrate BLW into your plan:

Baby Lead weaning
Green Pediatrics & Family Care

Principles of Baby-Led Weaning:


From around 6 months, offer your baby pieces of soft food that they can pick up and bring to their mouth by themselves. This encourages motor development and chewing skills.

Family Foods

BLW fits well with the idea that babies can eat what the rest of the family eats, modified to be baby-friendly. This means cooking without added salt, sugar, and making sure food is soft enough to be mashed with gums.

Responsive Feeding

Follow your baby’s cues. They will eat when hungry and stop when full. This can help foster a healthy relationship with food from an early age.

Implementing Baby-Led Weaning

Implementing Baby-Led Weaning:

Safe Foods to Start

Begin with foods that are easy to handle and soft enough to gum down. Avocado slices, steamed carrot sticks, and ripe banana pieces are good starting points.

Sitting Up

Ensure your baby can sit upright in a highchair and hold their head steady, indicating they’re ready to start BLW.

Size and Shape

Cut food into pieces large enough for your baby to grasp in their fist with some sticking out. As they develop better motor skills, you can make pieces smaller.

Supervision is Key

Always supervise your baby while eating to ensure safety and step in if they show any signs of choking.

Patience and Mess

BLW can be messy as babies learn to navigate food. Be patient and enjoy the process of discovery with your baby.

Continue Breastfeeding or Formula

As with traditional weaning, continue breast milk or formula as the main source of nutrition until 1 year. BLW is complementary, introducing solids as part of their diet but not their primary nutrition source initially.

Baby Lead weaning Green Pediatrics & Family Care - Baby Playing With Food

Benefits of Baby-Led Weaning:

Promotes Motor Development

Handling food improves fine motor skills and coordination

Encourages Exploration and Independence

Babies learn to manage different textures, tastes, and shapes, promoting healthy eating habits.

May Reduce Picky Eating

Exposure to a wide variety of foods from the start can foster a more adventurous palate.

Baby Lead weaning Green Pediatrics & Family Care - Iron-Rich Foods

Important Considerations:

Choking Hazards

Make sure foods are soft, appropriately sized, and avoid hard, small, and round items like whole nuts and grapes.

Iron-Rich Foods

Since BLW babies might consume less iron-rich food initially, include sources like meat purees, well-cooked egg yolks, or fortified cereals in their diet.


Offer water in a cup during meals to keep them hydrated, especially important as they start consuming more solid foods.

Integrating baby-led weaning into your solid food introduction plan can empower your baby to explore foods at their own pace, making mealtime a positive, interactive experience. Remember to adapt the approach based on your baby’s readiness and individual needs, always prioritizing safety and nutritional balance.