How to Start With Baby Led Weaning As a New Mom

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Where do I start?

So you’ve heard about Baby Led Weaning (BLW), but you’re not quite sure it’s for you. I’m going to walk you through how to start baby led weaning as a new mom.

Sometimes starting something new can be a little scary, especially when it involves your baby, so let me hold your hand along the way. You got this momma!

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When I was first thinking about using this method to introduce food to my second little one, I scoured the internet for information.  I found a lot, but I wanted to know more. I didn’t just want food suggestions, I needed to know the background and why I should feed my baby this way instead of the way everybody else seemed to be doing it.  Feeling confident was very important to me, this was my precious little baby!

A couple of my friends suggested I read, Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods- and Helping Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater.

If you’re not much of a reader, don’t worry! The book is on audible!

Click on the picture below to start your free trial. Get your first 2 books for FREE!

It was a quick and easy read and it gave me a great start. It helped solidify my gut feeling that this was the way I wanted my baby to start her food journey.

Let me give you a quick overview. It talks about the history of baby food and how the idea of pureed food didn’t really become popular until the 1920’s, the importance of including your baby in meal times and how to do so, how to provide exposure to a variety of foods, example starter foods and so much more.

What is baby led weaning?

I wrote a whole post devoted to this exact question. If you want to know more be sure to check out all the benefits of baby led weaning.

Baby Led Weaning www.Somethingsplendiferous.com There are so many reasons I love Baby Led Weaning. With my first child, I did a mix of pureed food and moved into what I now know as baby led weaning. I just wish I would have started sooner!

I love baby led weaning and I would recommend it to anyone. Read and find out why I love it so much!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thanks for your support! See my disclosure here

How will I know when my baby is ready?

Using baby led weaning as a new mom doesn’t have to be complicated, but there are some things you should be sure of and when to start is one of those.  Mommas often wonder when to start with BLW.

Many experts suggest that solids should not be introduced until after 6 months, which is contrary to what your doctor might tell you.  With my son, my doctor said I could start him on cereal at 4 months. He seemed to like it just fine, but he does have some aversions to textures and I wonder if baby led weaning could have eased him into textures more naturally.

Waiting until 6 months gives your baby’s digestive system time to mature. Your baby may be ready as early at 5 1/2 months, while other babies may not be ready until 7 or 8 months.

I first introduced food to my daughter at 5 1/2 months.  She ended up chasing most of it around with her fingers, a little made it to her mouth and A LOT ended up on the floor. Although she wasn’t getting much nutritionally, I could tell she enjoyed being included and had fun exploring, so I continued to offer her food during our dinnertime meals. (I was still breastfeeding, so I wasn’t worried about calorie intake. I also eased her into meals by only introducing food during dinner. As she grew, I added in breakfast and lunch) Baby led weaning isn’t just about eating. So it’s ok, let your baby make a mess!

Signs to Watch for:

While all babies are different and will be interested in food on their own time, there are some signs you can watch for. I have listed below some of the developmental skills you might notice. Your baby does not have to display all of these in order to begin, they are just something for you to be aware of to help you know when your baby might be ready.

  • sits well without assistance
  • keeps food in mouth and doesn’t automatically push it out with tongue (no tongue-thrust reflex)
  • is able to self-feed and picks up pieces of food with thumb and forefinger (pincer grip)
  • chews, even without any teeth
  • is interested in mealtime, grabs at your food and brings to mouth

What do I need?

You don’t need much to get started, but there are some things you will want because it’s going to get messy! Embrace the mess and take lots of cute pictures!

Bibs

Bibs are a must unless you plan on completely stripping your little one for every meal. I loved the smock bibs and the pull over the head bibs. They seemed to work the best for us.  When my daughter got a little older we mostly used the pull over the head bibs rather than the smock.

As your baby progresses, the food mess will probably get a little less messy. Although, my daughter is now 21 months old and just yesterday covered herself in yogurt, so maybe I should bring back the smock and find some sort of hair protection. Oy vey!

Confidence

Baby-led weaning is a fun way for your baby to learn about foods. Make sure that you are confident and comfortable with feeding your baby.  If you are nervous about trying something or you feel it’s too soon to try something, listen to your gut, momma! You know what you’re doing, even if this is all new to you. Your baby just needs you to be confident in your ability.

That’s pretty much all you need- bibs and confidence and maybe a drop cloth or dog 😉

Food Preparation and Storage Supplies:

Your little one might not have teeth yet, so you will want to steam your vegetables, many if large enough can be given raw, but soft veggies are easier to bite into.  I use my instant pot, but there are many other options if you’re looking for something smaller.

The Philips AVENT SCF870/21 Combined Baby Food Steamer and Blender 220V Only is a great option, it’s simple and easy to use, with very few parts to clean.

Philips AVENT SCF870/21 Combined Baby Food Steamer and Blender 220V Only

The Nuby Garden Fresh Mighty Blender also steams and blends and comes with a variety of storage containers. Great for rough chopping and pureed fruits or veggies to include in sauces or cooking.

Nuby Garden Fresh Mighty Blender

Another steamer/blender option is the BEABA Babycook 4 in 1 Steam Cooker & Blender, which includes an auto shut off and timer function.

BEABA Babycook 4 in 1 Steam Cooker & Blender and Dishwasher Safe, 4.5 Cups, Cloud

I make a lot of muffins and egg cups. Silicone Mini and Large Egg, Muffin and Cupcake Pan 12 24 Tin Cup – BPA Free Non Stick Muffin Pan – 100% Non-Toxic, Professional Grade Heavy Duty 320g Silicone are perfect for all your baking needs.

It’s nice to have some smaller containers to store your baby food. These OXO Tot Glass Baby Blocks Food Storage Containers are nice because they have measurements on the side.

 

OXO Tot Glass Baby Blocks Food Storage Containers, Aqua, 4 oz

What if my baby chokes or gags?

I’m sure a lot of moms struggle with the question, what if my baby chokes? I want you to be confident when feeding your baby and knowing the difference between gagging and choking is important to understand.

Is there a difference between choking and gagging? The answer is yes. Gagging is the natural reflex that pushes food to the front of the mouth to help prevent choking. I found the video by Mini Munch Club very helpful when trying to understand the difference.

What food should I start with?

Think no teeth… what would you want to eat? Baby led weaning is all about introducing your baby to foods in a fun and natural way.  *I am not a doctor so please be sure to consult your pediatrician with any questions you may have about starting solids.  Here are some of the foods I started with and would recommend for 6 months and up:

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What can a baby eat at 6 months?
  • Banana (super easy to squish, such a fun first food, especially for the texture)
  • Avocados (great source of vitamins C, E, K, and B-6)
  • Tofu- cooked or uncooked (great source of protein with a unique texture)
  • Soft cooked apples
  • Cooked Veggies- carrots, green beans, zucchini, and beets
  • Ripe Fruit- peaches, pears, plums, etc.
  • Sweet potatoes (partially mashed or cooked and cut into sticks)
  • Pasta (see your pediatrician if you have any gluten allergies/intolerances in your family)

See my full post about easy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners Here

baby led weaning for new moms what is baby led weaning what can I feed my baby at 6 months
Easy meals to help you get started with baby led weaning

6 Replies to “How to Start With Baby Led Weaning As a New Mom”

  1. We did a mix of puree’s and baby led weaning with my 2 year old. He’s usually a pretty good eater, but lately he’s been taking forever to finish his food! We’re hoping this is just a phase and he’ll grow out of it soon. I’m currently pregnant with #2 and plan on leaning more on the baby led weaning side. I think it’ll help with dexterity as well!

    1. My son has been going through a phase for about 2 years :/ I do attribute some of it to genetics, though. My husband and I both had issues with the textures of foods when we were young. Hopefully, my son will grow out of it and hopefully, yours will too. Because food has been such a struggle, I make sure to let him be involved in cooking and choosing foods as much as possible. This has helped some. Congrats on your new baby!

  2. I did BLW with my daughter and these are great tips. She started it herself around 6 months checking out textures. We rarely used baby food as she always wanted solids. This is super informative and a great resource for parents considering BLW

    1. Thanks Brenna! BLW was such a fun way to introduce solids. It really changed my outlook on feeding my baby. My daughter also loved all the different textures. We sometimes used the squeezy food packs when we were out to dinner, but usually, ended up sharing our meals with her. She loved “real food”.

  3. So many great tips!! We loved doing baby-led weaning. We also got the okay to start solids at 4 months, but we opted to wait until 6 months as recommended by the AAP. And we skipped cereals and all that as well. We always gave foods right from our plates so she eats exactly what we eat. She loved it 🙂 she was eating full shrimp cocktails on her own at 13 months! haha

    1. We skipped cereals too. She loved eating along with us at meal times and it felt so low key. Food didn’t revolve around her like it did with my son. She just chose what she wanted and explored on her own time. I loved it! It made me feel so free.

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