Mother and Baby

Baby-led weaning - your essential video guide

Get baby ready for bigger bites with this great video guide to weaning...

Dr Emma Williams, Nutritionist says: So baby-led weaning unlike traditional baby weaning methods, is simply where the baby takes control of what they’re eating. So baby is offered an array of foods and they are choosing to pick them up and eat them themselves.

Mum 1: For the first three months he was interested in playing with the foods but it just tends to go everywhere. Unless your child takes to it straight away which I think is quite unusual, then I would make life as easy for yourself as possible and just use things that aren’t going to be messy and they’re not going to spread everywhere. He’s also started recently just dropping things off the side of the chair and he’s not doing it to be naughty it’s probably cause and effect. So, I never sort of react. If he starts throwing things on the floor I don’t get cross.


Gill Rapley, Health Visitor says: Baby-led weaning is a way of introducing solids to a baby whereby you give the baby pieces of food that are big enough for him to pick up and hold, not mashed foods, not pureed foods, not even foods cut up small. But great big chunks, sort of shaped like a chip. With a bit of a handle, so they’re long enough to poke out of his fist as he won’t be able to get inside his fist at under six months. He’ll gnaw away at what’s sticking out and then drop the rest.

Mum 2: The brilliant thing that I love about feeding my baby like this is that from the start of when she has her food you don’t touch her really. I think some people get worried about choking, from my experience it’s not a problem at all. In the first few times that she had food she would experiment with her gag reflex, so she had a bit of broccoli quite far back in her mouth.

Mum 1: When babies are young the gag reflex is at the front of the tongue and it moves back over the next three months, between six and nine months. If he gags, it just meant that his body was working as it was supposed to. I mean, I’m almost quite pleased when he gags because I think that’s nature, that’s his body working as it should do.

Gill says: Children have to learn to manage food in their mouths. If they’re rushed, if things are done for them, they find that more difficult. The baby who is in control of what is going in his mouth will usually manage extremely well. So, there’s no greater risk of choking with baby-led weaning than there is with any other form of weaning. 

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