Baby led weaning also offers more time to play and explore. It is possible for your baby to get enough to eat with baby led weaning as long as you are providing the right foods. It is also important to continue transitioning the texture so that your baby can develop the oral and motor skills they need. Fast forward a few years when I found out I was having a baby of my own, this feeding decision became even more personal. With strict baby led weaning, no puree foods are included. Not if you’re feeding them pureed, mashed or soft foods that quickly dissolve in the mouth. However, a 2018 systematic review (research summary) determined that there isn't enough evidence to say that the baby led weaning approach is best (yet). Self-feeding can increase baby’s confidence and fosters more attempts at traversing different shapes and textures. It all depends on the parent's willingness to offer new flavors and textures. For a more comprehensive and detailed guide to walk you through the entire process of starting solids from 6-12 months, be sure to check out: Balanced From Baby's First Bite: The Modern Parents Guide to Starting Solids. You don't want to wait for molars to give them solid food. It involves offering puree, with mum spoon feeding baby, moving from smooth puree to different stages of texture with time and age, and also starting to offer finger foods when baby is able to effectively feed themselves. Kids are tactile by nature and love to touch things. That is the fun part. It’s a safe method with low chances of choking, as the food is soft and easily dissolves in the mouth. (But no salt or sugar till one year.). With baby led weaning the goal is to allow for exploration of food, but meeting baby's key nutrient needs is also still important. Some babies, especially those with developmental delays or prematurity may need to start with the traditional weaning method. During the first few feeds, there may be a struggle between the feeder and the baby, as both are still new to the whole process. In studies examining choking risk between the baby led weaning and traditional weaning methods babies in both groups had choking episodes when given unsafe foods. Your baby may take some time to adapt to the new feeding routine, but rest assured, once he gets the hang of it, he will be happily gobbling up his dinner. My advice to you is to do the method you feel most comfortable and confident with. A comfortable, relaxed, confident parent will produce a more relaxed baby. To date, there has been one major study comparing nutrient intake between baby led weaning and traditional feeding and they found no significant difference between methods as long as parents were providing appropriate foods. When I was first starting my daughter on solid foods, even with my education and experience, this was scary to me. Each method: baby led weaning and traditional weaning, has its pros and cons. When a baby is self-feeding, they are determining what food goes into their mouth. The introduction of traditional weaning foods like dal soup, mashed rice and vegetable purees into your six-month-old baby’s diet, which is also supplemented with breast milk or formula. When the texture progresses to a thick puree, you can load the spoon and hand it to your baby to practice self-feeding. Your baby needs to learn how to move chunkier baby foods around in their mouth so they can progress to table foods. It’s important the food contains some texture and retains all its fibre. It’s also received very few complaints. But as a parent, you can equip yourself with the tools to carry out a successful feeding. Does baby led weaning increase risk of choking? Most babies don't develop their chewing teeth (molars) until much later (closer to the two-year mark for many babies.) Gagging is a good thing! Cons to Baby Lead Weaning: Less control as to what baby is eating. Baby led weaning is a method of feeding your baby whole foods starting from their first bite. Don’t put your child on a liquid diet, please. When you start your baby on solid foods, the goal is for foods to meet the gap in what your baby gets from thier milk and what they need for growth. Not only do they add more flavour to the food, but they also aid in digestion and reduce gas. Iron needs go from .26mg up to 11mg at 6 months of age and baby needs to be eating meats, iron fortified cereals or legumes to meet these high iron needs. It might take you several trials before you figure out what your baby’s preferences are in terms of taste and texture. However, many healthcare professionals and parents enjoy following a modified baby led weaning approach that includes whole foods along with some purees (self-fed by baby). Let me assure you, babies do not need teeth to eat! I am going to walk you through the biggest things you need to know when deciding on the method that is best for your baby. Exclusively means the baby doesn’t consume any other forms of liqui… Which method is best-traditional or baby led weaning? This, in turn, helps to release saliva and kickstart the digestion process. According to AAP, babies should be fed exclusively by breast-feeding for the first 6 months of life, and breast-fed in combination with solid foods until age 1. To introduce your child to solid food, you can opt between a traditional weaning or baby-led weaning method. One thing to keep in mind is that parents often confuse choking and gagging. Before you get reading, be sure to download the Starting Solids Beginners' Guide which will give you an overview of the following information (plus more). Baby led weaning allows your baby to gum food and practice chewing to self-manage different textures at their own pace. If you choose to go down the path of the traditional method, you need to be prepared and organise yourself. Though, the risk for choking depends on foods provided throughout each stage of the feeding process. Using a small chamaach and vati, food is slowly fed to the baby. Most parents feel more confident that their baby will not choke following the traditional weaning method. With the traditional weaning method, food is introduced in a puree form and the texture progresses over time. If your baby resists the changes in his diet, you can always add a bit of breastmilk to the mushy food, so that the flavours are familiar to your baby. Traditional weaning, as opposed to BLW, is the direct intervention of a parent or carer in the complementary feeding of a baby. This, in turn, helps to release saliva and kickstart the digestion process. Don’t put your child on a liquid diet, please. This does not mean that spoon-fed babies cannot be adventurous eaters. It’s important the food contains some texture and retains all its fibre. It's a great print out to have on hand when you are first getting started. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Pingback: Child Nutrition - Positive Food Environments with Element Nutrition Co. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. (Avocado, eggs (whole egg), foods cooked with plant-based oils and creamy nut butter spread on toast or mixed into yogurt or cereal), Provide foods the length and shape of your finger to allow babies to hold and chew them until they develop their pincer grip (fingers).
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