How to: Baby-Led Weaning

Introducing your baby to their first taste of solids is one of the most exciting and memorable developmental milestones for your little one! It can be exciting but also quite daunting and sometimes scary as they embark on their food journey and explore different flavours and textures!

So what do I need to know about Baby-Led Weaning?

Self-feeding is a skill that’s emerging when babies are able to sit up, grasp objects and chew (around six months for most) and taps into their natural curiosity to explore. If you are considering approaching solids through-Baby Led Weaning, it’s important to:

  • Wait until your baby is around six months of age before you start
  • Sit baby upright and well supported in a high chair
  • Offer soft, long, ‘chip-sized’ pieces of food that baby can grasp
  • Let baby choose and self-feed – never give or put food into your baby’s mouth
  • Choose non-hungry times for meals with the family if possible
  • Lay a plastic sheet under the high chair and be prepared for mess!

What foods can I offer?

Most healthy family foods are OK to share with your baby. Soft ripe or cooked hard fruits and vegetables, meat strips, cheese batons, omelette slices, bread or toast, rice, pasta and fish – anything that can be presented in pieces large enough for baby to grasp.

Won’t my baby choke?

Supervising your baby’s meal is important to prevent choking. By providing your baby with soft foods they can grasp, and never putting food in their mouth for them, your little one will be able to control the pace at which they progress with food and be less likely to choke. Remember: gagging and choking aren’t the same thing, so learn to recognise the difference. If your baby gags, stay calm and give them time to clear their food on their own. Gently scoop food from their mouth with a finger if they are unable to do this.