Baby Led Weaning

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You may have seen lots of posts on our Facebook page about the ‘Baby Led Weaning Approach’. We have been building partnerships with Simone our Health Visitor who has been supporting us to build on our own knowledge. We established this link as we have lots of our families who are following this weaning approach.

Sam and Wendy attended a weaning course at our local Health Centre, which provided lots of useful information surrounding the benefits of baby led weaning. We value parent feedback and want to offer children then same opportunities they have at home to support the weaning process. Therefore we are creating a weaning menu which supports this approach, this meeting the needs of all of our children.

Here are a few points that we think are important about the Baby Led Weaning Approach.

Baby led weaning is all about play with food and developing eating habits supporting babies to explore tastes, textures and smells by parents introducing a variety of food.

What parents can do to support their baby through the Baby Led Weaning Approach

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4 months old

Babies are becoming interested in the world around them and are reaching out to touch objects. You can introduce foods for play, providing opportunity to explore textures and smells.

6 months old

This is when baby led weaning can begin as they are able to sit up by themselves and grasp objects to put into their mouths. Their digestive system is ready to cope with food, they are able to make chewing movements with their mouth. At the beginning it is all about playing and exploring food. It will be messy at the start as your baby uses their hands to touch and explore foods.

8 months old

As babies are becoming very interested in food this is the time to introduce variety. Babies have now developed skills to pick objects up and put into their mouths. When introducing foods the baby makes choices of what they want to eat and how much. To support new tastes and texture keep repeating the foods you offer as the babies tastes will change the more they try it.

12 months old

Your baby will be enjoying a wide variety of foods and will be keen to try new flavours. You can introduce cutlery as your baby will be able to grasp them and feed themselves.

Portion sizes

A babies stomach is the size of their palm so don’t worry if they are not eating large amounts. The process of baby led weaning is about playing and exploring food then using the saliva to soften their food before sucking small amounts off. As they develop teeth they will begin to chew foods and digest them. During baby led weaning milk will be still of importance as this provides key nutrients.

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Some top tips!

  • Your baby should be able to sit upright with support or in a high chair
  • Make sure they can reach their food easily
  • Your baby can eat what everyone else is eating in the family, no need to make lots of food options
  • Cut food into chunks that you baby can easily grasp
  • Please not offer nuts or honey to any baby under the age of 12 months
  • Have lots of fun!

If you would like any more information on the weaning please follow the link below:
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/solid-foods-weaning.aspx

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