getting started

From one mum to another these are my top tips for getting started with baby led weaning:

IMPORTANT: Prior to beginning baby led weaning please consult your family health care practitioner/doctor to ensure this form of weaning is appropriate and safe for your child.

1. Get comfy:

Always ensure your baby is sitting upright in a comfortable high chair with the tray adjusted so your baby can easily reach her food.Miss G.

2. Keep it social:

Place the high chair right up to the table so your little one feels truly included in family mealtimes.

3. Keep it simple:

Don’t bother with a bowl or plate, they’re most likely going to be thrown across the room! Simply place the food directly onto the high chair tray.

4. A few nibbles at a time:

Don’t overwhelm your little one with too much food at once. Simply place a few tasty bits and pieces on the high chair tray and let bub explore and eat. You can always add more as needed.

5. Life is a little messy sometimes:

It’s no secret that baby led weaning can be messy. Very Messy. But watching your bubby explore, experience and enjoy their food makes it all worth it. That said I do have a few helpful hints for staying relatively sane clean:

Pop a large towel (beach towels are fantastic) under the high chair during meal times to catch any of the bits and pieces that fall onto the floor. Afterwards simply shake the towel out and pop into the washing machine when in need of a wash.

If possible, purchase an easy to clean high chair with removable tray. I have found cleaning the tray is far easier when I can take it directly to the sink and give it a good wash with hot soapy water.

If the weather permits strip bubby down to her singlet and nappy for meal times. Otherwise a pelican bib is fantastic for catching the majority of the mess.

Always have a soaking bucket on stand by. In my laundry sink I keep a bucket (with lockable lid) filled with water and soaking detergent. Following mealtimes I simply pop any dirty clothes and bibs into the bucket to soak until they’re put through the washer machine.

Miss G.6. Slow and steady wins the race…

In the first month your little one isn’t going to be eating huge amounts of food. That is ok. Most of their nutritional requirements are still being met by their milk feeds and the first month or so is more about them exploring and experiencing different foods, tastes and textures. As time passes and your little ones eating style gets better you’ll be amazed at how much they are eating.

7. Be prepared for ummm…interesting nappies (diapers);

The contents of your little ones nappies can be quite hilarious. When Miss G. first began eating sultanas I couldn’t believe the grapes that would come out the other end. And I swear I’ll never bake another batch of lemon and poppyseed muffins ever again, let’s just say the poppy seeds snuck through her digestive system and were such a pain in the you know what to clean off her little bottom. Live and learn.

8. Photo op!

Always have a camera on stand by to catch the hilarious expressions your little one pulls when experiencing flavours for the very first time. These precious moments you’ll treasure forever and remember its never too early to begin collecting embarrassing photographs to share at a certain someones 21st birthday party.

9. Relax and enjoy the moment.

I find the more relaxed we are at mealtimes the happier Miss G. is. When she watches me happily nibble away and enjoy my meal she does the very same. If I do notice however that she is a little distracted or uninterested in her food I make a few mmmm yummy noises whilst eating and before I know it she is mimicking me and doing the very same.

19 thoughts on “getting started

  1. My baby has been fed since 4 months. I am getting over making purées but I really freak out when she gags as does my husband. How did u overcome this?
    My babe is 8 months. Should I be cautious of eggs and nuts and fish products?
    Thank you for your help. I am feeling quite challenged in the food department ATM.

    • Hi!

      Gagging can be quite scary when you don’t really understand the difference between chocking and gagging. I know I was terrified when I began baby led weaning with Grace but as soon as I understood the difference I learnt to relax a little. Chocking is an obstruction of the air way and is silent. Gagging however is a natural part of learning to eat. When your little one manoeuvres food around their mouth its inevitable that some food will occasionally tickle their gag reflex and cause them to gag. Over time though and as your little one starts to hone their eating style gagging becomes less and less frequent. I offered Grace food that was chip shaped (long rectangle) so that it was easy for her to handle and nibble on with ease (thus less gagging) and I also ensured the texture of her food was suitable (i.e. able to be squashed between her finger and thumb).

      I introduced eggs, nuts and fish to Grace at about 6 months (nuts in the form of almond meal etc). However every Doctor/Health Care Practitioner/Government Health Department has their own set of standards so you may wish to consult your local GP, especially if you have a history of allergies in your family.

      Also there are some great resources on the net in relation to baby led weaning. I found the more I read and the better informed I was the more confident I felt.
      Check out:

      Any further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. I hope this has helped.

  2. Pingback: spinach & ricotta fritters | my lovely little lunch box

  3. How much and what did you start off with? I dont want to overwhelm my daughter with too much? And how much do you make so nothing goes to waste?

    • To begin, offer your little one small amounts of food that are the shape of a chip (long and rectangle) and with a texture that can be squished between finger and thumb. A good example is 1 vegetable fritter (cut in half for easier grip) with a few tomato wedges. I found that if I placed too much food onto the high chair tray my little one would become overwhelmed and play rather than eat her food. Unfortunately with little ones learning to eat there is always going to be food going to waste. Your little one will rarely eat everything on their tray and learning to eat can be a very messy affair so that unfortunately equals waste. I hope this helps and happy eating! X

  4. My daughter is 6.5 months old. We started BLW a few weeks ago. Mainly she has just tried steamed vegetables and fruits that are easy to hold and squish. I like the idea that the baby is supposed to eat what you eat eventually. My question is, are all of your recipes meals that your whole family enjoys?

  5. Hi there! Love this site! I’ve just starting poking around, but you mention that at first the food was “chip sized.” I worry that my babe will just put the whole thing in her mouth and choke! Have you ever experienced that? Thank you!

  6. HI, my bubs 9 and a bit months and iv started BLW. shes more interested in sitting there playing with her food rather then putting it near her mouth. any tips?? :)

  7. I absolutely adore your blog and the recipes look fabulous. Do you have any fun simple recipes for those babies who are just getting into the BLW. My LO is 7 mo and we have been doing bits of fruit, veggie sticks, and are looking for the next step.

    • Check out my recipes for fritters, they’re the perfect next step! My daughter Grace absolutely loved them at 7 months. They are chock full of vegetables, simple to make and are really easy for little hands to grip and nibble away on with ease. On my recipes page (or simply search on my home page for ‘fritters’) there are recipes for zucchini fritters, pea fritters, corn fritters, carrot fritters, sweet potato fritters etc. Good luck and happy cooking x

  8. Hi Kayla!

    Unfortunately I didn’t find out about BLW until my son was older. He is now 2.5 years. I wish I would have known about this method at the time I began introducing solid food to him, because now he is quite picky with his eating. Do you have any advice on where I could start with him since he’s older? Are your recipes still suitable with kids his age or just for starting out? Thanks for your time!

    • Hi Zarina! I am happy you’ve discovered baby led weaning and I don’t think its ever too late. I started blw with my daughter at 6 months and now that she’s almost 2 she’s a great eater but like most toddlers we still have our challenging days!!! When Grace is being fussy, i.e. running around the kitchen demanding things she knows she’s not allowed, I usually ask her to go play (distract) whilst mummy makes you a surprise. Then when she’s distracted I pop into the kitchen to prepare a ‘snack plate’. Basically I’ll pop a variety of foods like strawberries, blueberries, sultanas and half a homemade muffin onto a brightly coloured plate and she loves it. I try to change it up daily with a different fruits/snacks to keep it colourful and interesting and I also try to use different plates/bowls to keep it fun. Also, when it comes to dinner/lunch time, I find Grace devours her food a lot more when she’s had a part in cooking it. So most evenings I bring her into the kitchen and she sits at her little table beside the bench and we chop veges together, prepare the meat, make the dressing etc. She really loves it and when we sit down to eat together I can see her beaming with pride knowing she cooked too. Also, I think kids eat better when you make it social so we always sit down and enjoy lunch/dinner together. I hope this helps xxx

  9. Hi Kayla!

    What a fantastic blog :) My baby is 9 months old. I have occasionally tried to start BLW with him but he always keeps playing with the food :( I am not sure of how I can encourage him to eat by himself… Would you have any tips on how I can get him to eat? Just keeping him in the high chair itself is a challenge as he is very active!


    • Hi Rosh! Sitting down to eat alongside your little one does wonders! Seeing you eat and enjoy your food usually entices them to do so too. Also make sure you don’t put too much food on the highchair tray (sometimes they can get overwhelmed) just a little at a time and you can always add more. I hope this helps! X

  10. Hi, your blog is great, I’ve tried a few reiciepes for us while we’re waiting for little one too be old enough and they’re yummy. Just one question – hold long did you wait before just giving your little one what your eating eg. Pasta with sauce, cassarole etc.. Seems most people start with sticks of fruit/veg to start with. Also I’m a bit confused re choking – are small things like peas, sweetcorn, rice a choking hazard or not? I know everyone says about grapes/cherry Tom – is that because they’re the right size to get stuck rather than because they are small? Thanks in advance x

    • Hi! Welcome! I give our little ones what ever we are eating as long as its chip shaped (long rectangle – easy for little hands to grip) and a texture that can be squished between your thumb and index finger. I don’t introduce small foods (like peas/blueberries etc) until my kids have developed their pincer grip (the able to pick up small items between their thumb and index finger). This is usually about 7-9 months old. By this stage they’ve developed their eating style enough so that they can chew and swallow small food easily. That said, always follow your mummy instincts and introduce more challenging food when you feel your little one is ready. Also be sure that you never leave a child unattended whilst eating and that they’re sitting perfectly upright – this seating position ensures they’re reflex gag will kick in if food moves too far to the back of their mouth – thus preventing choking. I hope this helps. X

  11. All your recipes look so delicious and I’d love to try them with my son. Mealtimes are SUCH a struggle and cause of stress at the moment. He is used to finger food and can feed himself with a spoon but he shows resistance to almost everything we give to him. Now 16 months, most food gets thrown on the floor, or he’ll throw the first bit, have a massive meltdown and then decide he will try it after all, and the majority of meals we have to disguise with lots of cheese or chunks of banana. What’s most annoying is that he eats everything at nursery, yet when I make the same meals at home he refuses them. We haven’t done exclusive BLW since the beginning and I don’t know if that would have helped, but I feel like I almost need to start again with him. Which recipes would you suggest for even the fussiest of eaters? They need to be simple to prepare as I don’t have a food processor… I wish I had a good eater like your two!
    Jones x

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