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.
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.
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.