Baby-Led Weaning vs. Traditional Spoon-Feeding

Baby-led weaning and traditional spoon-feeding are two approaches to introducing solid foods to your baby. Here’s a breakdown of the key differences between the two methods:

Baby-Led Weaning:

  • In baby-led weaning, you offer your baby small, soft pieces of food they can pick up and feed themselves.
  • The idea behind baby-led weaning is that it allows your baby to explore and learn about food at their own pace, while also promoting self-feeding and independence.
  • Baby-led weaning typically starts around 6 months of age, when your baby is developmentally ready to sit up, hold their head up, and bring food to their mouth.
  • Some common foods to offer during baby-led weaning include soft fruits and vegetables, pasta, toast, and cheese.

Traditional Spoon-Feeding:

  • In traditional spoon-feeding, you use a spoon to feed your baby purees or mashed foods.
  • The idea behind spoon-feeding is to gradually introduce your baby to various foods and flavours while ensuring they get enough nutrition.
  • Traditional spoon-feeding typically starts around 4-6 months when your baby is developmentally ready to swallow pureed foods.
  • Some common foods to offer during spoon-feeding include pureed fruits and vegetables, oatmeal, and yoghurt.

Both baby-led weaning and traditional spoon-feeding can be effective methods for introducing solid foods to your baby. The approach you choose will depend on your own preferences, as well as your baby’s individual needs and developmental stage. Some parents even choose to combine both methods, offering purees and soft finger foods to their babies. Regardless of the way you choose, it’s important to always supervise your baby while they are eating and to introduce new foods gradually to minimize the risk of choking or allergic reactions.

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