Baby-led weaning – all you need to know

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In celebration of National Weaning Week 2023, we take a look at baby-
led weaning.

What do you mean by baby-led?
Rather than spoon-feeding your baby pureed or mashed foods, a popular
alternative is baby-led weaning. Essentially, this means offering your baby
finger foods and letting them feed themselves from the start.

When can I start baby-led weaning?
The current NHS advice is to start weaning your baby at 6 months,
whether you choose baby-led or spoon feeding.

How do I start baby-led weaning?
To try baby-led weaning, your baby will need to be able to sit up, hold
whole pieces of food and bring these pieces to their mouth. You can begin
by offering soft pieces of food in thick or long strips, so your baby doesn’t
try to swallow them whole. Soft fruits like banana, cooked vegetables or
pasta or good options.

What are the benefit of finger foods?
Finger foods can help your baby get used to different textures and eating
them helps your baby develop hand-eye co-ordination. Many babies enjoy
picking bits of food up, experiencing the textures, and feeding

With method is best for my baby?
According to the NHS, there's no right or wrong way. It’s more important
to ensure that your baby gets all the nutrients they need from a variety of
foods. Rather than choosing one method, some parents combine both.

Baby-led weaning and choking.
A study by Swansea University concluded there is no more risk of
choking when a baby feeds themselves than when they are fed with a
spoon. However, before starting weaning – no matter which method you choose – many parents like to educate themselves on what to do if their
baby is choking. Find out courses you can take here.

Messy hands and faces
Whether you opt for baby-led or spoon-feeding, weaning can be a messy
business. Make sure you have your plastic-free Pura wipes to hand.
They’re dermatologically tested to be safe on sensitive or eczema-prone
skin, so they are perfect for cleaning up mucky faces and fingers after

The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only and
should not be taken to represent professional or medical advice. Always
seek advice from a medical professional when deciding on what is best for
you and your baby.

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