How to Do Baby Led Weaning (And Why You Should)

Baby led weaning encourages baby to self-feed rather than receive purees via spoon. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started, plus a list of the best first foods for baby led weaning.

Baby led weaning encourages baby to self-feed rather than receive purées via spoon. Here's how to practice it with a list of baby led weaning first foods!

There are no studies to support purees as a first food. In fact, purees only became the norm at a time when doctors advocated introducing solids at 4 months. We now know that’s too early for proper digestion and can lead to allergies. Instead, baby led weaning is a natural choice for introducing solids.

But what is baby led weaning? We’ll break it all down, including:

Before We Start: A Special Gift for You

Here’s an exclusive one-pager of the Top 25 Food Ideas for Baby-Led Weaning that we made just for readers of this post! Click here to get it!

What is Baby Led Weaning (or BLW)?

First coined by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett in their book Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods, Baby led weaning is an approach to introducing solid food where baby is allowed and encouraged to self-feed solid finger foods instead of receiving purées via spoon.

BLW babies:

  • Are encouraged to join the family at mealtime and self-feed appropriate finger foods.
  • Choose what, how much, and how quickly to eat.
  • Are given the freedom to explore new tastes and textures, without the pressure to eat a set amount or a specific food.
  • Continue to nurse (or receive a bottle) just as often. Solids complement milk, and baby is trusted to know when to increase solid feedings and decrease milk (usually later in the first year).

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When to Start Baby Led Weaning

Experts agree that solids should be delayed until the middle of the first year of life. This is when baby’s digestive system is mature. Some babies may seem ready at 5 ½ months, while others may not be ready until 8 months of age. It’s important to take into account ALL readiness signs for each individual child. As always, consult your child’s pediatrician if you are unsure or have questions.

When baby is ready, you’ll notice s/he:

  • Sits up well without support.
  • Has lost the tongue-thrust reflex (automatically pushing solids out of mouth with tongue).
  • Has developed the fine motor skills to self-feed. Development of a pincer grasp (baby picks up food between thumb and forefinger, not palm and fingers) typically happens at around 6 months, but sometimes as late at 1 year.
  • Is willing to chew, even if he has few or no teeth.
  • Shows interest in participating at mealtime, and may try to grab food from your plate and put it in his mouth.

What Are the Benefits of Baby Led Weaning?

It’s easier

  • Purees are time consuming. It’s much easier to adjust what the adults are eating to suit baby than it is to create a separate meal.
  • Babies feed themselves, so you can eat at the same time. Baby led weaning gives moms the chance to relax and eat themselves.

Baby develops good eating habits

Through baby led weaning, baby develops the ability to:

  • Self regulate, which may set the child up for a healthier BMI in the future, according to this study.
  • Self-select, which has been shown to increase weight in underweight babies and support a healthy weight in most babies.
  • Experiment with a wide range of healthy foods early on, which may improve food choices later in life.

It’s educational

Through baby led weaning, baby learns to:

  • Safely handle food (they learn to chew then swallow).
  • Manage different textures, tastes, sizes, and shapes of food.
  • Finesse hand-eye and fine motor skills by learning to grasp food and move it to their mouth.

How to Start Baby Led Weaning

The great thing about baby led weaning is that you really don’t need much to get started.

Establish safe place to sit

The first thing you need is a safe place for baby to sit. A highchair is a great choice, but a parents lap is just as good (remember, baby should be able to sit up unassisted at this point).

Choose appropriate finger foods

The next thing you need is healthy, appropriate finger foods (covered below). A BLW baby is offered a variety of healthy whole finger foods (as well as a small amount of water) to choose from and explore.

Start slowly

Follow your baby’s cues. Begin offering solids once a day, and gradually increase as the child shows he wants or needs more.

Commit to the process

Baby-led weaning families are encouraged to make family mealtime a habit. One reason is that baby learns best by observation and imitation. When everyone eats together and eats the same food, baby feels included, and mealtime is a fun experience rather than a battle. If eating meals together doesn’t work for your family, consider eating a snack while baby has his meal.

What Foods Can I Feed My Baby?

Baby’s first foods should be a selection of fresh fruits, soft cooked vegetables, healthy carbohydrates, and fats. Think soft and easy to gum and swallow. When given a variety to choose from, baby will naturally choose the foods that meet her nutritional needs.

Baby led weaning BLW finger foods carrots apple Mama Natural

Baby Led Weaning First Foods

How To Do Baby Led Weaning (And Why You’d Want To) baby post by Mama Natural

The Best First Foods for Baby Led Weaning

  • Avocados
  • Banana
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Soft cooked apples
  • Soft cooked carrots, green beans, zucchini, and beets
  • Very ripe peaches and pears, plums, and melon
  • Pumpkin
  • Green beans with the skins removed
  • Egg yolk
  • Meat or poultry
  • Liver
  • Slices of sprouted bread, cooked pasta, brown rice (Some decide to wait until molars come through before introducing grains. Wheat should be avoided until later in the first year.)

Consider Supplementing With a Program Like Ready, Set, Food

The FDA, the National Institutes of Health, and the American Academy of Pediatrics have all updated their guidelines to support the science behind early and sustained allergen introduction.

But some of the most common allergenic, like peanuts, aren’t appropriate first foods for baby. Instead, I recommend Ready, Set, Food!, an allergist-developed system that can help you safely and effectively introduce allergens. You simply mix the powder into breast milk or your baby’s bottle. You don’t have to worry about whether you’re introducing the right amount or calculate your own timeline—everything is pre-portioned.

Ready Set Food reduces the risk of developing food allergies by up to 80%

Baby Led Weaning Foods to Avoid

  • High choking risk foods, like grapes, cherry/grape tomatoes, nuts, whole hot dogs. (You can find a full list here.)
  • Added table salt* or sugar
  • Unhealthy and processed foods, like chips, popcorn (a choking hazard!), sugar-containing foods, breakfast cereals, gum, and hard candy.
  • Honey
  • Stimulants, like chocolate or sugar.

* Small amounts of high mineral sea salt can be added with the approval of a physician.

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Grab a copy of my Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook!

150 simple, nutrient-dense recipes in a 139 page PDF. Immediate download! A treasury of BLW inspiration to help your baby explore new tastes and textures and while learning to eat solid foods.

Click here to check it out!

Baby Led Weaning Safety

There are obvious safety concerns with introducing solids to your baby. Assuming that baby has shown signs of readiness and can sit up unassisted, it’s important for parents to be vigilant and never leave baby alone when eating. It’s equally important that only baby put food into her own mouth.

Won’t My Baby Choke?

Choking is a real concern with any supplemental feeding, which is why close supervision is necessary. That said, there needs to be a distinction between gagging—a safety mechanism that safeguards against choking by bringing large pieces of food forward to be chewed—and real choking.

As baby grows, the place in her mouth that triggers the gag reflex moves further back towards the throat. According to Rapley, baby led weaning helps baby learn to chew and swallow when this reflex is still very close to the front of the mouth.

Of course, all parents should understand the signs of choking and knowing how to respond. Here is online education, but it’s always a good idea to contact your local hospital or community center to find in-person classes.

Will My Baby Get Enough to Eat?

Breastmilk (or formula) will make up the majority of baby’s nutrition from 6-12 months of age. The main purpose of solids in the first year is to introduce baby to new tastes and textures while teaching her to chew and swallow food.

If baby is gaining normally and thriving, then she is getting enough to eat. Baby-led solid feeding trusts that baby knows when she is hungry, when she is full, and what she needs to meet her nutritional needs. If she is struggling with low weight, you can certainly add in some smoothies, purees, or extra fats like avocado and butter. Baby led weaning doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Work with your physician to determine what is best.

Will My Baby Get Enough Iron Without Iron-fortified Baby Cereal?

Yes, if she is breastfed. The iron in breastmilk is absorbed at a percentage of 50-70 percent, while the iron in iron-fortified cereal is absorbed at a rate of 4-10 percent.

“Healthy, full-term infants who are breastfed exclusively for periods of 6-9 months have been shown to maintain normal hemoglobin values and normal iron stores. Breast milk is actually a perfectly sufficient source of iron.” —

Formula fed babies may also get enough iron from iron-rich finger foods such as:

  • Meat & poultry (especially beef and liver)
  • Winter squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Sea vegetables
  • Greens
  • Beans
  • Egg yolks

If there is a concern about baby’s iron level, have it tested before supplementing.

Tips for Baby Led Weaning

  • Don’t let baby get too hungry. Hunger can create an unhappy experience for everyone. Be sure to nurse or bottle feed baby up to an hour before offering solids so that his tummy isn’t empty.
  • Manage your expectations. Forget about expectations and let it be a learning experience. Baby probably won’t eat much at first, and that’s ok.
  • Be patient. Babies can take a longer time when they’re in charge. As they get the hang of it, feeding time will be quicker.
  • Embrace the mess. Many parents find a naked baby is easiest to clean up afterwards.
  • Don’t cut food too small. Don’t serve small pieces of food. Instead, serve pieces of food large enough for baby to grasp easily. Some families find cutting food with a crinkle cutter or rolling pieces of food in oat flour can make pieces easier for baby to hold.
  • Make food soft enough. If food can be smashed between your finger and thumb, it’s probably appropriate for baby.
  • Don’t overwhelm. Avoid putting more than a few pieces of food on the highchair tray or table at once.

Remember: Progress Not Perfection

If the process is slow going or you find yourself overwhelmed, you can always do a hybrid approach to feeding. Some moms let baby gnaw on soft pear slices, but prefer to spoon feed foods like pureed meat or bone broth. I know some parents who make smoothies, which a baby can drink through a straw if the family is on the go. Just know that you can experiment with feeding approaches that work best for your family and lifestyle.

And if baby truly doesn’t seem ready, that’s ok too. Give it a week or two, then try again.

Get The Top 25 Food Ideas for Baby-Led Weaning

Don’t forget to get my exclusive download for readers of this post: The Top 25 Food Ideas for Baby-led Weaning! Check it out below!
How to Do Baby Led Weaning (And Why You Should) Cheat Sheet

How About YOU?

Did or do you practice baby-led weaning? Or do a combination of feeding tactics? Share with us in the comments below!

Genevieve Howland

About the Author

Genevieve Howland is a doula and childbirth educator. She is the bestselling author of The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and creator of the Mama Natural Birth Course. A mother of three, graduate of the University of Colorado, and YouTuber with over 135,000,000 views, she helps mothers and moms-to-be lead healthier and more natural lives.

Maura Winkler Certified Nurse Midwife square

Reviewed By
Maura Winkler, CNM, IBCLC

Maura Winkler, CNM, CD, IBCLC is a Certified Nurse Midwife, Registered Nurse, Certified Doula, Board Certified Lactation Consultant, wife and mother of three.


  1. Can I please have a clearer explanation as to what characterises “Sits up well without support” and “can sit up unassisted”? 🙏🏻🙏🏻 Our 25 m/o loves to pull himself into a strong seated position while on a lap or in his bouncer, but cannot necessarily maintain it without being a little wobbly and certainly can no get into a seated position on his own yet (although he is crab crawling backwards 👏). Is this close enough to meeting the sitting criteria if he’s showing all other readiness signs to begin BLW or should he be able to do something further? Thanks for your input, this part just isn’t so straightforward!

  2. My pediatrician gave me the BLW feeding option. However she mentioned that my baby yet needs back low support to sit up well without support. After reading about BLW feeding and timing when baby get ready to this kind of feeding, not makes sense to me starting this method. I will wait one more month until my baby gets ready. Due to my baby was born 4 weeks before full term, I guess, he will take more time to be ready. Even he is not interested on my food when he sees me eating. So, I need to wait to get whole signals to be sure he is ready.

  3. I’m having a hard time getting over the fear of my baby choking. I gave him a finger sized piece of toast with mashed avocado and he gaged and coughed…I had him out of his high and ready to intervene instantly. Likely the wrong reaction but I can help it! I’m even a paramedic.

    He’s 5 1/2 months and ready! Mommy not so much.

    • Skip the toast and just give the soft avocado.

  4. trying to make my 15 month old son to eat through blw but after taking just one bite he starts crying and want me to feed him…how can i envourage him to eat on his own.thanks

  5. I have been advised by my pediatrician to give top allergens (peanut,egg,gluten) before 6 months. She said latest research shows this will reduce chances of developing an allergy. Your article says introducing food before 6 months can cause an allergy. Can you share where you read this? Much appreciated.

    • Allergies to foods may be caused by leaky gut, which most of us have, including our babies sadly. The GAPS diet is very healing for these types of issues and so much more. There is a baby version of it too! It helped heal my daughter’s eczema!

  6. Baby night weaning is unexceptionally very helpful for having a proper sleep. Nursing is obviously good at night but for a certain time. You cannot feed your toddler at night by expecting tight night sleep. Thanks a lot author for writing such an awesome and helpful guide for us.

  7. Hi, I started BLW with my son at 6 months old. He is now almost 11 months old and still will not swallow any solid food. He will swallow purees, but give him a very soft sweet potato or something similar he will mush it around in his mouth and then push it out with his tongue. He acts like he wants to keep it in his mouth because he will put his finger in or in front of his mouth to keep the food in. Not sure if it’s still his tongue thrust or what? At his 9 month check up with his pediatrician she was not concerned but now it’s 11 months and no change. Thank you!

    • I would consult with a pediatric DENTIST who specializes in tongue and lipties. There could be a possibility your baby is tongue tied and can’t lift its tongue enough to push the food back. You would need to take your baby for an evaluation but you can look onlin3 for more resources. Not saying that’s what the issue IS but it’s a possibility

      • Just want to add that there is no standardized way of diagnosing tongue ties and that there isn’t any evidence to support that lip ties even impede on oral function. A lot of babies are getting their mouths cut up for no reason due to breastfeeding issues that could be solved in other ways. I also acknowledge that there are some babies who may benefit from this procedure but from reading articles they tend to be more classically anterior tongue tied. FYI these dentist make lots of money from performing surgery on babies.

        I am passionate about this subject because I was told my baby had tongue and lip ties and was told by three different practitioners that she had it. Booked in for a dentist where it would have cost upwards of $1000 which wasn’t an issue but my intuition stopped me. I visited one more practitioner who had a more conservative approach and said they perform the cut at $30 a pop? She also said my baby didn’t need it and we worked instead on “fit and hold” to fix our breastfeeding issues. My pain subsided eventually and I’m 5 months exclusively breastfeeding with no issues. So much unnecessary pain for our bubs:( but like I said if it’s a classic tongue tie it may be beneficial to have someone who specializes in this (pediatrician with LC credentials perhaps) and who isn’t over zealous in diagnosing ties.

        Lastly here’s some info from research done on the subject.

  8. What a great article, exactly what I was looking for! Thank you for this, I feel more prepared to do BLW

  9. Great BLW overview 🙂 I encourage everyone to BLW, it’s a great advenure for both baby and parents. The one thing I would add to BLW’s advantages is that we as parents can also revise our diet and simply eat healthier, if we want to share meals and cook less. That way we also spend less time in kitchen.

  10. Hello Genevieve,

    Thank you for sharing. As a toddler mom who did baby led weaning, I know how valuable of a resource this is. I shared this on a blog I wrote about breastfeeding in a section about weaning.

    I love your emphasis on ensuring that babies meet the signs of readiness before starting them on solids. I understand how as a new mom it can be exciting, so we want to rush. But, for our childrens’ safety we need to be aware of the importance of waiting until they are ready.
    Although we intended on solely baby led weaning, we noticed that our baby actually preferred the texture of purees and smoothies at times. He also would eat foods that he wouldn’t otherwise in this form. We ended up having to slowly introduce foods due to his eczema and allergies. Would you agree that baby led weaning may not be best for all babies?
    Genevieve, thanks again for taking the time to create such an awesome guide.

  11. Yes, new research is showing its actually better to introduce high allergen foods from 5-11 months. They even make allergen exposure packs that can be given to baby in small amounts. Babies with eczema and/or family history of allergies are especially susceptible to food allergies and studies are showing this effective in avoiding severe food allergies later on.

  12. I read a very good guide on ‘how to introduce solid foods to your baby’ but BLW method was only mentioned there. I really like this idea and thanks for more knowledge!

  13. my oldest son, Ben, preferred to be spoon-fed most of the time, whereas my daughter, Lylah, only ever wanted to eat finger foods. I was also a lot more relaxed by the time she came, and felt more comfortable with baby-led weaning. With my youngest, James, we used a combo of baby-led weaning and purees, depending on the day and meal.

  14. Some helpful information here, but what is written on iron is not correct. After around 6 months, babies’ iron stores from birth are depleted. Breastfed babies definitely do need sources of iron in their diet as there is not enough for their needs by this age in breastmilk. It is not quite so important for formula fed babies as all formula is supplemented with iron.

  15. I am kinda laughing I have been a mom since 1995 I have 7 children all of them without fail have been BLW but I never knew it was a thing people would just look at me funny because I was not shoveling liquids down my babies throat at 4 months

  16. Its wonderful as your other posts :D, appreciate it for posting.

  17. Thank you for the information. I was reading a post on FB and came across BLW. My curiosity and want to know attitude got the better of me, so here I am. I had my first two children in the early 90’s. I was blessed to be able to exclusively breast feed all of my children for at least a year, some longer, and started out feeding puréed food. I was very conscious with my first, with mommy made purée. Introducing the right foods at the right time for the proper length of time documenting everything. I quickly got bored with feeding “the baby” and started giving him food in a form he could feed himself. By 8 months he was feeding himself, drinking out of a cup and of course getting most of his nutrients from breast milk. With babies 2-5 I gave them some puréed food at first but within a month they were feeding themselves. Raising children is a balance between motherly instinct and child leading. Not all children are the same.

  18. This was a great post. I am starting my youngest on solids and trying to figure out what to do for her. My oldest I did purees because I didn’t know better, my second forced baby led weaning because she gagged on purees. I dont actually know the proper way to start a baby with baby led weaning.

  19. Both my children were born in the ’80s so the recommend age for mixed feeding was 4 months.I breastfed for the first year. The first thing we tried was baby rice cereal, Baby screamed her head off-never again. The next thing tried was mashed fresh peach, that went down quite well. I was always a cook-from-scratcher, so it was easy to come up with baby suitable food. I didn’t puree much and never fed any jarred food. Baby very quickly wanted to feed herself, so we would fasten a tea towel around her neck and stand her plate on it then give her a spoon (one in each hand actually). I gave her a mixture of whatever we were having plus anything else I thought suitable I never took much notice of how much she ate, eating and meal times should be an enjoyable experience. One thing emerged quickly; she would NOT eat MEAT in any form. So I stopped any attempt to feed it to her, what was horrifying was the number of people who thought I should force her to eat it, suggestions ranged from bribe/disguise through to truly abusive tactics. I did none of them, no-one should be forced to eat something they truly dislike. Then I found out she liked liver, especially chicken. I was eating one, one day (my treat while roasting the Sunday lunch) she held out her hand for some, I broke a piece off and to my amazement, she scoffed it down and wanted more. My health visitor was delighted; no more worries about possible Iron deficiency if Baby eats liver. All this to say that I practiced a form of baby led weaning at a time when jar based baby feeding was very much the norm and distinctly age-related. I did buy a few for convenience/emergency use but I tasted a couple and they were vile, so I took the view that if I wouldn’t eat something my baby shouldn’t have to.
    My Daughter is now in her 30s has no allergies and was in no way a sickly child. Both she and my son have been and still are pretty healthy with robust immune systems their entire lives.

  20. Great read! Thanks for the simple explanation and tips

  21. I love this article. I just started doing this with my 10 month old. Thought I would give it a try. However, I do disagree with the eating solids at 4 months. My son has been eating everything since 4 months, including eggs. (No honey) and has never had an allergy. Every child is different right. Other than that, great article. 🙂 Thanks.

  22. I’ve been doing lots of research for my own weaning blogsite & haven’t come across anything that has this much info!! It’s great. Thank you for putting it together!

  23. Maybe because there are some foods that should be introduced later? Like egg yolks at 7 months, not 4!! I don’t know why you would offer egg yolks as one of first foods.. You start with something that’s not likely to cause an allergic reaction: white potato, carrots, bananas, pumpkin….

    • I fed my son eggs at 4 months. I was a new and mom and never knew. He was fine. Every child is different.

    • Egg yolks are very nutrient dense and not usually allergenic. Egg whites, however, are what many have reactions too.

  24. As a NICU nurse the cord should be clamped after 1 minute. There have not been any studies (meta-analysis which are the ones used to support new treatments, etc) to support waiting longer. No blood is leached from the baby during the birthing process and subsequently needing extra time to be replaced. The additional blood is broken down and increases the risk of jaundice (components of broken down rbcs include bilirubin) and requiring treatment for that (neoblue lights which would keep the baby and mommy from adequate skin to skin time and delay bonding).

      Here is one of several meta analysis showing that delayed cord clamping has long term benefits for the iron stores in infants. The slight increase in physiological jaundice is not a concern as long as access to treatment is available should it be necessary (but most often is not). Additionally there are now treatment “blankets” that can be wrapped around baby so that mother and baby does not have to be separated.
      Conclusion: definitely insist on delayed cord for the benefit of your baby (at least until the cord has stopped pulsating) and this practise will hopefully become the norm in North America as it already is in many other parts of the world (for example Sweden).

    • Jen, the AAP and WHO disagree with you. The increased iron is worth the increased risk of jaundice. My first had delayed cord clamping and ended up with jaundice (probably more related to coming early than the delayed cord clamping), but it was caught early enough and he just needed to have a UV board strapped to his back at home. It had a battery, so it didn’t interfere with cuddles or breastfeeding.

  25. Thank you for writing this informative post about Baby-led Weaning! As a dietitian & BLW mama of 3, I have a new book out called “The Parents’ Guide to Baby-led Weaning.” Genevieve, if you would like a copy to review or give-away, let me know and the publisher will send one over!

    • BLW & Pavlik harness
      Hi mommies 🙂 I have a big question. My daughter turned 6 months today, but one month ago she was put under hip displacia treatment. Since then, she has been using the pavlik harness all day. Hence, her motor skills development have paused, so she hasn’t even tried to sit down by her own. One of the requirements of BLW is to wait until your baby can sit without support. But in this case, Im not sure she could do that. Should I wait for her harness to be reoved? Or can I start already? All of the other signs babies show when they are ready are already there
      Thank you so much 🙂

      • I think you can go ahead and start solids. 🙂

    • I would like a copy

    • I would love one of your books if it is still available. My son just turned 6 months and i have started to try some foods but am needing to start giving him more. He is super interested and grabs my food everytime i eat, so i share almost everything i eat. It would be nice to have a list to always look at or know what things are good to give him

    • I am pretty sure you were offering your book to the Author of this article. If you are offering to moms I would love to have a copy. I have several friends that are pregnant now that id like to provide more info on BLW. I have a two week old and am planning to use BLW with him when he reaches the appropriate age. If you’re not giving your book away, where can I buy it? Thank you.
      Paige S

  26. Both my children were breast fed, got no solid food until they were six months old, and got very little jarred baby food. My youngest daughter is a registered dietician and has finally blessed me with a grandchild. They are introducing me to the “baby led weaning,” concept which I find super! I am also an osteopathic family physician who still delivers babies and takes care of whole families.
    A few comments.
    Consuming the placenta? I don’t think so. No matter how “natural” and “organic” we try to live, all of us contain DDT’s, radiation, PCB’s, ad infinitum in our fat and organs. And allowing a cord to completely pulse out before cutting is a good way to end up with a baby under bili lights. New neonatal guidelines are to cut the cord about a minute after birth and that seems to be a good compromise to me.
    As to when to start solid foods? Look at other mammals. They begin eating solid foods when they get teeth. Average age to teeth in humans is 9 months old, some sooner, some later. The most rapidly developing system in kids up to two years old is the nervous system, which requires fat and protein; i.e., breast milk, formula if you must. There is absolutely no reason to start a baby on solids before 6 months. There is good research to show that beginning babies on simple carbohydrates (the ubiquitous rice cereal) increases risk of type I diabetes. Babies who are chubby because of breast milk seldom go on to be obese adults. Babies who are chubby because of practically force-fed formula or inappropriate solid foods become obese children and adults at high risk of type II diabetes.
    The other thing I have found true is that as soon as friends and relatives know you have started solid food, they can’t wait to give them chocolate, cookies, ice cream, pop, etc.
    What is needed is common sense. If a food is a poor nutritional choice for an adult, don’t give it to your kid (and don’t eat it yourself). If a baby is getting a goodly supply of breast milk (formula if you must) they don’t need things like eggs and meat until later. Work on healthy complex carbs and fats and just have fun.

    • Why is it that as soon as baby starts acting interested in food, relatives shove as much sugary garbage down their throats as possible? I’ve basically had to beat my family holding spoons full of ice cream away from both of my children starting at 4 months! There is a complete lack of common sense with people when it comes to babies and food.

    • Have you tried probiotics or sunflower lecithin pills because I had that problem and both have significantly increased the ability to pump enough. Also not going long periods without pumping and also getting a different flange size help as well just a suggestion.

  27. No, there’s no definitive evidence to completely avoid solids between 4-6 months. Every baby is different – solids cannot be relied upon to supplement or even nutritionally sustain at this age. But there’s nothing stating its mild introduction is detrimental.

  28. I just wrote about my first adventures in baby-led weaning. I was VERY skeptical about it at first, but I do agree it’s a great way for baby to explore and try new things. I think I’m more for the natural way of letting happen though, vs. mandate everything baby eats has to be finger foods. For me, mushing food for baby ahead of time and feeding him is way easier, faster and less messy than trying to figure out foods for him to eat himself, wait for him to figure out eating them and then clean up all the mess he made in the process. Plus his mealtime doesn’t really coincide with ours, nor can he eat everything we eat. It’s fun to watch them start out though, and I do think it has it’s pluses!

  29. I completely agree with her on everything. I started my baby on pasture raised non gmo egg yolks at 4 months old and she had a horrible time with that. She started projectile vomiting after a week immediately after feeding and developed excema. We stopped feeding her egg yolks obviously but waited to start solids at 8 months old. I agree with the food allergens as well. Our family is gluten free, dairy free and nut free.

  30. I might be wrong but I read it as don’t give babies sensitive food before they are 6 months old.

    • Be careful about the facts you post. A lot of baby led weaning advocates discount a lot of medical recommendations for no other reason other than it’s incongruent to their method. There is validity in medical opinions around the topic. Your response with regards to allergies is particularly concerning about the validity of any of your information. Just because you read something, doesn’t make it so. Be cautious about information you provide that can affect the well being of children.

      • While blw is not a new concept I think we need to really seek out as much information we can from a cross section of professionals if we are ever in doubt.

  31. I tried blw with my first, but she wouldn’t even play with the food. It just sat there on the tray. However, she absolutely loved the puréed baby food jars and the spoon was fun for her. It was less time consuming, less messy, and less expensive because the jars are covered under assistance but fruit and vegetables are not. I wish I could do it if I had a bunch of extra money for produce items. All I know is my oldest is the least picky child I know and will eat almost everything put in front of her. My youngest seems to be following in her footsteps because she wouldn’t put anything in her mouth when I gave her some items. She only tried the banana, a teeny tiny bit and she started choking. So I’m just giving up the whole idea. She’s also not sitting upright all on her own even though she’s six months. Really not sure how to go about it at this point.

    • Seems like baby’s not ready if they aren’t sitting up unaided, hitting the 6 month mark doesn’t mean they are definitely ready it varies for each baby. I would read through the signs of readiness and wait a bit to try again 🙂

    • Hi Emily – I have become obsessed with BLW lately (videos on Youtube, internet articles, blogs). The most sensible person I came across consulted their supportive GP before they started BLW. Seems teeth are ?recommended, as is sitting up. But like other Mums have said, each baby is different. If you gave baby a big finger sized chunk of canteloupe or steamed zucchini to see how she goes while you are holding her, I’m sure that is a good start 😉

  32. I just started BLW for my 10-month old’s baby.

    Can I still feed him with porridge or continue with BLW?

    Thank you.

  33. Hi! Thanks for the article. Our babe is 5.5 months and EBF. I wanted to wait as long as possible to introduce solids as I don’t want to wean get off of breastmilk. She isn’t sitting up alone yet, but shows a huge interest in food lately. Today I let her have a tiny taste of my banana and she loves it. Any tips for introducing but not replacing ? I guess it’s a gamble that is led by her but at the same time I would rather she gets breastmilk than all of the potentially GMO pesticide foods out there. (We eat organic GMO free as much as possible)

    • Yes. Nurse your baby before giving them food.

  34. Have you read any of the new studies… They are now saying the opposite. Introducing foods between 4-6 months reduces risk of allergies. What are your thoughts?

    • Interesting. I have actually read that delaying solids until 6 months help maintain the baby’s virgin gut, thus, eliminates risk for the baby to have allergies and some other problems. Would you mind sharing a link to that study? 🙂

      • Our pediatric allergist explained this to my husband and I. Our son is anaphylactic to milk so we had him tested for allergens and discussed food recommendations. He said that non exposure of reduced exposure to known high allergy foods will in fact not reduce risk. If a child is going to have an allergen, they will have it regardless of so called early exposure. He did advise not introducing things that I only occasionally eat (I.e. Fish, tree nuts, eggs) because they are known high allergens for some and we don’t want an anaphylactic kiddo trying those until around two. But, if he has those allergies, he already has them and won’t “develop” them from exposure. Exposure only increases the body’s defense (histamine) during repeated exposure.

        • There are many allergies that one can develop after exposure. For example, those anaphylactic to latex often have issues whem consuming banana. Some children will have these allergies regardless, but there is ample evidence to suggest exposure via food or environment early on can have a profound impact on allergy development in children.

          • I have to agree with you, Christina. I was fine with antibiotics as a child, but was hit by a car and was exposed to dirt, road gravel etc. Was put on drip bags full of antibiotics. First time I was given antibiotics after healing from the accident – at least 6 months – I had developed an allergic response to antibiotics. I believe, however, from personal experience that the propensity towards allergy has to be there in the first place.

      • I am not able to find any peer-reviewed studies reporting your claim. Can you share your citations? A common issue is that nutritional studies are often plagued with a number of biases and are often poorly designed (small samples, cross-sectional, etc.) Still, it makes as much sense to use the 6 month marker for all babies for eating solids as it does expecting your child to walk right at 12 months, to speak at 15 months, and to eliminate on a potty at 24 months on the dot.

    • The world health organizational and multiple other pediatric agencies does not reccomend introducing solids until 6 months.

  35. Hi Genevieve! I loved all of the scientific information your provided in your article so I linked it in a blog post I wrote about my personal experience with baby-led weaning. I also included a video that you might find as fascinating as I did. Your insight plus this video is what caused me to practice baby-led weaning to begin with. Blessings!

    • May I please have a link to your blog you’re mentioning? Thank you.

  36. I’m surprised you say no egg white, nuts and Ther allergens. My doctor and naturopath recommended that regardless of family history with allergies (although if you have allergies to watch more closely for reaction) but that early introduction of allergens was the best way to PREVENT allergies!

    • That is the new recommendations! They are saying that early exposure is better 🙂 we are not limiting anything but the obvious and honey!

  37. Hey there! My daughter is almost 7 months old. I started introducing puréed veggies at 5 months and she loved everything! I was so happy that she wasn’t a picky eater, but then things took a turn. Now she hates everything and gags to the point she almost throws up. I am thinking she doesn’t like the texture of puréed food. I tried avocado in slices and a banana in one of the mesh feeders and she gagged with both of those. She definitely has interest in eating as she gets very excited for our meal time routine. I just don’t know what to do to get her over the gagging issue. Any suggestions? Something else kind of random, she threw up two times once after eating carrots and another after sweet potatoes (each throw up incident being 12 days apart). I’m not sure if it was just a little spit up that triggered her gag reflex or if she might be allergic to orange foods (if that could even be a thing). Has anyone ever heard of a baby having issues with orange foods?

    • Same thing happened to my LO. Still having the same problems. 8 months now and still not eating or not able to swallow because of gaggin. Mine throws up sometimes because of the gagging. I sometimes try to feed puréed food. But no luck. He won’t swallow at all. Does it get better after a month or so?

    • Mine gagged on everything, even soft solids, till about ten months old. Suddenly, at nearly eleven months, he doesn’t want to eat anything unless we’re eating it, too! It will come.

    • I had the same problem with my son when he was about 7.5 months old. He gagged and suffered projectile vomiting about a few times a week that went on for a couple of weeks. It was terrifying. I lost sleep and cried about it each time it happened. I learned to feed him slowly and be more mindful of how much he eats. (Over feeding can cause vomiting, just in case u didn’t know..)

      He’s almost 10 months old now and hasnt gagged/vomited for at least a month now. Could be just a problem that happens as they start to eat more solid food? I hope your son outgrows it soon…

  38. Hi my sister and I are from the UK. I did baby led weaning with my daughter and found it worked amazingly. My sister saw the success I had so she weaned her second using BLW as did I with my second. We feel so passionately about it we started blogging about BLW a year ago and haven’t looked back – we want to get the message out there as we find that a lot of people have still never heard of it and think puree is the only option!
    If it’s ok I’ll add the link

  39. This is not necessarily a BLW question, but my 8 month old is now formula fed 🙁 and I don’t know what to do about diary. Doctors all say just switch to diary when they are 1. I’ve found very little information out there (besides mainstream advice) on what the best thing is to do. My first nursed till he was 2 so it wasn’t ever something I had to worry about. There’s the raw vs pasteurized consideration and if homemade nut or coconut milk is best. Any thoughts? And yes, I know breast milk is best, but sadly it is not an option.

    • I watched a few documetaries on health that said humans are the only species that drink another mammals milk. My son was allergic, so we went to soy and almond milk after 1.

    • We love whole organic goat milk in our family! Much easier to digest than cow’s milk. I cook with it and my toddler gets about 16 oz of it daily.

      Do you research before considering soy milk as a viable option. Soy contains phytoestrogens which can adversely affect normal hormone function, particularly in development, and is one of the most genetically modified foods in existence. Almonds are also notoriously “GMO” and will not offer the protein present in goat milk. Goat milk has the closest protein composition to breastmilk, as well!

      • I would be much more concerned with the ACTUAL estrogen and hormones from another mammals breastmilk. Milk is not something that is needed. If you are concerned about protein intake I would go with a fortified soy milk. While most soy is genetically modified that soy is then given to the cows you are drinking milk from. All soy milks I have purchased have been non-gmo. Not because I chose but because that is the only option I have ever seen.

        • Not all cows are fed crap. You can find full herds of grass fed cattle. My local dairy is a grade a certified raw dairy with a completely grass fed herd. They also produce butter, buttermilk, cream, gelato, and low temp pasteurized milks to go in stores. The raw must be purchased at the dairy and it’s AMAZING! I admit I’m surprised that soy milk is labeled non gmo considering the sheer quanitity of gmo vs non gmo crops & the bleed over when it blows into nearby gmo free fields. I’m glad some of those farmers have managed to avoid the gmo crops.

    • Hi! Try goats milk! Did you know there is only a 3% difference to mamas breastmilk?! Here is a link to the goats milk I use.
      Baby stopped breastfeeding on her own at 6 months so we had to supplement. Didn’t want a lab made formula so I explored other options.
      Baby is happy and healthy, LOVES her goats milk!

      • I used their formula recipe and it was amazing!! Perfect for my son since my supply wasn’t enough due to working and trying to pump at work. I was just unsuccessful. I don’t know how some mom’s get it to work. They amaze me. This was what got us through until we found a local raw cow dairy. Funny how real unprocessed milk didn’t break him out like crap milk. The goat milk didn’t mess him up either.

    • If you are worried about the quality of formula look up Holle and HiPP brands of formula. They are the healthiest and best sourced you can get. They are made in Germany I believe and many parent in Europe use them. I’m in the US but can still order it. I’m still using breastmilk for my 4.5 month old but we have used the formula a couple times when my milk supply was lower. Good luck!

      • Agreed! LOVE Holle and HIPP! Holle also has a Goat’s Milk formula. My babe is thriving on Holle! Demeter, biodynamic milk (land, human, animal are all respected), from HAPPY cows who haven’t been dehorned? Europe has a much higher stander and integrity than Canada and the USA.

    • It is very important to continue with the formula until your baby is at least 1. There are extra nutrients and vitamins added to the formula that can not be found in milk.

      After he or she is 1, its impt that they use whole milk or an alternative with enough fats in it…nut milks are lacking in fat. Soy milk, despite its misgivings, is a much btr alternative to dairy than nut milks if you are unwilling to do whole milk. but if your baby has no issues with dairy, organic whole milk is the way to go.

    • My son gets eczema from traditional dairy. We did goats milk into a formula when my milk supply was insufficient. We have since switched to grass fed raw whole cream top milk or if we can’t get to the farm we buy the low temp pastuerized cream top from the same dairy that is in a local store. Hubs and I both switched to this milk and both of our digestive issues associated with traditional large dairy milks have completely gone away. My 6 month old will be going on that milk when she gets there as well. Just starting to think about feeding her because she’s imitating us chewing and reaching for my food. I have home canned pears I put up while pregnant with her & will probably give her those to start. Soft enough to mash with a fork in like 3 seconds….

  40. My almost 7 month old just mushes the food around on his tray in delight and doesn’t attempt to bring it to his mouth. When I have put a spoonful of mashed avocado,banana or carrot in his mouth he makes disgusted faces gags and even vomited with the carrot. This is when I decided to back off and offer him only large soft pieces he can pick up himself. My question is do I continue giving it to him everyday for what feels like just a sensory exercise or wait a few weeks and try again?
    One thing he has liked is a few sips of homemade chicken bone broth. He is also obsessed with drinking water out of my glass.

    • My LO plays with the food too. Won’t even try to eat. I’ve been struggling for 2 months now. He is 8 months now. I want to know if they eventually eat. What did you do to make your LO eat? Did you find anything your baby would swallow?

  41. I’ve been using a mix of puréed and well cooked chunks.. Started her on purées at 4months because my husband kept teying to feed hoer chips pretzels etc. ?? didn’t seem to understand how they might b hard for her to eat.. I fugured it would stop him from pushing solids and help him differentiate baby food from adult food but over time I started sharing things in a more solid form such as chunks of cooked green beans and carrots and she was doing great! At 6 months I tried stage 2 purées and she kept coughing and gagging because she would suck all the juice out and the have a gummed up clump in her mouth.. So I still give her purées when in a hurry and to help her eat alittle more but otherwise I just give her well cooked little pieces of whatever were having for supper if it’s not spicy or processed.. Otherwise I just steam a carrot.. We have issues with spoons too because she wants to play with it and bang it on the table and if I give her chunks she just smoothed it between her fingers and smears it on her table so I hold out the peices for her if she wants to eat it she opens her mouth and leans forward if she’s done eating she glances up at it then goes back to playing.. It just seems to work for us.. If anyone has suggestions to keep her from squishing and playing with the chunks please share.. She won’t eat them if she gets to play with them.. She just smushes and smears

  42. Hi,
    Just found your website while looking for info. / tips on weaning my baby in this method. Found the information very useful. I’m just starting with my 7 m.o. (started off with purees but would like to switch) and am having a hard time feeding him veggies! Doc said he needs lots of iron so we really need to focus on greens (green beans -frozen, so they’re not the long “fresh” type-, spinach, etc.) and meat! Tried giving him green beans but he never stuck any in his mouth! Do you have any tips that will help me with my conundrum?

  43. WIth baby 1 we did a lot of purees and porridge type food. She is two now and the pickiest eater ever. She wont touch veggies anymore. My 10 month old has been 99% BLW from the beginning mainly because who has the time to puree with two littles… and she is the BEST eater. She’ll eat anything but fish so far. I still don’t give her large chunks- I cut it up- but dinner time is so much less stressful even if it’s messier. I wish I’d done both this way but I eat a lot healthier now so it’s easier to give her what we’re having and not worry like I did with baby 1.

  44. Hi, Wondered if I should offer my baby the food in his hand or should I leave it on his high chair tray and wait for him to pick it up? He’s just over 6 months and has been ebf up until now.

  45. I introduced purée foods at 4 months per my pediatrician recommendation, but only small amounts 1-2 teaspoons 2-3 times a day. Starting introducing finger foods at 6 – 7 months very slowly after my babies were sitting up and cutting teeth. By 9 months, they are great eaters, will pretty much eat anything I give them and have never shown any signs of allergies. So, I guess you could call mine a combination approach. I love the fact that I can feed them many different textures and temperatures of food. Gives me flexibility.

    • And twin Momma we now know that early introduction of foods does not “cause” allergies, and may actually prevent them…so good for you!

    • Best share so far – gold star – lol!

  46. My son just turned one. And has the worst gag reflex. He’s been eating purées but it doesn’t matter what texture if there’s too big a chunk or chunky really at all he gags and throws up. I keep trying new solids everyday but end up having to go back to purées for him to actually get anything. It’s very stressful. I would love any kind of suggestions to try. We’ve been adding the baby oatmeal cereal to the purées since he was 6 months and started eating just to make sure he’s not getting it completely smooth but even if there’s too much cereal in it (and its too thick) he gags and throws up. Then of course doesn’t want to eat anything else. He’s even just licked a piece of toast and gagged. It’s the craziest thing. Our peditrician said he’ll get it eventually but it’s so hard because he’s already a year and not wanting solid food.

    • Hi ally,
      That sounds significant. You may want to inquire with the Dr about getting a referral to get an evaluation done by an Occupational Therapist, someone with training in feeding therapy, in order to rule out whether he has a sensory processing issue. I’m a pediatric OT and sounds like he has oral aversions to textures…

      • Speech and language pathologists are experts in swallowing and feeding disorders. They deal with everything from the lips to the throat.

        • Thank you!!!! As a speech and language pathologist, I get tired of the misinformation out here on blogs and websitea. Speech therapists are THE trained professionals to assess oral motor functioning, oral sensory function, and swallowing. OTs have recently been added to the mix because of a shortage of SLPs. Not because it is their area of expertise.

          • I am a Physical Therapist that has worked in many rehab settings and I have to second that speech therapists are the best trained for oral mechanics.

    • you could ask your pediatrician for a referral for speech or occupational therapy if it continues. Some kids, especially if they were premature, have sensory issues where they will only accept certain textures. A speech or occupational therapist can help you address the issue. I’m a pediatric physical therapist and I’ve seen a surprising amount of kids with sensory issues.

      • Thank you for sharing Lindsey. Great points!

    • If you’re still having trouble, I highly recommend trying Gripe Water or something to calm his tummy. :-/ Gripe Water has been our solution to a lot around here. Everything from Colic to Acid Reflux (which did actually result in the little one that I nanny throwing up after every bottle or after being breast fed on the rare occasion she would actually try to feed from her Mom), as well as the upset tummy from Constipation. Regardless, if he is still throwing up, please make sure you’re giving him plenty of pedialyte. Good luck with your little guy!!!

    • Did he have reflux? This happened to my oldest and it ended up being his reflux that was bothering him. We put him back on his meds and it helped tremendously

  47. Hi everyone! I am very thankful for this site. My baby girl has been showing an obvious interest in foods for a few weeks and I’ve been undecided on how to start. At her 4 month checkup Dr said we could introduce avocado, bananas, etc in te next month if she seemed ready. OE does not sit up by herself without leaning but that girl will roll, kick, thrust her way towards Daddy’s plate ( bad daddy eats on the couch) to get that dinner! I decided to let her have a taste of avocado at 17 weeks and she barely lost any, shoving the spoon in her mouth. I had to keep her from gagging herself. Since everything I read said to finely purée foods I didn’t realize I could let her act on the impulse to grab something and put it in her mouth without my “help.” She got very angry one evening when we were eating a chicken, tomato and yogurt curry so I let he taste a tiny piece of tomato and she gummed for a second then swallowed it immediately. I felt bad for not letting her have more in fear if a tummy ache! OE loves bananas but spits out the bigger chunks so I do mush and let her lead the spoon. If she acts like she wants to eat I let her put it in her mouth. I put the spoon or piece of food in front if her and if she grabs it and opens up Yay Baby! She is not yet 5 months but is sure to let me know if she wants something other than breast! She has two older step-siblings and between watching the 4 of us eat, does not want to be left out! Everything Ive read doesn’t talk about babies her age but she has shown me she wants to be apart of the food experience and I’m carefully letting her explore. BTW she hates baby cereal and From what I’ve learned it is completely unnecessary. I can’t wait to put some foods in front of her and watch her choose and feed herself now that I know it’s okay- Thanks!

  48. My son is 8 months old now and he is on purees since 4 months. After I saw how my friend’s son, 12 months old handling and eating solid food without purees, I was impressed. I wanted to train my son too. I let him tried apple. He knows how to use hand to grab and put in his mouth, he knows how to chew but he doesn’t know the piece is too big to swallow. So he gets gagging every time he eat solid food. I guess he is too used to swallow purees. Is it too late to train him BLW method? Any body having the same problem? Please advise.

    • Having the same issue

  49. My son just turned 8 months and he hates being fed from a spoon. We started with solids when he was 5 months. I’ve started with mehtod lately but its a mess. He loves eating the same food he hated with spoon. I am a little bit concerned because he is only in the 25 percentile and in this period is not gaining to much weight. I both breast feed and formula my baby.

  50. I’ve been doing BLW from the start and bub’s now 9 months and refuses to eat from a spoon. He’s always clamped his mouth shut when I try so I just let him feed himself for the past 3 mths. But now cereal, yogurt and even travelling seems too hard now because he insists on feeding himself and making a massive mess! Any tips?
    Ps I don’t mind the mess it’s just not practical in airports and on planes.

  51. I had never heard of this concept until tonight when I looked up ways to help my baby eat baby food. She is ebf and won’t take a pumped bottle or eat purees which seems a problem because I start work tomorrow. However she loves food, real food, she chews and swallows all sorts of things from my plate just in her own. She will even grab the spoon from you if you try to feed her anything with the spoon and try it herself before throwing it in disgust. I was very worried about her at first but now I’m positive I’ll be able to keep her fed. I only work in 4 hour shifts so she’ll only be without breast milk for 5 hours max a day. Do you think that is reasonable at 6 months? Or do you have a suggestion to help me keep her fed while I return to work? Keep in mind this job is an unfortunate necessity for me and this is not how I planned to parent. Not that is not a valid and respectable choice, just not one I planned on making =/ might be why I’m so worried about her.

    • You can try giving her a sippy cup instead of a bottle. Likely at sux months she wont take a bottle if she hasn’t already.

    • I work 4 hour shifts and I feed my baby before I go and then pump once while away, then feed again when I get home. . My husband does dinners with the kids to we started doing baby led weaning, it’s working out great!

  52. My son is 11 months old and absolutely loves to eat (all day long, anything he can get his hands on). We did a combo of purees and finger foods but recently he does not want the purees. Yet I feel like he isn’t getting enough and a healthy variety with just finger foods. He also never seems to get full. Expample: he ate 2 apples for breakfast with little dropped and screamed when I didn’t have more to give him. So my question is #1 do I allow him to continue to eat even in fear of him getting a belly ache? #2 how far can I go with what he eats at this age/stage? (Can he eat things like chicken or do I need to stick with your main couple of fruit and veggies?)
    one more thing… does anyone have recipe suggestions

    • You can introduce chicken, fish, and meat as soon as baby is ready for solids, so by all means give them at 11 months. Foods rich in proteins and healthy fats will fill him up more than apples and other produce. AT this age scrambled eggs would be a good option too. Just make sure the meat or chicken is nice and tender, an slice it across the grain.

  53. Hi, I have been working on BLW since my daughter was 8 mo. Now she is 15 mo and has not gained any weight because she is not force fed like most babies. Do you have any recipies or advice for me?? I am sure i am not the only one with a baby that eats like a bird..

    • That’s why I always do a combo of BLW and spoon feeding. Some kids can’t get enough nutrition or calories with just BLW.

  54. Thank you for sharing these tips. I started out with mashed bananas and than caught in to BLW… Although it is quite messy and baby barely eats it. It’s been fun to watch him learn how to deal with foods. I have a 6.5 month old. Planning on giving him broccoli tomorrow. Wish us luck!

  55. We are going to do a combo of purees and BLW with my lo, who just turned six months. I was wondering what type of utensils and/or dishes you like? I’m interested in non plastic or at least plastic sans toxins.

  56. We loved the idea of BLW but it wasn’t right for us. My little one loves mushed up foods. She was exclusively BF to 6 months then we began with some purées, tried BLW many times and she choked to much and didn’t eat very much, by around 11 months she naturally stated eating more foods like eggs, avocado,etc. we loved making soups which we sort of saw as a middle ground between BLW and purées only, we made great lentils, bean broths and veggie mixes – it’s all soft to swallow and full of different spices and tastes. Now at 16 months she still likes soups and eats a huge variety of foods. We had lots of friends do BLW but it just was not right for our family this go around. Thanks for the article! xo

  57. I started with mushed baby foods at five months. I didn’t even know about BLW. Then one day she took a broccoli from my plate. I let her have it at waited at bated breath. I was so surprised that she chewed, even with no teeth. Then I read this post. Now its a whole new world. I am still just enamored every day with how well she can eat. She can even spoon feed herself at 7 months. When I was pureeing her food I literally would stay up till 1 or 2 in the morning. Ugh. But now I simply sit and share what I am eating. I never have to worry about the preparation. The mess is something else I have to wash her highchair cover nightly, but its so worth it and wayyy easier then mushing a weeks worth of food!! Thank you so very much!!!

  58. I love the BWL concept and will try going this way plus a little mash with our son who is currently 5months 2 weeks and EBF at the moment. My question is about introducing single foods. I’ve been told it’s a good idea to introduce one food at a time in the morning to a observe any reactions at the beginning. Does this apply to BLW also ? Or do you give them a few things to choose from, from the get go ? Thanks for the fabulous post !

    • I think it would probably be best to do 1 food at a time. I’m not very patient so I put a few options out there. If your child is more allergic, it would be especially important to introduce 1 food at a time.

      • Thanks Genevieve we are going to start him tomorrow. He’s So ready. He grabbed a salad leaf tonight and gave it a gnaw. I’ll offer up a bit of banana and acocado on the high hair tomorrow. My baby is growing up !

    • Thanks for asking this question!! I’ve been wondering this!

  59. We’ve been doing BLW with our daughter for the last 3 weeks now. Really hard to get into the mindset of not worrying how much she is eating but starting to relax more now. She’s tried so many different foods already. Our IKEA highchair is great to clean and I’d highly recommend it. The only things we use a spoon for are yoghurt, porridge and soup but even then she holds it too.

    • What is the name of your ikea highchair? I definitely want an easy to clean one! Thanks!

      • ANTILOP…its only $19.99 LOVE IT!!!

  60. I wanted to do BLW with my sons but both had medically diagnosed issues with feeding and actually required purees well into their second/third year of life. DS1 is 4 now and still prefers mush while DS2 can’t swallow unless it’s mush.

  61. I really wanted to do BLW with no purees- I absolutely love the concept. And even though I know there is a difference between gagging and choking, i couldn’t bare to watch my son gag. I was stressing myself out watching him eat. My hands were shaking with fear at one point as I was watching him- and then I thought– “why am I doing this to myself?!? This is supposed to be fun!” So our way of compromising has been purees at 6 months, transitioning to chunkier purees at 7 and 8 months. We’re basically waiting for his pincer grasp to become more refined to where he can eventually pick up tiny pieces of table food. I still let him hold his spoon at certain points during the feeding as I feed him purees. And we include him during family meals. He’s doing fine with it. Just wish I wasn’t such a chicken because i would have loved to have skipped purees altogether.

    • I love your process. You need to honor what you feel comfortable. I do a combo of BLW and purees with Paloma and it’s working well.

      • I really appreciate that you are so honest and empathetic Genevieve! I’ve already been stressing myself out whether complete BLW will work when we start solids in about a month! Did you start solids right at 6 months with Paloma? What was her first food? Was it a purée or a BLW appropriate solid? I have so many questions!

        • I let her lick a little avocado and butter when she was around 5 months old. I would just give her a little taste on a spoon and she was in charge of putting it in her mouth.

          Since then, I do a combo. Soft peeled pears and peaches in slices, same with avocado (although it’s a little slippery!) and let her have fun and she does eat a good amount of. I also have done some avocado/banana mash and she loves eating that with a spoon. I usually feed her half and then she plays with the rest. She turns her head if she isn’t interested so I’m still letting her be in charge 🙂

          • I also begin with purees and work up to chunkier solids and so on. Geneveive, I remember you had a video on why you were not doing BLW with Griffin, do you still feel the same way about it? I had the same views with my first and have continued with my second. We do also bring bebe to the table during family meal times and he gets fed at the same time all of the rest of us do.

  62. My sons first food was salmon eggs – yep, caviar! Super nutritious, and he loved to play with them. We have done small triangles of steak, which my son loves so much he’ll gnaw on them and then suck them dry. We’ve also done purees. One set-back I have is letting him put his own food in his mouth and be messy. I know it’s okay to be messy as a baby, but practically speaking, it’s hard for me to be okay with the extra work of cleaning up his high chair. It’s a really dumb design; it has all kinds of unnecessary nooks and crannies for nasty baby food to get stuck into. Okay mama, let it go! Don’t mind me, I’m in process. 🙂

    • I HEAR YOU! It can be a major mess. I joke to my husband that a good “diet” would be watching a baby feed herself/himself. LOL! It kinda grosses me out. I know. I know. It’s totally my issue but the mess can be hard. I’m getting better at it the second time around. Now, I find it a little more cute 🙂

    • I have four children and rarely let them play/mess with food. It always went from me to their mouth or it was something none goofy that they could eat themselves. I just can’t handle the mess. The oldest is 8 now and it hasn’t seemed to have affected any of them negatively. I EBF for 7 to 8 months with all but my first. I’ve never really done baby led feeding. Honestly I just feed them when they’re hungry. I never thought about what or how to do it.

  63. I’m so glad you mentioned Iron concerns. I EBF for 1 year and people frequently ask me, do you supplement with iron? I don’t because I really feel like BM is a superior food…I just started my one-year old on finger foods and he’s been having so much fun with it. If we have something like a casserole, I stick it in a manual food grinder with a little bone broth and spoon feed him. It is so easy! No pureeing necessary. I even take my food grinder to restaurants if we’re eating out. Thanks for the in-depth article!

  64. Thank you for this article! One thing that really helped me was YouTube-ing (?–ha!) videos of babies gagging versus choking. Although I specialize in pediatric feeding and swallowing, it’s still scary to see your own child gagging. We started with only solid foods but now we give solid foods and puree some of the foods she eats–it’s easier to know she is actually full versus waiting 45 minutes for her to eat squash, apple, corn, etc. I think it’s great to give her solids of the purees she’s eating 🙂 Thanks for raising awareness of BLW!

    • Great combo! I agree. Sometimes I want to get the calories in quicker.

  65. I’m just wondering, how do you give egg yolk to the baby? Hard-boiled?

    • I either hard-boil them and cut them up (try not to boil the heck out of them, i.e., make them turn green…) or scramble just the yolks in coconut oil.

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