Are you a new parent researching different ways to care for your baby? Our guess is that feeding is an intimidating topic with so many different techniques and preferences out there. We know it’s essential to have the right information available to you to make the best decision for you and your baby. This guide will explore the difference between two weaning methods: baby-led weaning and using pureed foods.
Baby-led weaning and introducing pureed foods are both excellent options for feeding infants. These introductory feeding techniques exist to introduce single-ingredient foods slowly. Transitioning a baby from liquids to solids doesn’t have to be complicated, and both of these methods are great options. Let’s learn more about each feeding approach so that you can choose what is best for your growing baby.
The baby-led weaning technique gives your child a sense of independence by putting them in charge of feeding themselves. With this method, your infant feeds themselves finger foods. This self-feeding technique can begin at six months old.
There are several benefits to using the baby-led weaning feeding method:
- The baby learns to stop eating when they are full.
- They practice fine motor skills when using their hands or appropriate utensils.
- Not having to create baby-specific meals is easy and convenient.
Baby-led weaning should begin by focusing on a single ingredient. It is recommended that you start with bite-sized pieces of a cooked veggie. Over time, you can introduce new foods, like fruits, pasta, and animal protein. Eventually, you will be able to feed your infant mixed food combinations.
Another method for feeding infants is spoon-feeding purees. Purees are an excellent transition from milk to whole foods. Spoon-feeding teaches your child a new way to intake food and provides all of the nutrition that growing babies require. Spoon-feeding purees allows babies to develop better control when eating their food because it doesn’t require chewing and fine motor skills.
Spoon-feeding is less likely to cause gagging as your baby gets used to new tastes and different textures. It is also a great time to bond with your baby and teach them rules for eating.
Remember, no one is more equipped to make feeding infant decisions than you and your trusted health care professional. Whichever method you decide, be sure to consult with your doctor for their professional opinion on introducing new foods to your infant.
Feeding infants real food does not have to be hard work, but you’ll still want to make sure you are as safe as possible. Remember to be extra cautious when introducing feeding infants solid foods and look out for these red flags:
- Choking – foods like grapes, sausages, or raisins can be challenging for babies to break down.
- Food allergies – Slowly introduce common food allergy triggers like peanuts, eggs, and cow’s milk.
When you’re a new parent, there is so much to learn and consider when making your family decisions. Whether it’s the best way to transition from feeding infants to real foods or finding the best resources for your child’s development, you always have options and help available just an internet search or phone call away!