Baby Led Weaning Readiness: Tips And Tricks For Parents


If you are a new parent, you may have heard of baby-led weaning, a method of introducing solid foods to your baby. Baby-led weaning involves letting your baby feed themselves with finger foods instead of spoon-feeding them purees. However, before you start this method, it is important to make sure your baby is ready. In this article, we will discuss the signs of baby-led weaning readiness and provide tips for parents who want to try this method.

What is Baby-Led Weaning?

Baby-led weaning is a method of introducing solid foods to your baby by allowing them to self-feed with finger foods. This method emphasizes the importance of letting the baby take the lead in their feeding, as opposed to parents spoon-feeding them purees. With baby-led weaning, the baby is given a variety of finger foods, such as soft fruits and vegetables, and is encouraged to explore and eat at their own pace.

Signs of Baby-Led Weaning Readiness

Before starting baby-led weaning, it is important to ensure that your baby is developmentally ready. Here are some signs that your baby may be ready for baby-led weaning:

Sitting Up

Your baby should be able to sit up unassisted and have good head control. This is important because it allows them to sit at the table with the family and safely explore and eat their food.

Interest in Food

Your baby should show an interest in the food that you are eating. They may watch you eat, reach for your food, or open their mouth in anticipation when you offer them a taste.

Pincher Grasp

Your baby should have developed the ability to pick up small objects using their thumb and forefinger, also known as the pincher grasp. This allows them to pick up and explore small finger foods.

Loss of Tongue Thrust Reflex

Your baby should have lost the tongue thrust reflex, which causes them to push food out of their mouth with their tongue. This reflex typically disappears around 4-6 months of age.

Getting Started with Baby-Led Weaning

Once you have determined that your baby is ready for baby-led weaning, here are some tips to get started:

Choose Appropriate Foods

Choose soft finger foods that are easy for your baby to pick up and chew, such as ripe avocado, cooked sweet potato, or steamed broccoli. Avoid hard or crunchy foods that may be difficult for your baby to chew and swallow.

Offer a Variety of Foods

Offer a variety of foods to your baby to encourage them to explore different tastes and textures. Start with one or two foods at a time and gradually introduce new foods.

Be Prepared for Mess

Baby-led weaning can be messy, so be prepared with a bib, high chair, and easy-to-clean surfaces. You may also want to consider using a splat mat to catch any food that falls on the floor.

Let Your Baby Take the Lead

Allow your baby to explore and eat at their own pace. Resist the urge to spoon-feed or intervene too much, as this can interfere with their natural feeding instincts.

Benefits of Baby-Led Weaning

Baby-led weaning has many benefits, including:

Increased Nutrient Intake

Baby-led weaning allows babies to explore and eat a variety of healthy foods, which can lead to increased nutrient intake and a more varied diet.

Improved Motor Skills

Baby-led weaning encourages babies to use their motor skills, such as hand-eye coordination, to pick up and eat their food. This can help improve their overall development.

Less Picky Eating

Baby-led weaning can help reduce picky eating habits by allowing babies to explore and develop a taste for different foods at an early age.


Baby-led weaning is a popular method of introducing solid foods to babies. However, before starting this method, it is important to make sure that your baby is developmentally ready. Look for signs of readiness, such as sitting up unassisted and showing an interest in food. When you do start baby-led weaning, remember to choose appropriate foods, offer a variety of foods, be prepared for mess, and let your baby take the lead. With these tips, you can help your baby develop a healthy relationship with food and set them on the path to a lifetime of good eating habits.