Why Is My 3 Month Old Baby Fussy At Night Weaning Babies – A Baby Led Approach

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Weaning Babies – A Baby Led Approach

Baby-led weaning (sometimes referred to as baby-led weaning) is becoming a popular approach to weaning babies to solid food.

In basic terms, it means forgetting about pureed food and letting your baby feed itself (proper) whole foods. It is probably the natural way to introduce solids. Although it still remains a recommendation of many childcare professionals and institutions, there is actually no research to support the widespread notion that babies should be weaned first to solids through pureed or pureed food.

The idea that purified solids should be introduced is probably a hangover from the 1960s, when the recommended age for introducing solids was 3 months. Currently, the recommended age to introduce solids is 6 months. By 6 months, most babies have strong necks, can sit up if supported, and have enough fine motor skills to reach out and grasp things, including finger food.

They may also start eating themselves.

Baby led weaning

To begin baby-guided weaning, offer your baby a selection of suitable finger foods. Because babies haven’t developed a handle yet and can only grasp things with their fists, chip-shaped foods or ones that have a handle (like broccoli spears) are ideal. Let your baby decide what to do with his food – if he just wants to play with it at first, that’s fine. He can move on to sucking his food and then “chewing” it by cleaning it with his gums.

Make sure you let your baby get his own food and don’t put food in his mouth for him. This is because his ability to manage his food is in line with his overall development. When he is first introduced to solids, he will not have the fine motor skills to pick up small foods that may otherwise present a choking hazard.

Don’t worry about him getting enough food or eating a balanced diet of solids. He will still get all his needed nutrients and “balance” from breastfeeding – the wonders of breastfeeding! You should, however, try to offer a variety of solid finger foods to keep his interest.

Benefits of baby-led weaning

According to Gil Rapley, deputy program director of UNICEF UK’s Baby Friendly Initiative, weaning babies using a baby-led approach has the following benefits:

  • babies can join in on family meals from the start, learning valuable social skills
  • babies are less likely to refuse food and be fussy eaters
  • it avoids common children’s feeding problems, often caused by babies confused by the need to chew “second phase” food that has lumps.

Won’t my baby suffocate?

It is very important that self-feeding babies sit up straight and are never left unattended. But until a baby can chew, she is unable to move food to the back of her mouth. And until she can chew, she won’t be able to pick up food to put in her mouth. The way your baby naturally develops makes the risk of suffocation minimal. If a piece of food moves to the back of her mouth, she will promptly clean it herself by gagging and coughing. While the gag reflex may look uncomfortable, it doesn’t seem to bother babies at all.

Is baby guided weaning for everyone?

Baby guided weaning may not be suitable if:

  • you have a family history of allergies or digestive problems
  • your baby was born prematurely
  • your baby has special needs and has impaired chewing or other fine motor skills

In these cases, you should consult your pediatrician or doctor before starting.

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