4 Things To Consider Before Starting Baby Led-Weaning
Babies need extra care and attention. The kind of behavior they are taught from a very young age stays with them for the longest time. Once some habits are developed, you cannot change them easily. That is why you have to ensure that your kid only grasps excellent and decent practices. One such habit is proper and healthy eating.
To develop healthy eating habits, you can practice the baby led weaning method.
What is led-weaning?
As the name suggests, under this method, children themselves have to eat some solid foods. To start, most parents use a high chair for baby led weaning as it makes the process smoother. After that, they follow various baby led weaning tips to make the process more convenient for their little one and themselves. Here are some benefits of practicing the method for your munchkin:
- It develops a healthy eating habit for them, as they are exposed to more food items.
- With this, they can take care of their hunger cues, and you do not have to check every time if they are hungry or not.
- He/she can learn to chew, as you will be switching directly to solids. That will also make their digestive system stronger.
- As they will know about their hunger, their chances of overeating and gaining weight are decreased.
As the method provides with so many benefits for the child, most parents practice it with their babies.
But this is not it. There are some points that you should keep in mind before starting with the process. As it is new for them, they can face several issues. Here are some baby led weaning tips that you can follow.
Led-Weaning = Mess
We are not going to lie; the process is going to be a little messy. It is because the toddlers are not much used to holding things, so they might slip the solid foods on their clothes, face, and around themselves. That is why you have to keep the sitting place clean initially so that if they drop and pick any food items from there, it will not have germs.
As we mentioned above, people start with a high chair for baby led weaning. They use the chair because it makes it easy for them to sit straight while eating, and the spilled food remains only on the desk. If you have to buy a high chair, choose the model that can be easily cleaned after each time your little one makes a mess.
Also, remember that making a mess is not bad because it helps them in accepting the foods better as they feel its texture. And this is only for the initial part of the process, as they will become habitual with eating, they will stop making the Mess.
Led-Weaning: Food Size Matters
As your toddler is just starting with solid foods, food’s size matters as much as anything else. Most people begin with the weaning process when their children are only six months old. This helps them in developing better skills more efficiently, but they have to keep the size of the food appropriate according to the kid. Toddlers so young might not know the grasping skills and will spoil smaller pieces. The size of the food has to be large enough for them to hold in their hands.
The next thing to keep in mind is the shape of the food. Coin or round-shaped food can quickly get out of their grip. Keep the food pieces longer and thinner. So they can hold it better and get it to their mouth without making a mess. The best example of this can be a potato wedge shape, which is easier to grasp.
When their grasping skills get better, you can start trying different shaped and sized foods.
Choking and Gagging
The first thing you should know is the difference between gagging and choking. Gagging is a defense mechanism that kids use to avoid food getting into their throat, and that is very normal. It can be loud and can also cause vomiting, but there is nothing to worry about it. The mechanism is shifted more towards the throat as they grow up. So we all have it, but just a little backward in our mouth.
Let’s come to chocking, which can be dangerous for the kid. While gaging was loud, chocking can be silent. Though it is not common during the baby led weaning method still, you need to keep an eye on your baby to see if they are eating correctly. You should consult some experts about what to do in case your baby chokes.
Types of products and meals to avoid
Just like the shape and size of the food, its type also matters for babies. While you have to take care of the nutritional value of the food, there are some foods and products that you should absolutely avoid. Because this is the kid’s first exposure to solid foods, you can give them a majority of it to see what they like.
It is recommended to keep single-ingredient meals for checking any food allergies initially. A list of foods to avoid entirely is:
- Sweets: Most of the sweeteners do not provide any nutritional value. They only increase the chances of weight gain of the kid. So it can be avoided as much as possible.
- Salt: Higher salt intake can harm the kidneys of the kid as they are still immature. So you should avoid salt in whatever food it is possible and even if it can’t be avoided, then put it in minimal quantities.
- Honey: Though honey is considered to be natural, it still increases the risk of botulism in kids. You should avoid using it.
Baby led weaning process is a crucial part of your kid’s development. It can provide the kid with several benefits, ranging from good eating habits to avoiding child obesity. But there are some baby led weaning tips that you can follow so that the process can be made safer for the child.
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