Baby Led Weaning. When to Introduce Complementary Foods?

Baby Led Weaning. When to Introduce the Complementary Foods?
Baby Led Weaning. When to Introduce the Complementary Foods?

When your baby is old enough, you need to think about baby led weaning. Perhaps, the main issue for the young mothers concerns the terms of its introduction. When to begin the complementary feeding? What to begin baby led weaning with?

Persistent pieces of advice of grandmothers, who fed the children with cream of wheat practically from the 2nd month of life, aren’t always appropriate. Naturally, only the experienced pediatrician can tell young mother about the led-weaning first adult foods for her baby. The pediatricians will tell you when it is necessary to begin the complementary feeding in general, and also will advise the terms of its introduction specifically for your child.

Persistent pieces of advice of grandmothers, who fed the children with cream of wheat practically from the 2nd month of life, aren’t always appropriate. Naturally, only the experienced pediatrician can tell young mother about the led-weaning first adult foods for her baby. The pediatricians will tell you when it is necessary to begin the complementary feeding in general, and also will advise the terms of its introduction specifically for your child.

You may also want to read more about When to Stop Breastfeeding

complementary foodsAs for the led weaning first foods – it depends on the stage of the led weaning and the age of the baby. The thing is that not all what we eat as adults is well digested by the intestines of the 4-month baby. You surely won’t give the spicy foods to your baby, but you’d better know what to start with:

First foods for the BLW should be selected not only by the origin, but also by the consistency. Thus led weaning specialists suggest that you start with smooth, almost liquid puree of fruits and vegetables, fruit juices, that contain lower amount of acid and are adapted for the baby of certain age. Make sure that the food doesn’t contain sugars and preservative components.

Baby led weaning first foods general list

*suitable for the led weaning at the age 4-6 month

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FruitCereal and GrainsVeggiesDiary
Banana
Pear
Avocado
Plum
Apple
Peach
Nectarine
White rice
Brown rice
Sweet potatoe
White potatoes
Carrots
Butternut squash
Pumpkin
Swede/Rutabaga
Parsnip
Yougurt, fromage frais
(suggested to introduce
after the 6-th months)

When to start baby led weaning?

Due to the individual features of each baby any hour restrictions concerning the baby led weaning first foods are senseless, and moreover can be harmful to the baby. It is possible to begin led-weaning with the first foods when the baby is ready for it. Usually such readiness comes by 5-6 months of life (sometimes it is later), after the maturation of children’s nervous system, brain and gastrointestinal tract. It can be seen, if:

  • baby-led-weaningthe baby shows active interest in food in your plate;
  • from the moment of birth its weight has increased twice;
  • the baby can sit independently or with the minimal support;
  • the baby is able or tries to hold a spoon in hand, can take food from a spoon;
  • the baby can show refusal of food (turns its head away);
  • its tongue-thrust reflex of solid food faded;
  • the child’s need for food increases – feeding frequency is changing, either you breastfeed, or give formula;
  • its first tooth grew up (unnecessary condition).

The complementary feeding is introduced earlier to the children on formula, than to those, fed by the breast. But not all of them.

So, when it is possible to start the weaning process? If the baby is healthy, develops according to the scedule, the introduction of adult food can be started from the 5th month of life. But some mothers give a taste of foods to the child much earlier and some pediatricians do not mind at all – thus you may prepare the child to the adult tastes with no harm. Some of them the baby may recognize and appreciate later. But in this case try to avoid foods, that are considered to be allergens. Some mother’s, however, practice the no exclusion food introduction. Healthy foods only, but various tastes. Thus, Masaru Ibuka suggests that give your baby as many tasty things to try, as possible. It will create a wider picture of the world.

Introducing the vegetables

led weaningIt’s better to start complementary feeding with vegetables or milky-cereal porridge (only if the baby is not gaining weight). Most often pediatricians recommend to choose mono-composed mashed vegetables and certain types of fruit. Don’t worry if the first attempt to give new food to the child will not succeed. At first the children are reluctant to eat such new unusual food. In some cases it is necessary even to delay the complementary feeding for 2-4 weeks.

So, when to enter the vegetable complementary feeding? Vegetable dishes are recommended to be introduced into the baby’s diet as the baby turns 5-6 months old.

Fruit complementary feeding

baby fruitsSome years ago pediatricians said that some drops of juice should be given to the baby since 4 months of its life, gradually bringing quantity to the necessary volumes. Today physicians claim that the concentrated juice is contraindicated to the children under one-year-old, because of its negative impact on the children’s gastrointestinal tract. Until that time, it is better to give the children different fruit compotes. The pediatricians recommend to give the children fruit puree from the 6th month of life, after the introduction of vegetable complementary feeding.

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