Fé’s First Bites | Step-by-step guide to Baby-Led Weaning

Hey, Everyone! You may have already read my post about Fé’s first bites discussing the difference between baby-led and traditional weaning. We have chosen to do a combination of both. I am feeding Fé some purees while also giving her the opportunity to try finger foods.

If you are just starting your baby weaning journey (like we are) here is my step-by-step guide to baby-led weaning!

Step 1: Is Your Child Ready?

Make sure your child is ready for weaning. The UK suggests that babies should be at least 6-months old before you begin weaning. According to the NHS, they will show signs that they are ready when they can:

  1. Sit. Babies should be able to stay in a sitting position and hold their head steady
  2. Coordination. Your little one should be able to coordinate their eyes, hands, and mouth so they will be able to bring foods to their mouths themselves
  3. Swallow Food. Babies Should no longer have their tongue thrust reflex that pushes food out of their mouth instead of swallowing.

Your baby will let you know when they are ready. There is no need to rush baby-led weaning. If your child is not ready, simply try it another time (in a few weeks or so). There is no need to worry that they are not getting enough nutrients. Mothers Milk or Baby Formula provides sufficient nutrition until they are one-year-old.

See This post about choosing which weaning method is right for you!

Step 2: Choose Your Time

Start with one meal a day to sit down with your child and start weaning. BLW encourages family/social eating so choose a time when you will be eating at well. I personally have chosen to share lunch with Fé.

As your baby progresses, you can add in more meals. Since Mothers Milk or Formula provides all of the necessary nutrients, there is no reason for them to need to eat three meals a day. Choose what works and is convenient for you. If you have a busy day ahead, choose to spend breakfast together. If that doesn’t work you may even choose a snack time. It doesn’t matter what time, as long as it is a chunk of time set aside specifically for weaning.

Step 3: Set up your baby’s eating area & Gather products

Check out this list of 50+ Products for Baby’s First Foods! 

For baby led weaning, babies should either sit in a high chair and eat off of the tray or sit on someone’s lap and eat off of the table. I suggest getting a high-quality high chair with a tray. The high-chair should have a belt and harness to keep baby safe and protected during eating sessions.

It will be messy. To account for messes use a bib. Waterproof bib’s with sleeves are great for messy eaters. You may also want to put something underneath the highchair like a painting sheet, newspapers, plastic, or this Plastic Floormat to keep your floors clean =)

Step 4: Choose Foods & Prepare their meal

See below for a HUGE list of baby’s first foods!

The easiest way to do baby-led weaning is to feed your child what you are eating (minus the added salt and sugar). For example, for lunch today, I had a slice of toast with avocado and an egg. I have Fé a bit of mashed up avocado and a few slices of bread with a thin layer of butter.

You may also choose to do a combination of both BLW and Traditional. Is this is the case you may want to start with spoon-feeding? If you are starting with pureed foods, prepare their meal.

Keep in mind that there ate foods that your baby cannot eat.

Foods to Avoid:

To Puree Foods:

  • Wash and chop veggies or fruit
  • Place in a saucepan and cover with water
  • Boil the food until it is soft
  • Strain and blend in a food processor or blender
  • For thinner puree add more of the cooking water

For finger foods, steam, boil, or roast vegetables until soft. (For roasting: roast in an oven at 180C/ 350F) Place food directly on their tray to avoid an even bigger mess!

Step 5: Start Feeding & Go Slow

Led your baby lead the way. If offering finger foods, they may play with it, mash it in their hands, throw it around, explore it, and then MAYBE taste it. At first, no food may actually ever enter the baby’s mouth! Eventually, however, your baby will start to eat =)

If spoon-feeding, wait until your baby’s mouth is open. Don’t force food into their mouths. Offer small bites and give your baby time to discover the taste and texture, and let your baby swallow.

Step 6: Offer Water

Offer water in a sippy cup for baby to drink. When they start eating solids they could become dehydrated and it is a good idea to introduce drinking water from a sippy cup =)

Don’t worry if they don’t eat much at first. They will eventually! Weaning is about exploring, discovering, learning, and most importantly, it’s about having FUN. Your child will get the hang of eating and by the time they are one, they will have no problem eating solids. Take the time to enjoy the experience and take lots of pictures!

Check out this step-by-step guide to baby-led weaning! Plus TONS of foods & Recipes! #baby… Click To Tweet

Tips for Introducing Solids

  1.  Forget Traditional “baby food” Babies can simply eat whatever is in your kitchen. Leftovers from last night are great =) Frozen fruit from your freezer is awesome. Be creative!
  2. Avoid the Plates and Bowls! Plates and bowls are a recipe for disaster, place foods directly on the tray!
  3. Time meals in between feeds. This way baby is neither full nor hungry. They will be more likely to actually eat during their meal!
  4. Offer only a few pieces at once. Too many pieces of food on the tray will overwhelm your baby and may turn them off from eating. Offer only a few pieces of food at once.
  5. Baby may gag but don’t panic! Gagging is a baby’s way of moving food from the back of their mouth to the front. There will be gagging but it is normal and nothing to worry about.
  6. Take lots of pictures. You will not want to forget how funny or cute your little one is when they try their first foods! Get out the camera (let’s be real, just grab your phone) and capture these precious moments!

Note: If your baby is choking perform infant CPR and call your emergency line IMMEDIATELY!

 

Choking baby

Picture was taken from mhealth.org

 Ready to start? Here is a HUGE list of baby’s first foods!

baby-led weaning guide

Fruit (you can also puree any fruit!):

  • Banana Slices Peeled ripe bananas
  • Kiwi slices
  • Avocado Slices  Yes! Avocado is a Fruit! Use this Avocado Slicer to achieve perfectly sliced avocados
  • Soft Sliced Stone Fruit Peaches, Apricots, Nectarines, or Plums
  • Strawberries or Blueberries
  • Melons Cut into sticks
  • Soft Baked Apples Or try making homemade applesauce
  • Orange Slices
  • Tropical fruit Pineapple, mangos, papaya, etc.

Vegetables:

  • Steamed, boiled or roasted Carrot sticks, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips, baby corn
  • Peppers Cook peppers slightly and cut them into strips
  • Broccoli of Cauliflower steamed or boiled
  • Green Beans or Asparagus Cooked or boiled
  • Cooked Spinach or Kale
  • Roasted Pumpkin or butternut squash
  • Cooked Peas
  • Mushrooms
  • Roasted Zucchini or Eggplant 
  • Raw Cucumbers
  • Sliced Tomatoes

baby-led weaning guide

Starches:

  • Baby Rice Go for Organic!
  • Baby Cereal made with pasteurized whole milk, breastmilk, or formula
  • Oatmeal made with pasteurized whole milk, breastmilk, or formula
  • Porridge made with pasteurized whole milk, breastmilk, or formula
  • Quinoa
  • Bread with butter Offer whole grain bread with little preservatives or additives. Serve with a thin slice of butter
  • Organic Rice Cakes
  • Organic Teething Biscuits Try Happy Baby Organic Teething Wafers
  • Cooked Pasta Serve with or without sauce or cheese
  • Bagel
  • Whole Wheat Toaster Waffle

Protein:

  • Cooked Chicken Breast Cut up into pieces or shredded
  • Cooked Turkey Breast Cut up into pieces or shredded
  • Cooked Beef
  • Cooked Lamb
  • Cooked Pork
  • Cooked Fish Be Sure to remove all bones
  • Scrambled Egg Make sure egg is fully cooked
  • Hard Boiled Egg
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas Try Pureeing them to make hummus!
  • Beans 

baby-led weaning guide

Dairy:

  • Full Fat Pasteurized Plain Yogurt
  • Full Fat Pasteurized Greek Yogurt
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Cheese Sticks

First Food Combos:

  • Pureed Pumpkin & Banana
  • Porridge & Banana
  • Fruit Smoothie Strawberries, Bananas, Blueberries, Full Fat Yogurt, Whole Milk. Blended until smooth
  • Blended Banana & Avocado
  • Pumpkin, Banana, Applesauce
  • Banana & Applesauce
  • Mango & Yogurt Blend full-fat yogurt with Mango
  • Tropical Fruit Blend Chop up pineapple, mango, and melon
  • Blueberries, Peaches, & Oatmeal Make 1/4 Cup Oatmeal and add blueberries and 1 ripe peach.
  • Fruit Puree & Full Fat Yogurt
  • Potato & Spinach Puree
  • Lentils & Butternut Squash Cooked lentils mixed with roasted or boiled butternut squash

More Mature Combos:

  • Pasta with Sauce Skip the added salt!
  • Pasta with Mozzarella Cheese
  • Toast with cheese
  • Rice with meat
  • Chicken and Steamed Veggies
  • Beans and Rice
  • Beans, Rice, and Tomato Cooked rice served with beans cooked with chopped tomatoes
  • Bagel with Cream Cheese
  • Toaster Waffle with Cream cheese and Jam
  • Beef & Green Beans
  • Lentils cooked with coconut milk
  • Chickpea & Coriander Stew Chickpeas cooked with 1 can chopped tomatoes, coriander, and onion
  • Cucumber Sandwiches Cucumber sandwich with cream cheese

These are just a few examples of all the meals you could serve your baby! The possibilities are endless! For more recipe idea check out the following books!

baby-led weaning guide
baby-led weaning guide
baby-led weaning guide
baby-led weaning guide
baby-led weaning guide

Friday Favorites #1

Hello Everyone! How is your Friday going? So a few things have changed around here if you haven’t noticed. First of all I have changed the blog name from A Day With Fé to Millennial Mommy!! I think my new name better reflects what this blog is ultimately all about.

I have also started a weekly Friday post called Friday Favorites to replace my Flashback Friday posts. I am so excited for some big changes happening around here. Be sure to subscribe to the blog if you haven’t already to keep up to date =)

This week was our first week with a one month old and life is starting to get back to normal around here! We took Fé to her first Doctors appointment and she is doing (mostly) great. She has been pretty Fussy lately especially around feedings. She has been refusing my breast milk altogether and after some coersion she will take formula. We told the doctor about it and she looked at her mouth and told us it was Thrush, a Candida infection in her mouth. She prescribed us some gel and hopfully it will begin to clear up soon!

1. Dr. Browns Pacifier

I mentioned this one before in Fé’s One Month Update but we seriously love this pacifier! Fé got her first passport photo taken this week (what a drama) and we used this to try to keep her calm enough to get a good picture. Daniel was holding her and she had her pacifier in her mouth and right before the photographer took the picture I would take it out of her mouth. Hopefully, we would get a good picture before she would start crying! She really didn’t like getting her photo taken but we managed to get a sort of good picture….

Fé's Pasfoto

Daniel and I just crack up every time we look at it!

2. Tummy Time!

One Month Update

Fé is really loving tummy time. She has been practicing rolling over and she is getting pretty good at it! Right now we are just doing tummy time on the couch ottoman or on her mattress but I have my eye on this awesome baby gym for Christmas! I think its time to start getting her some toys to play with and grab and this baby gym is perfect for that =)

3. My Bullet Journal

Have you guys heard of the Bullet Journal? Basically its a journal/planner/notebook all in one and you customize it to fit all of your needs. The concept was created by Ryder Carroll and she calls it the analog planning system for the digital age. Anyway, I keep EVERYTHING in my “BuJo” from my monthly and weekly planners, Fé’s baby trackers, Shopping lists, blog information etc. I use this Leuchtturm 1917  notebook for my bullet journal and I am OBSESSED! I plan on writing a post on how awesome the BuJo system is and why it works perfectly for busy moms so be sure to check the blog for that coming soon!

4. My New Breast Pump

A breast pump probably isn’t something many women get excited about lol. If you have been keeping up with the blog you have probably read about my breastfeeding struggles. I rented the Mirena Symphony Pump from the hospital but we decided to buy a pump of our own because it looks like I am going to be pumping and bottle feeding Fé from now on. We decided to buy the Spectra Baby USA breast pump and its awesome! It is incredebly light and has a rechargeable battery so I can just walk around with it and watch Fé or do whatever I need to do around the house. I also cut out holes in an old sports bra and made my own hands free pumping bra!

5. Gift Guides

Christmas season is upon us and the holiday shopping has begun! I LOVE looking at gift guides to get ideas for everyone on my list. Check out my:

I hope you all have an AWESOME Friday and a wonderful weekend. Leave a comment below with your favorite things this week and what you are looking forward to this weekend =)