The Ultimate baby led weaning guide - Kid Activities with Alexa (2024)

One of my favorite parts about a baby’s development is when they start with solids. I was afraid to start with baby led weaning but once I did I fell in love with it. I want make it easier for with this baby led weaning guide and make you feel confident in your journey.

if you are wondering what Baby Led Weaning is and if this would be a good choice for your family then read on. The baby led weaning guide will show you how to cut your foods for safety, what food to feel your baby and how to feel confidence and provide you the tools to prevent choking.

The Ultimate baby led weaning guide - Kid Activities with Alexa (1)

baby led weaning guide

I’m hoping to provide you will the answers to all of your questions about starting solids and using the Baby Led Weaning (BLW) method.

I hope that when you leave this page and finish reading this baby led weaning guide you will feel confident about the BLW method and be able to decide if Baby Led Weaning is the right path to solids for your family.

What is Baby Led Weaning?

The Ultimate baby led weaning guide - Kid Activities with Alexa (2)

Baby Led Weaning, simply means starting your baby with table food when they are ready to start solids.

Some people skip puree foods altogether and go straight to BLW.

I didn’t do one or the other, I did a combination of both purée foods and BLW. Having both options was very convenient for me and my traveling family.

baby led weaning can get messy and when I’m in the middle of a basketball game where I don’t have a table and splash mat and all other supplies to make BLW work, homemade purées in reusable pouches were my go-to food.

Baby led weaning guide means involving your child in your routines and foods you eat and customs in a safe way.

when we were out and about with family at a restaurant and I didn’t have any purées in the diaper bag, it was very convenient to be able to order an avocado or some type of food off the menu to feed him – even just give him a little bit of what I was ordering.

Both methods allowed me to feed my baby no matter where we were. The good thing is that you don’t have to choose between one or the other. You can always do both.

Follow the baby led weaning guide steps and feel confident in your journey!

When can I start Baby Led Weaning?

You can start BLW when your baby is ready for solids. There are 3 main signs that shows when a baby is ready for solids.

the most common one is when your baby starts to take an interest in the food you have in your plate or hand. Some babies, (like Manny did)will try to take the food off your plate.

Signs your baby is ready for solids

  • Your baby can sit up straight (unsupported)
  • your baby can grab food with his hand and put it in its mouth
  • Babyhas lostthetongue-thrust reflex and does not automatically pushsolidsout of his mouth with his tongue.
The Ultimate baby led weaning guide - Kid Activities with Alexa (3)

Can a baby choke using BLW method?

No matter what method you use there is always a risk of choking. So read, learn and keep on reading…

Some people are scared to do BLW/ Baby Led Weaning because they are afraid their babies can choke.

To be honest, I was too.

But once I learned that choking with BLW is not higher than choking using purees.

Learn to cut the food the right way, and don’t wait too long to start using BLW method and you will be fine!

Research says infants who do BLW aren’t more likely to choke than those who do not.

I also ready somewhere that choking happens more on kids that are running around and not sitting at the table. Always make sure you instill good habits from the beginning when it comes to eating.

#1 rule in my house: We eat food at the table sitting down.

The key to feeling comfortable with BLW is understanding how a baby learns how to eat and then evaluate if BLW works For your family.

The choking-reflex/gag-reflex for babies is very close to the front of their mouth and not so far back in the throat as adults have it.

This makes learning to eat so much easier and safer as your baby learns how to move the food around with his tongue.

not sure about you but learning that their gag reflex is not as far back gives me a piece of mind.

Once I learned this fact, I was more confident in the BLW method and willing to try it at home.

What happens if my baby gag?

Gaging is part of learning how to eat, but too much gaging is not good.

Gagging is nature’s way of protecting your baby’s airway and a normal response to new tastes, temperatures, or textures.

Remember, they are learning how to eat.

According to Diane Bahr author ofNobody Ever Told Me (Or My Mother) That!, says to be thankful for that gag reflex as babies learn from it!

As babiesgrow, the reflex shifts even farther back. By ten months of age, somethingmust touch the back third of the tongue to elicit the gag.

By 10 months they should be able to learn how to eat as the reflex moves farther back. This means, do not delay giving textured foods so that they take advantage of the gag reflex being so close to the front of the mouth to learn how to handle different food and textures.

If your baby is having trouble when eating (regardless of being spoon-fed purées or doing BLW) and is gaging multiple times within a feeding, he may be having difficulty coordinating mouth movements to safely managing solids, which can lead to serious complications.

if you notice this, talk with your pediatrician so he can refer you for a feeding evaluationto determine why he’s having trouble eating.

baby led weaning guide: your First Meail

Deciding that BLW is something you want to try at home, there are things to Learn before we start the BLW journey.

  • What foods are allowed to feed a baby according to his age
  • What supplies are needed
  • How to cut the food properly for BLW

Choosing the right supplies, cutting the food the BLW way and letting your little one explore the textures is the best way to start solids.

Food before one is all about playing with textures and different flavors and learning how to move food around. Your baby’s main source of nutrients should still be breastmilk or formula, so if at first your baby is not eating much but instead just “playing” with the food, know that it is ok. You want them to explore.

Allowing your little one to explore different textures and flavors through sensory play with food will result in training fewer picky-eaters.

Baby Led Weaning First Foods

These are some of our favorite baby led weaning guide meals.

  • Roasted sweet potato wedges
  • Roasted apple wedges, skin on to help them hold together
  • Roasted or steamed broccoli florets (big enough for baby to hold)
  • Melon slices
  • Banana with some of the peel still on
  • Toast sticks with mashed avocado
  • Avocado spears
  • Lamb, on the bone or a large piece for baby to suck on
  • Dark meat chicken, on the bone or a large piece for baby to suck on.

Foods to avoid while doing BLW

You want any foods you offer to a baby while doing baby-led weaning to be soft enough to squish between your fingers. Plan to avoid:

  • Anything hard, sticky, or crunchy.
  • Foods with obvious pieces that could break off and get stuck in the baby’s mouth.
  • Added salt
  • Cow’s milk: Stick with breast milk and formula as a primary beverageuntil your baby is a year old. It’s fine to use cow’s milk in cooking or baking, though.
  • Added sugar
  • Honey: It can cause botulism, a serious illness, if introduced too early.
  • Super slippery foods that would be hard for the baby to hold
  • Nuts, Popcorn, Whole Grapes,and Globs of Nut Butter: These foods are choking hazards

How to Cut Food for Baby Lead Weaning

it Is great that you decided to do BLW, you will see that answering “what to feed my baby” becomes an easier answer because you just feed them what’s on your plate.

First, you want to start with foods that are soft and easy to dissolve in the mouth. Think about steamed apples, pears or even ripped bananas. I bet you can put those in your mouth and eat them without using your teeth.

You can start with smaller pieces of food in a small cubed shaped.


Once they get better at eating those softer foods I then moved to foods that were a little bit harder in texture.

the trick with these is to cut them in strips like a finger. This allows your little one to grab the food easily.

with bananas, you leave part of the skin on so that your baby can have a grip on it.

The Ultimate baby led weaning guide - Kid Activities with Alexa (4)

What happens if they eat a steamed apple and they get a chunk of apple that’s too big? Most likely they will probably spit it out because they won’t know what to do with it.

At least not yet.

After all, they are just starting to learn to move their food around their mouth.

Most foods are fair game at this age, including meat, poultry, cheese (shredded), and allergens like eggs, nuts (never whole, but a little smooth nut butter stirred into a purée or spread on toast), and fish.

Toasts are another excellent vehicle for introducing new foods and flavors. Because while we don’t want foods to be too hard, we also don’t want them to be too soft and gummy. Bread can be difficult to pick up and can turn into a ball of mush in a baby’s mouth. But, lightly toasted bread is ideal for self-feeding.

enna Helwig

baby led weaning essentials

Some of the items here are affiliate links what I can honestly say is that I’ve used every single product listed.

I believe baby lead weaning essentials are the same as the weather. It is not that it is bad weather outside, it is that you don’t have the proper outerwear for it.

It is the same with BLW, you can do it and is easier to deal with the mess that comes from dealing with it if only you have the right essentials.

Easy to Clean High Chair

Your baby will grab the avocado and smash it all over the tray, then grab everything within reach with their hands. I had a plastic high chair that has no cloth or any fabric that made cleaning and disinfecting so much easier.

See more available colors

360 Degree Bib

The Ultimate baby led weaning guide - Kid Activities with Alexa (5)
The Ultimate baby led weaning guide - Kid Activities with Alexa (6)

This is not the real name for them. The real name is just a burp cloth. I call them 360 degrees because is the only bib that goes around and protects even the shoulders.

Yes, you want the shoulders covered because what happens when the baby turns his head sideways and wipes his face with the T-shirt sleeve? Yeah… happened more times than I could count for and ruined a few shirts until I found and invested in this.

See all available prints

Plate with bottom suction

The Ultimate baby led weaning guide - Kid Activities with Alexa (7)

these babies are strong and after wasting my time with so many plates with suction in the bottom there’s was only one brand that was strong enough to hold the plate and food in-place. Nothing worse than serving a perfectly balanced meal, only for your toddler to explore his cause and effect developmental milestone and throw it all on the floor the moment you turn around.

The best suction plate

Splat Mat

The Ultimate baby led weaning guide - Kid Activities with Alexa (8)

A splat mat is essential to make clean up easier (unless you have a dog that eats table food – then you won’t notice all the food that gets thrown down to the floor).

If you don’t have such a pet, Then it is recommended to get a mat to put under the highs chair to collect all the food. An affordable option is a Vinyl Table Cloth. These are at the dollar store or at Walmart for less than $3.

See Amazon Splash Mat

Disposable Place Mats

The Ultimate baby led weaning guide - Kid Activities with Alexa (9)

When you want to do BLW and are on-the-go like a restaurant a disposable mat is the best! These have a sticky in the back that allows the placemat to stick to the table and when done you can dispose of them with all the fallen food – like magic! Like nothing happened! (The ran away fast before the waiter sees the mess on the floor…. just kidding, just pick up a bit, smile and run)

Shop BPA-FREE disposable Mats

Steamer Basket

The Ultimate baby led weaning guide - Kid Activities with Alexa (10)

Steaming the veggies will make them soft and easier to eat. At the beginning of your BLW journey, you will be steaming A LOT. So having a steamer basket makes the job a lot easier.

I have an instapot, so this is my prefer steamer choice.

Shop steamer basket

baby food chart FOR introducing solids

The Ultimate baby led weaning guide - Kid Activities with Alexa (11)

Keep handy the list of foods that you should stay away from before the fists year, and the ones that can be introduced slowly before one.

Download this guide and keep it on your refrigerator door or see the online baby food chart for introducing solids

BLW Recipe Menu Guide

The Ultimate baby led weaning guide - Kid Activities with Alexa (12)

It is hard sometimes to think about what can you feed your baby, so if you need recipe ideas on what to feed your little one for BLW a BLW recipe guide should come in handy!

100+ Recipe Ideas for BLW

Are you ready to start your BLW Journey?

Starting your little one on solids can be a scary process but once you start you will see a joy into every bite! How your little one explores each flavor, texture, and smiles when you present new food will bring you a joy you didn’t know you could feel. Something so simple as food can bring them so much joy – and you, mama… is the source of that joy!

You got this! now go and make some yummy food!

Share With Friends!






The Ultimate baby led weaning guide - Kid Activities with Alexa (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Tyson Zemlak

Last Updated:

Views: 5882

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (63 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Tyson Zemlak

Birthday: 1992-03-17

Address: Apt. 662 96191 Quigley Dam, Kubview, MA 42013

Phone: +441678032891

Job: Community-Services Orchestrator

Hobby: Coffee roasting, Calligraphy, Metalworking, Fashion, Vehicle restoration, Shopping, Photography

Introduction: My name is Tyson Zemlak, I am a excited, light, sparkling, super, open, fair, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.