Trust In Your Baby And Yourself
4. Trust Your Baby’s Appetite
As babies first begin this process, they are more likely curious about food than hungry and may not eat much.
As their development progresses, they will gradually begin to take more food.
Remember that babies are able to decide how much they need to eat, and their appetites will vary on a daily basis.
You may find that at some meals, they seem to want and eat everything you put in front of them; while other days, they may hardly touch anything at all. This is all a normal part of the process.
Signs that your baby is done eating might include playing with food, pushing food away, or squirming to get out of their high chair. Your baby is the only one who knows how much is enough, and there is no need to try to coax them into eating more.
5. Keep Mealtimes Safe
Baby-led weaning encourages your baby to lead the way, but this does not mean a “hands-off” approach by parents, even if you are not directly spoon-feeding.
Always pay attention to your baby’s cues and ensure they are set up with their food safely. Make sure your baby is sitting upright to eat.
Avoid foods that could be hazardous for choking, like whole nuts, skins, pits, and seeds. If you have other children in the home who love to “help” with baby, be sure they know not to put foods into your baby’s mouth.
Keep in mind that solid foods are meant to be complementary to milk feedings (either breastmilk or formula).
Learning how to eat solid foods is a natural part of your baby’s healthy development, as intuitive as their desire to learn how to talk or walk. Supporting this can help your baby progress at their own pace and lay the groundwork for a healthy relationship with food.
Most importantly, enjoy the process!
Yes, it will be messy and require some planning as your baby learns this new skill. However, investing the effort will not only encourage your baby to develop confidence and enjoyment with food but also decrease the likeliness of picky eating and mealtime battles in long run!