What are the Benefits of Baby-Led Feeding?

Weaning essentially means introducing a solid diet to an infant who has been either on breast milk or have been bottle fed.

Baby-Led Weaning

is when the baby controls his own diet by choosing and self feeding himself as opposed to mom spoon feeding purees.

The findings( by a group of researchers using data from the Gateshead Millennium Study in the north eastern part of England) about 602 infants about their developmental milestones like reaching out for food, ability to stand up and walk, their evolvement of speech are interesting. The study as reported by the Science Daily revealed that

by 6 months age 56% of kids were reaching out for food and 40% of them were actually eating it


The World Health Organization has laid down that it is not necessary to wean a child before six months of age. Beyond six months the child’s digestive system and fine motor skills are adept to support weaning led by the Baby.

What are the Benefits of Baby-Led Weaning?

  • The baby learns to identify tastes, textures, colors and flavors of food which also introduces him to a variety rather than a spoonful of puree every time.
  • Self feeding improves motor skills like hand eye co-ordination and chewing.
  • It inculcates independence and confidence in the child and makes meal time stress free for both the child and the parent.
  • The child is unafraid of trying new foods and relies heavily on his instincts while choosing his food.
  • These babies very rarely turn out to be picky or fussy eaters.
  • Gripping food of different shapes and textures improves dexterity (motor skill between hand and fingers).
  • They are able to move food around in their mouth and understand how much to put inside the mouth safely without choking. Puree fed babies often have the habit of overstuffing their mouth .
  • These babies learn to chew well which is very important for digestion. Weaning when led by the baby establishes proper digestive habits in the child.
  • Effective chewing also helps in the development of the facial muscles which in turn help with their speech.
  • Including babies in family meals often help them pick up proper table manners and etiquettes early. They develop social skills, appreciate family values and inculcate healthy eating habits and will be better nourished in the long run.
  • Conclusion

    : However,

    baby led feeding

    should be introduced only when the baby is ready for it. The baby should sit upright unaided and be eager to reach out for food and put it in the mouth. Care should be taken to see that the baby does not get choked and should be given sips of water in between. The eating experience should be made fun for the little one.

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