About the expert
Natalie Peall is the creator of the best selling Baby-Led Weaning app, has an online following of over 150,000 and is the leading Baby-Led Weaning advocate. Find her delicious recipes on our blog.
Do you want your child to begin a life-long love of food by exploring flavours, textures and colours themselves? Do you want your whole family to eat the same food together, at the same time?
Baby-Led Weaning is an exciting way to wean your little one and achieve these goals. Following this approach, you can watch your baby explore different textures and tastes in their own time, in their own way.
A few things to bear in mind when you start out
- Expect lots of gagging and try not to confuse this with choking: a choking baby will make no sound and rapidly turn blue. Gagging describes when your baby turns very red and coughs/splutters very loudly (almost as if they might be sick). This is your baby’s way of learning how to move food around in their mouth and prepare to swallow, so although rather unpleasant to listen to, it’s actually a positive sound!
- There may be times when you feel like you are constantly feeding your baby, whether it’s meals, snacks or milk feeds. I remember my NCT group moaning a lot particularly around the 9 month mark because we felt like we were constantly serving a meal or breastfeeding/preparing bottles which make getting out of the house quite a challenge! However, it’s hopefully reassuring to know that by the time your baby reaches 12 months, he’s likely to only want two milk feeds a day, morning and night, so your only daytime feeding duties will involve solid food!
- You might find it handy to have a food notebook so that you can jot down any new foods or meals your baby has particularly enjoyed so that you can make them again. This is also really useful to refer back to if your child is unwell, teething or becoming a little bit fussy. It’s handy to have a list of go-to recipes that might entice your little one to eat and make life that little bit easier for you too. If your baby is teething then try my teething soup, mighty mash or bubble and squeak bake, these have proved very successful with many teething babies.
Natalie is an advocate of the Tidy Tot range
‘I always highly recommend the Tidy Tot range to parents. There’s no denying baby-led weaning is messy but the Tidy Tot Bib & Tray Kit helps prevent food falling on the floor and keeps baby covered and clean. For older ones, the Tidy Tot Long Length Coverall Bibs not only looks adorable but are practical in keeping clothes clean. They fasten right around the back, so sides and back stay clean too.”