Is your baby eager to self-feed when food is on the table or around? It is a perfect time to ditch spoon-feeding and introduce baby-led weaning – which encourages the baby to self-feed using baby fingers or baby fists.
Self-feeding may be messier for cleanliness freak parents, but it is a big milestone in your little one’s development, and it has long-term benefits for parents – one of them maybe is peace of mind a few years later. Self-feeding encourages the baby to explore food through play and eat using her senses of smell, touch, taste, and sight.
Although it takes weeks of learning to get that perfect pincer grip and eventually knowing how to use a fork and spoon to feed themselves, babies are smart. Your baby will learn faster before you even know it!
The key to successful baby-led weaning is a lot of practice with small, chopped, softer bite-sized food to help the baby master important finger skills, and learn how to target food, prey, and then chew food using gums, without teeth, of course — Your baby will learn these eating skills and some table manners with a lot of patience and perseverance for a developing eater.
Here are some simple self-feeding snack ideas for babies and toddlers to help you and your kids make the transition to self-feeding instead of being spoonfed.
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When can a baby start self-feeding?
As soon as your baby can sit up and swallow solids (usually around the age of 6 months), she may be ready to start self-feeding.
Some new parents choose to introduce purées before starting baby self-feeding somewhere around 7 or 8 months when the baby can swallow and enjoys food, while other families opt for baby-led weaning (BLW) around 6 months when the baby is able to sit up and keep posture straight.
Parents who advocate baby-led weaning say that the process allows babies to control how much they should eat. They can eat at their own pace. Not only this, babies can also eat the same types of meals as their family but in baby-sized portions and consistencies, of course).
When to introduce finger foods or self-feeding snacks to the baby is up to you. This snack catcher is just amazing how your child chooses to enjoy snacks on the go or at home. And, of course, always get the green light from your pediatrician before offering solids and finger foods.
What are Easy, Healthy, and Nutritious baby snacks perfect for self-feeding for 6 months and older babies
Soft fruits are cut or chopped like morsels. Gradually move up as your baby get comfortable chewing foods with a help of gums and master the skill of swallowing without a gag.
Blueberry ( cut in four pieces)
Steamed apple cut into small pieces
Grapes cut in small pieces
Streamed Brocolli cut in smaller pieces
What Are The Best Ready-To-Go Snacks For Babies?
The food you should avoid serving to babies under 1 year of age
Raisins and whole grapes
Nuts and seeds (including popcorn)
Whole peas or chickpeas (unless they’re smashed)
Raw, firm fruit such as apples (hard to chew), unripe pears, and grapes
Large gobs of peanut butter
Large chunks of meat or cheese (Meat not tender enough)
Raw, firm vegetables (uncooked) such as carrots or bell peppers
Hard or sticky candy
Best baby-led weaning supplies new parents must have
How do i know if the baby is gagging or choking?
A gagging baby shows signs of coughing and making sounds.
Whereas a Choking child (mainly due to food) will look terrified, will not make any sounds, and seems unable to breathe.
Self-feeding may make mealtimes longer and messier but think of those splats and splatters as a fun and important learning experience for your baby. So embrace it with love and patience. Because for babies it may not be just food but a whole joyful experience of exploring taste, and smell, with a lot of squishing and smearing.