by: Arianna Schioldager
The first few months of a baby’s life are fairly simple* when it comes to food. Then around six months, babies start to exhibit signs that they are ready for solid foods!
Many babies start with single-ingredient Stage 1 purees and over the next few months move on to more textured, and combined flavors. However, baby-led weaning, or The Rapley Method as it is also known, skips the purees and the little spoons entirely.
Let’s find out more:
Baby-led weaning is a technique coined by Gill Rapley, author of “Baby-Led Weaning: Helping Your Baby to Love Good Food.” The practice, also described as “self-feeding,” is a way of introducing babies to solid foods that allows them to feed themselves. No spoons. Just hand to face. Food to floor.
This practice starts at 6 months and is all about discovery and enjoyment. The baby sits with the family at mealtime and makes a mess!
Messes aside, many parents believe the Rapley Method is a fuss-free way to introduce food to babies who are ready for solids.
According to baby-led weaning devotees, all babies can begin to feed themselves around 6 months –– they simply have to be given the opportunity. Deciding on whether baby-led weaning is right for your family, is a personal choice. Your comfort as a new parent is paramount. (Remember our babies read our cues about food and mealtime.)
The most common concern is around choking. However, as with any solid foods, you should never leave your baby unattended or alone with food.
According to Rapley, “Choking is no more likely with baby-led weaning than with the conventional method of introducing solids. In fact, allowing babies to control what goes into their mouths may actually help them learn to eat safely.” She further explains the difference between choking and gagging, however as a new parent, both can be terrifying. If you’re more comfortable starting with purees, there are amazing Stage 1 options for your baby.
And remember: As your baby ventures forth on their solid food journey, Yumi is here to meet every developmental milestone need. Learn more about Yumi’s Milestone plan here.
*disclaimer, nothing is simple when it comes to babies.
You asked we listened. For a limited of time, we’re letting you stock up on our immune boosting purees.