So now that your baby is showing developmental signs for starting solids, the next question is how to introduce food to the baby. Basically there are two ways to start:
1. Traditional weaning
2. Baby led weaning
Weaning here means starting solids, in addition to breast milk. Breast feeding should continue at least till 2 years of age or till your baby like to stop feeding.
Traditional weaning/spoon feeding is starting with foods that are pureed (blended/grinded/pressed to a consistency of soft creamy paste) then gradually changing the consistency and texture to thick mash and lumps. And by 7 to 8 months starting on “finger foods”. By 11 months to 1 year your baby should be eating what you eat in addition to breast milk/formula feed with no salt, sugar, cows/buffalo milk, honey or junks at least till age one. Changing the consistency from puree to foods which we eat should not be delayed as the baby may have difficulty in adjusting to lumpy foods and may turn him to fussy eater later
Baby led weaning: BLW is letting your baby feed themselves that is no purees, mashes, lumps , baby food, directly finger foods and foods that we adults eat without salt, sugar, cow’s milk, honey till 1 year .There are researches supporting BLW. Studies shows BLW helps in oral motor development and self feeding allows controlled consumption of food which in turn helps baby build a good food relationship. The babies who followed BLW are less likely to turn into fussy eaters. It’s important that you always stay with your baby while they’re eating, to avoid choking. Let baby explore food and have fun. To begin you can give soft cut pieces of fruits or vegetables which are steamed, strip of pancake, dosa, idly etc. Here also Breast milk /formula feed should be continued to get a balanced nutrition and the food shouldn’t contain added sugar, salt cow’s milk/buffalo milk, honey or any kind of junk