There are a lot of books, blogs, etc about doing Baby-led weaning (BLW), so this is not a definitive guide. This is basically a resource on how to get started and some of the tools you might need.
What is Baby-led weaning?
This is my explanation: It’s basically allowing your child to feed themselves by introducing foods after 6 months of age. There are a number of foods you can begin with, but begin with foods you can cook and make so soft that they can easily swallow the food. Here are a few examples: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc. You don’t wait to introduce new food and you basically allow the child to decide what and when they want to eat. Don’t worry about how much they are eating. By 7-8 months they should get the hang of it.
A benefit we saw is that our child was able to use utensils and a cup earlier. He had a lot of interest in different foods and while he is older now and a little bit more opinionated, he is still a pretty good eater and will try lots of stuff.
Don’t worry about a lack of teeth, they can figure out it out.
With baby-led weaning the child might gag, be sure you know the difference between gagging and choking.
And just one thing, it’s messy!
What do I need?
You don’t need to do anything special for baby led weaning. Just cook what you might already be cooking, but here are some of the things that were suggested that might be useful to you.
A mat for under the high-chair can be helpful to help contain the mess. You could easily use an old vinyl table cloth as well.
I love these Ikea Bibs. I have a bunch and have bought them for Passover and during the regular year. It’s clear which ones are for Meat meals and Dairy Meals. And they go right into the dishwasher.
The Mandoline was suggested as an easy way to cut the vegetables. I am so worried about cutting a finger off, but it really does speed up the process.
A friend of ours suggested these gloves to help protect your fingers.
This is the book about Baby-led weaning, but try your library, you might find a copy there. The recipes also has some great ideas.