A baby sitting on a high chair and eating
Baby led weaning ideas, recipes and advice
Let your baby learn to feed themselves with baby led weaning. Discover the secrets to making it work, when to start and the best finger foods to use.
A smiling baby holding some food

What is baby-led weaning?

Baby-led weaning is where your baby is encouraged to explore and pick up food with their hands to feed themselves. It usually involves skipping baby purees and going straight to finger foods, once they are capable of eating solids at 6 months. We call it ‘baby led’ because your baby will be in complete control of what and how much they eat at mealtimes.
A smiling baby wearing a bib

Why baby-led weaning?

Baby-led weaning has been shown in studies to reduce fussy eating as it allows your little one to be in charge from the start, exploring and choosing what they decide to pick up and eat. Another benefit of baby-led weaning is that your little learner will become more confident and happy at mealtimes as they're more likely to take food into their mouth, move it around and swallow safely.
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A smiling baby on a wooden highchair

When to start baby-led weaning?

There are usually 3 signs that your baby is ready to move on and try solid food. But don’t worry if it takes your little learner longer, it’s important to trust your instincts and tune into your little one as they’ll let you know when they are ready!

1. Coordinate their eyes, hands and mouth
2. Can stay in a sitting position, holding their head steady
3. Swallow food (rather than spit it back out)
A baby sitting on a high chair and eating

How to start baby-led weaning?

When starting baby led weaning, solid food will feel strange at first. Start slowly and simply with soft finger foods such as soft banana slices. Do this each day until your baby is looking for more. Over the next couple of weeks gradually increase the amount you are giving, whilst continuing with milk feeds and slowly introducing new flavours and textures.
A smiling baby sitting in a high chair and being fed

Baby-led weaning foods & ideas

When your little one is ready to start baby led weaning, try finger foods that are soft to eat and in a finger shape like slices of avocados, as your baby grows along with their confidence you can try more tastes and textures. Great ideas for baby led weaning foods include: 

• Bread or toast soldiers
• Peeled fruit slices
• Cooked pasta shapes
• Rice cakes
• Our corn puffs!

Find other baby led weaning ideas by checking out our guide to the best weaning foods and what to avoid.
Our guide