Baby Led Weaning

Tips and Ideas to make BLW safe and successful!
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Soup for Baby-Led Weaning
Providing your baby with various sensory experiences at mealtime is key to decreasing food refusal. Here are several ways to offer soup to baby to keep baby interested in this new food. On my blog, I share more details on HOW to introduce soups safely to your baby.
Popsicles for BLW
Have you seen the Tiny Pops that I designed for @ezpzfun? Use my 4 P's approach to make perfectly sized popsicles for your baby! • POUR breast milk (or liquid of choice) to the fill line on both silicone sleeves • PRESS + TURN popsicle handle to secure it in place • PLACE mold into the freezer to freeze (for 4+ hrs) • PEEL the popsicle by grabbing the sleeve’s rim + slowly peeling the sleeve Have you tried the Tiny Pop with your baby? Get yours at: #MsDawnSLP
3 Purees Textures to Assess Swallowing + Feeding Skills
When offering purees, it’s important to select a consistency that is safe for baby’s development. In my blog, I describe three different puree textures to try with baby to assess their swallow and the feeding skills you can teach them with that texture. Check it out!
Early Feeding Rockstar
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) encourage parents to wait until six months of age before starting a baby on any form of solids. I know it’s HARD to wait, so I made a pre-feeding checklist full of activities to help you have an early feeding ROCKSTAR. Hopefully, this list will help prepare you (and keep you busy) while you patiently (or not so patiently) wait to start their first foods. ROCK ON!
Purees for Baby
I’m Dawn Winkelmann, pediatric feeding specialist, baby-led weaning expert, and product designer for ezpz. If you decide to offer purees to your baby, you want to focus on two things: 1. Offer different puree consistencies 2. Offer different utensils Thin Puree Consistency: try it in a straw cup + work on straw skills Thicker Puree Consistency: offer it in an open cup + work on open cup skills Lumpy Puree Consistency: offer it in a suction bowl with a baby-led spoon + work on spoon skills
Teaching Straw Drinking
Let's talk about FLIPPING the @ezpzfun Mini Straw that I designed! Introduce straw drinking by starting with the TRAINING side of the straw (curved with sensory bumps). Sensory bumps encourage correct lip + tongue placement for safe swallowing. Once your child is no longer relying on the bumps for proper placement, FLIP the straw over to reveal the ADVANCED side of the straw (straight with no sensory bumps). Continue practicing straw drinking.
Teaching Straw Cup Drinking to Baby
Make straw drinking easy for both you + baby by making sure they have mastered their open cup milestone (drinking from an open cup held by an adult) first! This milestone helps to ensure baby has good lip closure & their suck-swallow-breath synchrony is intact. These oral motor skills (on an open cup) are the foundation for teaching safe straw drinking. Learn my 5 tips for teaching straw drinking, plus detailed steps for using the @ezpfun Mini Cup + Straw Training System on my blog!
Decrease Choking Risk
I’m Dawn Winkelmann, pediatric feeding specialist, BLW expert & product designer for ezpz. Did you know that your choice of a cup can affect your child’s oral motor development & even increase choking risk? There are so many cups on the market that it’s hard to know which ones are safe? To help clarify the confusion, just skip sippy cups & 360-type cups altogether. And use an open cup or a straw cup instead. Start open cup drinking (LIP CLOSURE) @ 6 mos & straw cup drinking (LIP ROUNDING) @ 9.
Baby Self Feeding
From a DEVELOPMENT & SAFETY standpoint, we do not expect babies to use a fork, which is why our ezpz First Foods Set does not include a fork. (Some older babies may be ready to start early). I've worked with babies who have hurt themselves because a caretaker gave them a fork. The damage from these self-inflicted injuries affected their vision and even caused blindness. Please know that toddlers are expected to learn to self-feed with a fork, but NOT babies.
Are you going down a rabbit hole, searching for accurate information on infant feeding? Check out the podcast I did with @ThriveTrainingInsititute. I talked about 3 Misconceptions in Infant Feeding (Sippy cups, staying on purees too long + expecting a baby to use a fork). And I'm also one of the expert instructors in Thrive's Choking Prevention and Response course. If you haven't had a chance to go through it yet, use code "Dawn10" for $10 off your training.
254. How Babies Learn to Chew and Swallow with Dawn Winkelmann, MS, CCC-SLP @msdawnslp — Baby-Led Weaning Made Easy
I had so much fun being on my good friend Katie Ferraro’s (@babyledweanteam) podcast. Don’t miss me talking about swallow development!
I had so much fun being on my good friend Katie Ferraro’s (@babyledweanteam) podcast. Don’t miss me talking about swallow development!
Fruit & Veggie Smoothies for Babies - Ms Dawn SLP
When making smoothies for babies 6-9 mos, I keep the ingredient list short to assess for any signs of a reaction to a food. So here's a quick + very tiny smoothie recipe! Place the following in the blender and mix well: Breastmilk/formula (2 oz), Peaches (1 oz), and Spinach (1 oz). Pour the mixture into the Tiny Cup + hold the cup for your baby to drink from. (I designed the @ezpzfun Tiny Cup to help babies obtain their drinking milestones + it's perfect for smoothies, too!).
Feeding a Baby
Smoothie spills happen! If you are feeding a baby, you really need to check out the @BapronBaby Splash Mat. This is my go-to gear for in-home feeding therapy, especially under the high chair. But I also use it for picnics in the park, sensory play, or craft time too! It's super lightweight (only 8oz), so it fits in my therapy bag. Oh, and it's waterproof too! 🤯 Cheers to less mess! Thank You, Splash Mat! (Print shown is Autumn Leaves, but they have tons of prints to choose from). 🤗#MsDawnSLP