Research strongly supports exclusive breastfeeding for 6mths (WHO guidelines are quite specific and say 180 days). At this point, introducing family foods whilst continuing primarily breastfeeding is recommended.
Food 'til One is just for fun!
There is only one rule when it comes to baby-led weaning: watch your baby eat!
Allow your baby to play with whatever food takes their fancy. No need for mash, puree or "baby food". Family food is just that - whatever you have on your plate (the assumption being that you eat a healthy and varied diet). If your baby is primarily breastfeeding, you can allow your baby to decide how much and what to eat.
The benefits of baby-led weaning is that it allows the baby to continue to develop according to appetite (reduced risk of obesity) and encourages the baby to be part of family life, watching and learning expected behaviours and skills (a cultural experience). Current research now suggests that this approach also reduces the risk of allergy and food-fussiness. If allergy concerns you this article may be interesting.
Breastfeeding is recommended to continue following natural weaning, but a minimum of 2 years is considered 'best practise'.
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