So many of us start our babies on purées and spoon feed - we feel more comfortable to start with this approach and it makes mealtime much more relaxing. As amazing as baby led weaning can be, if it is something that causes stress and anxiety for you, there’s nothing wrong with starting on purée!
However, there are definitely some really great benefits to baby led weaning - predominantly promoting your baby learns to self regulate their appetite, and they also learn the vital skills of chewing, swallowing and building all those muscles in the jaw!
So when is the right time to progress onto finger foods? There’s no right or wrong but what I always suggest to the mamas I work with in my consultations, is aim to introduce at least SOME finger foods by 9 months!
To do this, I would start my incorporating some finger foods that you feel most comfortable with (Eg. Very ripe pieces of avocado or baked pieces of finger shaped soft sweet potato) and introduce them at the BEGINNING of the meal. The reason being, if you introduce the finger food at the beginning of mealtime, your baby is more likely to be hungry, interested and not overstimulated - so they are less likely to just play with or throw the food and more likely to eat it! That being said, if they do just play with the food - that’s ok! It’s all part of the learning!
You can then still offer the purée after they have had their finger food.