Baby-Led Weaning Not Working? Here’s Why

Baby-led can be a great way to introduce your baby to solid foods. While it can be an exciting and rewarding experience for parents, it is important to remember that not all babies can transition from pureed food to more solid textures.

There are a few reasons why baby-led a may not work for some babies. Your baby may not have yet developed the necessary motor skills or is not ready for solid foods. It may also be because the food is too large, and the baby might choke on it.

In this blog post, I will discuss why baby-led weaning may not work for some babies and what you should do if it doesn’t.

Breastfeeding - look from the photographer for breastfeeding
Photo by Luiza Braun / Unsplash

Why Is Baby-Led Weaning Not Working

Here are the reasons why baby-led weaning may not work for your baby:

Lack of Coordination

It is important to understand that all babies develop at different speeds. Some babies can easily transition from puree to more solid foods, while others may have difficulty.

Your baby may not yet have developed the necessary motor skills to eat solid food. They may be unable to pick up, hold and manipulate the food in their mouth. This can lead to frustration and a lack of interest in eating.

If your baby seems to be struggling with the transition, it may be best to wait until they are developmentally ready. This way, you will give the baby time to develop the necessary skills, and they will be more likely to enjoy eating.

Photo of a man in a red shirt feeding a baby
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

Too Big Pieces of Food

If you are introducing your baby to solid foods through baby-led weaning, it is important to ensure that the pieces of food are not too big for them. If the pieces are too large, there is a risk that the baby may choke.

It is important to remember that babies have very small mouths, and handling larger pieces of food can be difficult. So, when introducing solid foods through baby-led weaning, ensure that you offer small pieces of food that your baby can easily chew and swallow.

Offer soft finger foods such as steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes, or small bits of cheese. These are easier for your baby to handle and allow them to practice their chewing skills.

Eat egg 🥚 ~
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Lack of Interest

Feeding is a new experience for the baby, and it can take time for them to get used to it. You will experience the baby spitting the food out and possibly throwing it away.

The best way to handle this situation is to keep offering food in small amounts. Do not force the baby to eat because that may make them even more resistant. Instead, talk calmly to your baby and encourage them to take a few bites. Over time, they will become more comfortable with this new experience.


Sometimes the chair you are using to feed your baby may not be comfortable. If this is the case, it can make it difficult for them to eat and cause frustration.

Your baby may cry when you place them in their chair because they are uncomfortable. If this is the case, try to make the seat more comfortable for your baby. You can add cushions or a cushion cover to make it softer and more inviting for them.

It is also important to note that babies may prefer to be held and therefore resort to crying because they know they can get away with it. To remove the chair’s power, you can transition out of the chair to give you time to establish that meal times are meant to be happy times and not a time for crying.

Mother feeding her baby boy
Photo by Yan Krukau on Pexels

What to Do if Baby-Led Weaning Is Not Working

If you have tried introducing solids through baby-led weaning, but it hasn’t been successful, there are a few things you can do:

Wait Until Your Baby Is Developmentally Ready

Your baby may not yet be ready for solid foods. It is important to wait until your baby has developed the necessary motor skills and coordination, as this will make it easier for them to handle the food.

Try Purees

If baby-led weaning isn’t working, you can always introduce solids through purees. This can help your baby adjust to solid food’s taste and texture and make the transition easier.

The baby will be more likely to eat the purees than the solid food as they can be easier to swallow. You can also mix some of the food offered through baby-led weaning into the purees for extra nutrition and variety.

Experiment With Different Foods

Your baby may have a preference and may prefer certain foods over others. Experiment with different flavors and textures to see which your baby prefers. This way, you can figure out the best food for them.

Keep Trying

You should not give up when baby-led weaning is not working. If your baby seems to be struggling with the transition, keep trying and offer different foods once in a while. It may take some time for them to get used to solids, but eventually, they will learn how to eat properly. Just remember to be patient and supportive during this process.

Family eating together
Photo by Meruyert Gonullu on Pexels

Eat With the Baby

This may not seem like an important step, but it can actually be beneficial. Eating with your baby will help them feel comfortable and secure when trying out new foods. Plus, it is a great way for you to bond with your little ones and encourage them to eat.

You will be introducing the baby to the idea of swallowing by doing it in a very exaggerated way. This makes it easier for the baby to understand and model after you.

Final Thoughts

Baby-led weaning can effectively introduce solid foods to your baby, but it may not work for some babies. If you find that your baby is not transitioning well, take the time to examine the reasons why and make adjustments accordingly. I hope this advice has been helpful in teaching you how to make the baby-led weaning

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