Is 4 months Too Early For Baby-Led Weaning?

Most kids are not ready to start solids using traditional spoon feeding or baby-led weaning at 4 months of age because have not achieved the necessary milestones to begin complementary foods. These milestones include:

  • Able to hold up their head and sit in a high chair
  • Open their mouth when food comes their way
  • Can move food from spoon to throat
  • Weigh at least 2x their birthweight
  • No longer exhibit the tongue-thrust reflex (automatically pushing food out with tongue)

That being said, there’s no definitive evidence to suggest that babies who are at least 4 months old and have achieved these milestones should not begin baby-led weaning.

Regardless, your child should not receive either purees or soft solids before 4 months of age because their gastrointestinal tract is still maturing, they are unlikely to have the motor skills to eat, and introducing solids before 4 months is associated with obesity later in life [1].

4 month old baby in purple sweaters

[1] Woo Baidal, J. A., Locks, L. M., Cheng, E. R., Blake-Lamb, T. L., Perkins, M. E., & Taveras, E. M. (2016). Risk Factors for Childhood Obesity in the First 1,000 Days: A Systematic Review. American journal of preventive medicine, 50(6), 761–779.

Ready to start baby-led weaning? Get the complete guide to baby-led weaning including 60+ pages of handouts, printables, recipe ideas, and more HERE.

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