Inside: get easy 6 month old baby-led weaning meal ideas, a sample feeding schedule, plus a free printable planner!
Getting started with baby led weaning can be a really exciting yet also really nerve-wracking experience.
Handing a halved banana over to baby and letting them take the lead can make any mama nervous!
As with all things in parenting, being equipped with the right info can help ease your mind and allow you to enjoy the experience with your baby.
So what exactly is baby-led weaning or “self-feeding?”
Baby led weaning is when a baby learns to eat by feeding themselves, rather than you feeding them.
I know. Reading that made me nervous, too. Mama, I get it. This method is not for everyone. Self-feeding (starting at 6 months) is not for every baby.
Some babies (and mamas!) simply do better with purees, and that’s okay.
I feel like this needs to be said more: You don’t have to do baby led weaning. There are of course pros and cons to all methods, and ultimately, you have to do what you feel most comfortable with!
How do I start baby-led weaning at 6 months?
This is one of the most common questions I hear regarding the blw method. You can read my full post on How to Get Started with Baby-Led Weaning, but I’ll also share the basics here.
- Wait until baby is at least 6 months old
- Your baby must be able to sit up unassisted (on their own) and hold their head up
- Baby must be developmentally ready to start solids (your pediatrician will typically give you the go-ahead)
You’ll also need a sturdy highchair or booster seat where baby can sit up straight and reach the food in front of them.
Throughout this post you’ll see pictures of all 3 of my girls at 6 months old!
You may also be wondering:
- What are the appropriate portion sizes for blw at 6 months?
- How should I cut my baby’s food?
- What should I feed my 6 month old using baby led weaning?
Today I’m going to answer all of your questions and equip you with the knowledge and know-how to start this new experience with your baby. You can also DM me on Instagram anytime with questions!
Now that we know the basics (baby must be 6+ months, can sit up unassisted, on track developmentally), let’s chat about what foods are best to start with.
6 Month Old Baby-Led Weaning Starter Foods
- Sweet Potato
- Whole Milk Yogurt
How to Cut and Serve BLW foods
Below you’ll find two visuals for baby-led weaning food size at 6 months. The “stick shape” or “wedge” of food (pictured left) is more traditional for baby led weaning – however – if this makes you nervous or uncomfortable, you can try smashing up the foods and letting baby self-feed that way (as in picture on right).
Many people also wonder at what age baby can have yogurt – and are surprised to learn that they can eat whole milk yogurt starting at 6 months. This also makes a great food for allowing baby to self-feed as shown below.
More Helpful Baby Led Weaning Resources:
- Baby-Led Weaning Breakfast Ideas
- Easy First Foods for BLW
- Best Foods for Baby-Led Weaning Month-by-Month
- Everyday Baby-Led Weaning PDF Guide
- Everyday Baby-Led Weaning$10.00
Just a quick note before we jump in: Some babies, especially breastfed babies, may show little interest in food at first. But it’s important to keep trying.
Remember that old saying “food under 1 is just for fun!” ? We now know that it’s just not just fun, foods under 1 can help prevent major food allergies and help develop fine motor skills.
We introduced peanuts using Organic peanut puffs (pictured above) – I shared more about this on my IG – just click the “baby-led weaning” highlight.
6 Month Old Baby-Led Weaning Meal Ideas & Feeding Schedule
Here are some simple meal ideas to get you started. You can mix and match these ideas to create a “meal” for baby.
It’s also totally fine to keep it simple and serve just one food at a time. Depending on your pediatrician’s recommendation, you may be instructed to have baby try one new food every 3-4 days to spot allergies.
BLW Breakfast Ideas
- Whole milk yogurt + banana
- Homemade yogurt melts + puffs
- Unsweetened applesauce + whole milk yogurt
- Avocado toast sticks (see photo in how to cut & serve)
- Scrambled eggs + avocado
BLW Lunch Ideas
- Roasted sweet potato wedges
- Mashed berries + whole milk yogurt
- Steamed or roasted broccoli florets
- Whole milk yogurt with mashed sweet potato
BLW Dinner Ideas
- Steamed peas (smush with finger)
- Mashed avocado + mashed sweet potato
- Roasted carrot wedges or sticks
- Toast sticks with avocado or thinly spread nut butter
- Cooked ground turkey or chicken
After looking through these ideas, you may be wondering:
How many times a day should I feed solids to my 6 month old?
It is important to remember that breastmilk or formula are the most important sources of nutrition for baby. At 6 months old you should never replace breastmilk or formula with solid foods.
At this stage, solids are meant to be complimentary, not a main source of nutrition.
How many times a day you feed your baby solids depends on several factors such as your family’s schedule as well as number of children and their schedules.
I always advise starting out with breakfast that way if a food disagrees with baby (aka makes them gassy) it won’t interrupt their nighttime sleep. With each of my babies I introduced new foods at breakfast then eventually started serving lunch, and then dinner.
This is a personal preference, though, so adjust for what works for your family!
What is a good feeding schedule for a 6 month old?
This also depends on your daily routine and your family’s schedule. Below I’ve provided a basic outline of a feeding schedule for a 6 month old baby. You can easily adjust based on baby’s naps and how many meals you want to incorporate in their day.
SAMPLE BABY-LED WEANING FEEDING SCHEDULE (FOR A 6 MONTH OLD BABY)
7:00 AM – Wake Up + Breastmilk or Formula
8:00 AM – Breakfast
9:00 AM – Morning Nap
11:00 AM – Wake Up + Breastmilk or Formula
12:00 PM – Lunch
12:30 PM – Afternoon Nap
2:30 PM – Wake Up + Breastmilk or Formula
4:00 PM – Afternoon Nap 2
4:30/4:45 PM – Wake Up + Breastmilk or Formula
5:30 PM – Dinner
6:30/7:00 PM: Bedtime + Breastmilk or Formula
Free Printable Baby-Led Weaning Planner
I created this free printable PDF download just for you! This is a great way to keep track of all the new foods you try. You can download it below (no need to subscribe or anything). Be sure to save it to your phone or computer and then print it out. Keep it on your fridge for easy reference.
What to Read Next:
- 8 Month Old Baby-Led Weaning Meal Ideas & Feeding Schedule
- Best Gluten-Free Recipes for Baby
- Mini Banana Oat Muffins for Baby & Toddler
- Homemade Coconut Mango Yogurt Melts
- Best Sensory Toys for 6 Month Olds
- My 6 Month Old’s Daily Routine