• Liya Leng, MD, MPH

Baby Led Feeding

MamaTalks podcast with speech language pathologist Jessica Gomes @littleeaters_slp on Instagram.

Have you heard the term baby led weaning? For me, I actually prefer to call it baby led feeding because babies aren't necessarily weaning off breast milk or formula at 6 months of age - they are just adding in eating solids.⁠ ⁠

The traditional wisdom about starting solids was to only use purees in the beginning, but newer research shows that we don't need to limit a baby's texture just to purees. Purees can still be a healthy part of a baby's diet, but it's OK to add in other textures! The key is knowing how to do it in a safe way that prevents choking.⁠

In this interview, we cover how to start solid foods safely and when to start and stop using pacifiers. ⁠

About Jessica Gomes:

"First and foremost I’m a mama to the sweetest almost 1 year old boy! I’m also a speech language pathologist! In my career I’ve worked in many settings (hospitals, schools, in the home, acute rehabs, outpatient clinics) across the lifespan, infants to geriatrics. I’ve always loved working with children who have feeding and swallowing disorders and have specialized quite a bit in that area. My brother has special needs and has been a huge source of inspiration for me, both professionally and personally.

I love food and come from immigrant parents. So I knew I wanted my little one to grow up enjoying a diverse range of foods, rich in different flavors and textures from across the globe. I knew from the beginning, baby led feeding/weaning was for us! It’s been a really amazing experience combining my academic knowledge and professional experience with motherhood and watching him blossom into this amazing little boy and INCREDIBLE eater. I truly want every parent to feel confident and really enjoy this process of guiding your baby as they start solids.

Being a mom and an SLP are two of the biggest passions in my life. But, I also love to spend time with family, travel (when not in a global pandemic), the beach, hiking, yoga, cooking, and everything dark chocolate. "

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