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Baby Led Weaning Does Not Increase Choking Risk When Modified for Safety

A new method of introducing solid foods (complementary foods) is gaining popularity and raising concerns that it may increase risk of choking for infants. Baby-led weaning involves the practice of allowing children to feed themselves all of their foods from the beginning of complementary food introduction – rather than the traditional method of spoon-feeding pureed foods at the start of complementary feeding. The study, “A Baby-Led Approach to Eating Solids and Risk of Choking,” appearing in the October 2016 issue of Pediatrics (published online Sept. 19) aimed to determine if baby-led weaning, when modified to address choking risks, led to an increased risk of choking or gagging.  In a trial setting involving 206 infants, the authors found that infants in the modified baby-led weaning group experienced choking episodes no more often than infants in the control group. However, children in both groups were offered foods considered to be a choking hazard and often were not closely supervised while eating. The authors assert that these results show that more caregiver education is needed in general regarding choking risks and safe eating environments related to the introduction of complementary foods for infants.


The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 66,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit



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