Baby weaning is an exciting time for you and your little one. It’s a time for your baby to begin exploring new textures and tastes. It can also be a little nerve-wracking, especially for new parents. We have some tips to help you decide how to start baby weaning with your little one.
How To Tell If Your Little One Is Ready For Baby Weaning
Most babies are ready for weaning at around six months old, however, there are some signs that your little one is ready for baby weaning.
- Your little one can sit up unaided.
- Your little one might seem more hungry than usual.
- Your baby might start to wake up during the night for an extra feed.
- Your little one should be able to swallow food at around six months old, rather than spitting it out.
- Your baby may begin to eye up your food and seem very interested in what you’re eating.
Every baby is different, and some may take to solid foods immediately, while others may need more time to get used to different textures and tastes.
- High Chair – Your little one needs to be sitting upright before starting to try different foods. A high chair with a securely fitted harness is the best way to do this.
- Bibs – As your baby begins weaning, it’s going to be messy. Bibs can help with this. You may want to consider a ‘pelican’ bib that has a ‘bowl’ at the bottom for catching mess.
- Weaning Bowl – A weaning bowl has a suction cup on the bottom so it will stick to the table or the tray of the high chair.
- Weaning Spoons – Weaning spoons are softer and more gentle for your little one’s delicate gums.
- First Cup – As your little one learns to eat, you should also offer sips of cooled, boiled water. A cup without a valve is perfect for this stage.
- Mess Mat – A mess mat sits under the high chair to catch the mess that your little one leaves on the ground. You can use old newspapers instead.
- Containers And Ice Cube Trays – You might want to cook all your baby’s meals and having a supply of containers and ice cube trays can be helpful if you’re going to batch cook.
When you begin introducing baby weaning, you should choose a time when your little one is most content. You don’t want them to be too hungry, as at first, all you want is for your little one to explore different tastes and textures. They won’t actually be eating a full meal. The best time to do this may be around halfway between milk feeds. You’ll only be offering your little one a small amount of food once a day, so around lunchtime may be the best time for this.
You might want to start with a puree made from a root vegetable. You might want to mix it in with a little of your little one’s usual milk to help give them a familiar taste.
If your little one has taken well to the first tastes of baby weaning, then after three or so days, you can introduce a second ‘meal’ during the day. Breakfast may be a good time for this one. Something like a very soft, runny fruit puree may be a good idea. Again, you might want to mix a little of your little one’s regular milk into the puree.
After a few days of your little one having two meals per day, you can introduce a third meal per day. This one might be in the evening, so it’s a dinner of sorts. Again, it’s a good idea to stick to pureed vegetables, and fairly bland tastes.
Progressing your baby’s weaning should be led by your baby. As your baby gets older, you can introduce finger foods, lumpier consistencies and different tastes. Some experts say that introducing more lumps at around nine months old will help your baby’s chewing and speaking skills. However, it’s also important to move at your little one’s pace.
From about seven months old, you may want to try to include two small servings of oily fish into your baby’s diet. This can help with brain development.
Don’t give up on a food or texture if your baby spits it out. It can take 10 or more tries of something new before your little one will accept it. Keep persisting, take progress at your little one’s pace and baby weaning will be a breeze.