Weaning is such an exciting time when it comes to parenthood; it's also such a big milestone for you and your baby! This is why many parents ask, "when is the right time to start weaning a baby" well, the short answer is.. when your baby is ready. Just kidding 😅 there's a lot more to it, so let's jump into the long answer...
If you plan to wean your baby at four months, remember that at this stage, your baby is mainly getting all of its nutritional needs from breast milk or formula! This will continue to be their primary source of nutrition until around 12 months old. So, think about solids being an addition to their usual milk, not there to replace it. However, In some cases, parents might be advised to wean their babies earlier for reasons such as reflux, milk allergies and other conditions consulted with a healthcare professional. The moral of the story, if you're thinking about weaning at four months, consult your GP or health visitor.
If you've had a good to go from the doctor, then we would highly recommend trying some of Mamamade's First Tastes Purees Bundle (4m+).
For this Mamamade blog, we're drawing the line right at the start by covering pretty much all the topics for weaning your little one at four months.
There are some important signs to look out for, which basically mean that it might be time to start weaning.
Your baby is able to keep their head up and steady on their own.
your baby is also able to sit up comfortably without your help, preferably using a highchair
Your baby is able to pick food up and move it straight to his mouth, showing signs of coordination. It might take a few goes, but make sure that your baby isn't using their reflex to push food out of their mouth when fed with a spoon.
A good point to Remember
You've probably heard this line time and time again. Still, it's so important to mention, "all babies are different, and they all develop at their own pace and in their own time". So, whether your baby is ready to wean at four months or six months, it doesn't really matter - because there is no right and wrong between the two it all just depends on when your baby is feeling it 👀 you obviously know by now, that they are the boss.
How do I start?
Weaning can be incredibly daunting, especially as a first-time parent! We at Mamamade get so many messages asking us when and how to start 🥣 So, now that we've covered the when let's delve into the how.
✅ Supportive high chair with a footrest.
✅ Bib with a built-in food catcher.
✅ Soft-tip baby spoons
✅ Suction cup bowls
If you didn't know already, Mamamade has a stylish yet practical collection of Mamamerch, which is designed keeping you and your little ones in mind. Click here to read The Weaning Checklist - Trusted Brands & Products + New Mamamerch for all your weaning essentials.
We would recommend keeping the first foods quite simple; you don't want to overpower your baby's taste buds on the first try. So, stick to single-ingredient puree, to begin with, for example, cauliflower puree, butternut squash, sweet potato, broccoli puree...etc. Once your baby has gotten used to these single-ingredient purees, you can mix things up by adding a few more fruits and veg into the puree recipe.
Top tip - check our blog on "How to Make Butternut Squash Purée for Babies" for a step by step guide on preparing your babies food. Click here for a list of all our nutritionist-approved, organic purees First Tastes Purees Bundle (4m+).
The Feeding Method
Once you have the food and the equipment sorted, you might be wondering how to help your baby take their first spoonful. That's where weaning methods come into play! How you choose to wean your baby is entirely up to you, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. Although you could go into a google search spiral, the bottom line is that there are two main weaning methods
- Baby-led weaning - A very relaxed and unstructured weaning method which is based on a baby being offered solid foods cut into finger length sizes to feed themselves, with very little to no help from an adult.
- Spoon-fed weaning - A baby is offered a small amount of puree on a spoon and is either assisted or fed by an adult.
You could choose one of these approaches or combine elements of both. It's really up to you and your baby; it's definitely a trial and error phase. If you'd like to know about the pros and cons of both the methods in detail, check out "Baby-Led Weaning vs Spoon-Fed Weaning - Which Method Should I Choose?"
The best part is that with Mamamade you have access to a free mealtime coach; we encourage you to book a call if you want or need it - it's your time to ask our weaning coach anything. Whether you're feeling anxious about introducing allergens, unsure if your little one is ready for the next stage, or are looking for advice on reducing milk intake, our mealtime coach is here to help, and so are we.