How to Start Weaning
The introduction of solids is an exciting and important time for you and your baby, but it can also be extremely overwhelming. Here are our tips to help you take charge and feel confident:
Is my baby ready to start weaning?
As your baby grows and becomes more active, their diet needs to diversify in order to meet their needs, both physical and mental. Babies are typically ready for solids around 6 months, when they exhibit the following developmental signs:
- Able to sit up and hold head steady on their own
- Able to swallow food - has lost reflex to thrust tongue
- Has good coordination - can look at food, grab it, and move it towards his or her mouth
While your baby may also chew her fists, wake more frequently in the night, and want more milk than usual, these on their own are common things babies do and aren't signs of readiness for solids! Remember, you can always ask your Health Visitor for advice!
How do I Start Weaning?
So your baby is showing all signs of being ready for solids (and remember, this is usually around 6 months and never before 17 weeks), but you have no idea where to start!
Clinical studies show that the best way to set your baby up to love veg for life is to introduce single vegetable flavours early on in weaning, without mixing them with fruit to sweeten.
Start by pureeing vegetables with some of your baby's usual mix to get the accustomed to the new taste sensation. The white part of leek, courgette, and sweet potato are all great first vegetables to start with, as they're naturally appealing and easy to digest, in addition to being nutritional powerhouses.
You can start with any 'meal' - offer your baby a tablespoon or two of puree or mash just before their usual milk feed.
Unless there is a history of allergies in the family, there is actually no need to start with single vegetables - especially as most vegetables are not typical allergens. Always consult with a doctor or health visitor if you have any concerns.
Discovering, Not Feeding
Ideally, weaning should be a reassuring and positive experience for your baby. But admittedly, it can be scary and frustrating for parents. And let's not talk about the mess!
One way to stay cool? Keep reminding yourself that this process is about teaching your baby and exploring flavours and textures, not trying to fill tiny bellies (there's milk for that!).
You can't rush weaning - it's an ongoing process of learning and teaching. And try not to get discouraged. It can take up to 20 tastes for a baby to decide he/she likes something! Just keep going. You got this!
Don't know where to start? Mamamade mixes help your baby discover the real taste of real vegetables and spices, with nutritious meals homemade by you in minutes.