How to start weaning

Weaning is a hugely exciting time for your baby as they learn new tastes and textures. It is a daunting process moving from warm, sweet milk to carrots, pears and bananas! So here are some tips to get weaning off to a good, relaxed start…

Remember- the recommendation that weaning should begin around 6 months and not before 17 weeks of age.

What is the best time to give a spoon speed?

Your baby won’t be in the mood for food if they’re sleepy. Choose a time of day when they’re awake and alert, but not distracted. And make sure you’ve got plenty of time – you don’t want to rush. This is an overwhelming time for your baby as they learn new tastes, textures and hardest of all, how to swallow so it’s important to make it an enjoyable experience.

What are good first foods to begin weaning?

Baby rice is a good food to begin with. When mixed with your baby’s usual milk, your baby will experience only a slight taste difference and therefore be more likely to accept it. Broccoli or strawberries? I know what one I would choose! Your baby will have a natural desire for sweet tastes. It is a good idea to introduce savoury purees such as vegetables before sweet purees such as fruit. Take a look at our weaning stages and textures guide for more information on what your baby should start eating.

Offer a very small taste

Ideally, you should give your baby their usual milk feed first, so they are not too hungry. Start by offering one or two spoons of food, waiting until your baby opens his/her mouth to offer more. Remember not to add salt, sugar or regular stock cubes (baby stock cubes are fine to use) to your baby’s food.

Weaning can be fun

You, baby and the floor will get sprayed in mashed vegetables. But don’t worry about the mess, that’s what baby wipes are for! Let your baby get involved by holding their own spoon to get a sense of feeding themselves. If introducing a new food doesn’t work the first time, just try it again the next day. One new food should be introduced at a time, every 1-2days. Not all babies will be interested in new tastes at first; it can take up to ten times for a baby to accept a new food. So just be patient!

TIP – Using a messy mat under your highchair will catch any spillages and save you having to wipe the floor!

If you need any more tips on feeding your baby our Careline advisors would be delighted to help you. Call our Freephone Careline on 1800 570570