Starting your baby’s weaning journey is an exciting time. I felt a sense of bittersweetness - as it signified my baby getting that little bit more independent. After six months of lovely snuggly feeds and countless ‘milk drunk’ faces, weaning was a new kettle of fish entirely. I found myself questioning every little thing… For starters, will they even like food? How much milk will my little one need alongside their solids? And most importantly of all - how on earth do you scrub dried baby porridge off your kitchen walls? If you’re gearing up to start weaning soon - here are some tips and advice to help you get through it and enjoy this exciting new milestone as much as you can.
You should begin your weaning journey when your baby is around 6 months old. Baby should be introduced to a varied diet, alongside their usual breast milk or first infant formula.
At the very start of your weaning journey, you really only need to give your little one solid foods once a day. Choose a time that suits you both - breakfast, lunch or dinner - whenever your baby is at their happiest and go from there.
It’s important that baby is sitting up - a high chair is the safest place for them to be. Remember babies should never be left alone while they're eating.
Expect and embrace the mess! It can take some getting used to at first, but baby needs to learn and explore the textures of foods and they tend to do this by playing with their food. Make sure you have plenty of bibs. It may also be wise to invest in a sheet to go under your little ones highchair which will make cleaning up after them so much easier.
Watch and wait for cues from your little one as you go. Once they’ve had enough, baby will let you know by turning their head away from you or by closing their mouth firmly.
There are three signs of readiness to look out for which show that your baby is ready to start their weaning journey and they can try their first solid foods, alongside breast milk or first infant formula.
These signs usually appear around the time your baby is six months old.
The three signs of readiness for weaning are:
1. Little one can sit up and hold their head steady
2. They can coordinate their eyes, hands and mouth so they can look at food, pick it up and put it in their mouths all by themselves
3. Baby is able to swallow food so more of it goes in their mouth than around their face.