Starting to Wean Your Baby
Weaning is an exciting adventure for your child – they’ll start to experience lots of interesting new flavours and textures and you’ll enjoy the experience of eating together.
To make sure that weaning is fun for you and your baby, it’s a good idea to have all the baby weaning equipment you need ready before you start. Think about:
- Baby bouncers and highchairs. Young babies often start weaning in their bouncers, moving on later to a more solid highchair. Choose an adjustable one, so you can still use it when you’re feeding a toddler
- Spoons. Choose a spoon that’s been designed for small mouths, preferably made of soft plastic with a small head for small quantities and rounded rims to avoid hurting little gums
- Bowls. Best to use a plastic bowl that won’t break if it’s knocked over
- Bibs. Always have lots of bibs to hand; soft plastic ones with a tray to collect spills are good
- Storage containers. If you’re planning on making homemade food, it’s a good idea to make batches and store them in small plastic containers
Tips for weaning a baby
Breast milk or formula will still be the basis of your baby’s nutrition in the early days. At first, introduce new foods very gradually.
Ideal first foods are well-cooked, puréed fruit and vegetables. As your baby gets older, you can try soups and foods with more texture, as well as foods they can pick up and eat themselves.
- only introduce solid food in one meal per day
- only introduce one new taste and one new food at a time. As well as helping your baby adjust this will also help you identify the culprit easily if they have an allergic reaction
- the introduction of solid baby food should be gentle and gradual – start with just a couple of mouthfuls
- if your baby won’t open their mouth don’t worry – they just might not be ready yet. Try to avoid conflicts over feeding and try again later
Take it slowly and persevere – soon your baby will love their food and will be ready to move on to the next stage.