8 Tried And Tested Weaning Tips To Ease The Transition
Ready to introduce your baby to the wonderful world of solid foods?
The official recommendation by the HSE is that you "should start giving your baby solid foods when they are around six months old, as well as breast or formula milk".
In our book however, only you'll know for sure when the timing is right. Once you decide it's time to try solids, try these tips to make the transition fun:
1. Firstly, never hurry or try to put larger pieces of food in your baby's mouth. According to HSE guidelines, between 17 and 23 weeks is usually a good age to try spoon-fed solids. Choose a time when your baby is not too hungry and let them slowly try thin pureé (no lumps) from the spoon. If you're nervous, start with purée pouches and fruit pots.
2. Between six and nine months you can experiment with textures. Try a smooth yogurt or a slightly heavier mashed sweet potato.
3. Remember: babies often “gag” as they try thicker textures for the first time. It can be scary but it is completely normal.
4. Allow baby to hold the spoon, feed himself and explore different textures using his hands. Is it messy? Very. Keep a camera handy for some adorable (and very sticky) shots...
5. Make up your own baby food blends (purée of carrot and butternut squash, steamed pear and apple) and store them in little containers in the fridge, freezing the rest. Never add salt.
6. Introduce only one new food at a time, leaving one to two days between each new food to see if your baby has a reaction or an intolerance to a certain food.
7. Once they get the hang of it, try handing them a rice cake. Always keep a careful eye on them as they find their way around solids and ensure they don't try to stuff too much into their mouth at once.
8. Use the weaning period as a time to improve your own diet too. Fresh guacamole for baby? Add some chilli and lemon juice to your own portion. Whipping up some hummus for your little honey? Pile some on an oatcake and top with black pepper for your lunch. For dessert, a baked apple or some Brie will go down a treat.
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