What is weaning?
Imagine tasting apple for the first time. This is what your baby’s experiencing when you start weaning. This usually happens at six months old, when your baby needs more than milk to keep them going.
What is weaning?
Weaning is essential for development
Weaning is an exciting and essential part of your baby’s development. While milk continues to give them much of the nutrition they need, solid food provides different nutrients for healthy physical and mental growth.
Weaning is a gradual process and shouldn’t be rushed. At this early stage, your baby learns fast, so introducing them to lots of new tastes now means they’ll enjoy a greater variety of foods later on.
- Weaning helps your baby get used to the strange feeling of food in their mouth
- Introducing new textures helps develop their swallowing and chewing skills
- Chewing and swallowing help develop the muscles needed for talking later on
- Learning to eat is a big change from sucking milk and can be frustrating for your baby
- Be patient and try not to worry – accepting a new food can take between eight and ten attempts
Introducing first foods:
start by spoon feeding smooth purées special baby rice or a puréed vegetable, like cauliflower, is ideal. Try vegetables before fruit to encourage them accept savoury flavours.
Adding lumpier textures:
when they’re happy with smooth purées, try adding cheese or rice to make the texture lumpier. Cooked rice or couscous can be added to fruit purées.
Trying finger foods:
once they can chew, introduce solid pieces of food. Little fingers can pick up things like soft-boiled carrot sticks and bread.