How to start weaning
Weaning is a hugely exciting time for babies as they try new tastes and textures. And at first, it’s all about fun, learning and experimentation. Here’s how to get weaning off to a good, relaxed start...
At a glance
- At first, weaning is all about fun, learning and experimentation
- To be ready for solids, babies need to be able to hold their head steady, and swallow their food
- Choose a time of day when your little one is awake and alert but not distracted
Weaning a taste explosion
So you drink warm, sweet milk all day, every day of your life. Then suddenly one day mum’s grinning at you like mad and you’re tasting CARROTS, PEARS, APPLES, BANANAS!!
Weaning is an incredibly exciting time for babies as they try out new tastes and textures for the first time. Looking astonished, appalled and delighted all at once, babies push food around their mouth, spit it out, push away the spoon and grab for more. You, baby and the floor get sprayed in mashed fruit - and not much food goes down. But that’s fine, because you’re only just getting started. Here’s how to make weaning a success from the start...
Choose the right time of day for weaning
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.
Make sure you’re both sitting comfortably
You can hold your baby sitting upright in your lap, or pop them in the bouncy chair or highchair – all that matters is that they can swallow easily. To be ready for solids , babies need to be able to hold their head steady, and swallow their food.
Give some milk first
A baby who’s ravenously hungry won’t like being offered food – it’s not fast enough! So give them half their milk feed first, then try the solids. Don’t let your baby finish their milk feed – if they’re too full, they’ll just play with the food.
Pick the right foods to start weaning
Try some baby rice mixed with milk, or a smooth, very runny purée to start with. Good foods for puréeing include fruit and vegetables, like sweet potato, apple and pear. Ripe mashed banana can go down well, too.
You can also try finger foods, like soft fruit or avocado that the baby can pick up. Cut pieces to about the size of your own finger, so your baby can hold them. Just make you avoid foods that can choke or trigger allergies.
Offer a very small taste
Start off with a few teaspoons of food - just a little bit of solid food on a spoon or on the end of a clean finger is enough. Make sure the food is cool enough – test it before your offer it to your baby.
Don’t worry about mess – let your baby touch and hold the food if they want to. They might like holding the all-exciting spoon, too. And if it doesn’t work, just try again another day. Your baby might not be interested at first, but don’t worry or force them – just wait until tomorrow and give it another go.
‘Opening your mouth really wide when you want the baby to open their mouth really does work. I always find myself opening my mouth when I’m feeding her anyway… but if you really exaggerate it, it seems to encourage them." -Pauline, mum of 3
Care to share? You can talk to other new mums in the Bounty Community.
Life with your little one. Chat with other mums.