Weaning usually starts around the age of six months but keep in mind that babies develop differently, so it may happen sooner or even later for your little one. Some mums can worry that they aren’t doing it at the right time or that their little one is not ready.
To help you, here are things you need to know:
Is your baby ready?
While each child is different, you can tell your little one is ready if they are holding their head steady and want to, and are able to, put things into their mouth. However, even if they are showing any of the above signs before they reach the age of four months, it is important you wait and don’t start giving your baby solid food until they are at least 17/18 weeks old.
When you are starting off
When you are introducing solid food to your infant, it is important you only feed them lump-free, puréed food. As they grow, you will be able to give them mashed or lumpy textures.If you are starting when they are under the age of six months, it is important you don’t give them cow’s milk – you can continue to give them formula or breast milk. Once they are over six months of age you can start to give them pasteurised cheese, eggs and tiny amounts of pasteurised milk.
Types of food to give
When starting out, introduce one food at a time and only give about two teaspoons a day - you can increase this over time. Give your baby what the rest of the family are having but remember to avoid the things below and to mash it up. Make sure you give your baby foods rich in iron like beans, green vegetables and lean meat. Don’t stick with puréed food for too long and once they are six months old you can start to give them their milk or water from a sippy cup.
Things to avoid
Never put food into your baby’s bottle and avoid giving them cow’s milk as a main source of milk until they are at least 12 months old - tiny quantities of it after six months is ok. Avoid using seasoning like salt and pepper in meals and sauce from jars. Avoid giving gluten foods before the age of six months as kids can develop an allergy if given before.