Is it teething time for your little one?
Don’t be in a hurry to wean your baby onto solids. Your baby’s digestive and immune systems are not sufficiently developed before 17 weeks. Weaning too early could reduce the volume of breast and formula milk that baby should be taking. Your baby’s co-ordination may not be developed enough for proper head control to allow sucking and chewing of solid foods and babies at this stage don’t usually like different tastes and textures.
 
The World Health Organization and the HSE recommend that it is best not to introduce solids until 26 weeks (6 months). However, here at Mummycooks we believe that this can sometimes be too late. There is a lot of research to show that babies from 4 to 6 months are the least neophobic (afraid of new foods), and so starting weaning at 5 or 5 ½ months gives mums time to start slowly. By six months they can try lots of different tastes early on, increasing a child’s readiness to accept a wide range of foods later.
 
Here are a few signs that your baby is ready to start weaning:
  • Baby is no longer satisfied by a full milk feed
  • Baby is demanding more frequent milk feeds
  • Baby has lost the tongue-thrust reflex and don’t automatically push solids out of their mouth
  • Baby is staring to wake at night, when previously they were sleeping through
  • Baby is a keen mealtime participant and eye up your food
 
Baby’s first spoonfuls
 
The very first tastes should be easy to purée down to a very fine consistency. At Mummycooks we like to begin with root vegetables, such as carrots or sweet potato, as these have a naturally sweet taste that babies like. Fruits are good for the same reason, but make sure you choose ripe fruits that have a good flavour. After about a week you can start to mix fruit and vegetable purées. Combining parsnip and pear and beetroot and plum makes the vegetable more palatable for baby.
 
Foods that are not good as first tastes
  • White potato is starchy and so can only be mashed. Introduce when baby is used to more texture.
  • Peas need to be sieved to remove shells in order to make a runny purée.  Hold off on introducing until baby is used to some texture.
  • Pasta is also starchy and will not purée well. Buy small pasta shapes and introduce when baby is again used to more texture.
 
 
Expert in Baby & Toddler Nutrition

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