One of the more confusing parts of parenting is the weaning stage. From four months onwards you may be wondering how and when to wean your little one. You will also wonder whether the best first foods are cereals and porridge or fruit and vegetables. In our recent book Weaning Sense, Kath Megaw and I debunked a lot of the myths around early solids feeding.
Here we share the top 5 tips to easy weaning to ensure that you are prepared-ish for this exciting stage:
- Do not offer your baby solids before 4 months of age and aim to have started weaning by 6 months old. Anytime within this window is the best time for your baby to first experience solids.
- Remember that the first few weeks of eating solids is just for exposure and experimentation. There will be days when your little one eats very little and that’s okay.
- Offer that first meal in the mid-morning, after a milk feed. Milk remains the priority until 6 months.
- Kath recommends the best first foods for babies are seasonal vegetables and fruits, cooked and puréed initially to soften the fibers and thereafter, once you have introduced at least 8-12 fruit and veggies, she suggests adding a white protein food like nut butter, hard boiled mashed/puréed egg, full cream yogurt, chicken and fish.
- Introduce new food flavours rapidly and use herbs and spices to season – this will keep your baby interested in the new experience.
Weaning need not be a confusing time for you. The best thing is to choose one voice of advice – such as your clinic sister or a well-researched book. Listen to this advice and watch your baby’s signals. This will be your guide as to exactly when to start and also what foods and quantities he prefers.