Weaning: “What do i need to know to get started?”

Stacey Zimmels from FeedEatSpeak is a feeding & swallowing specialist and Speech and Language Therapist

Weaning is the gradual transition from all milk feeds to eating solids alongside milk. There are lots of different ways you can wean your baby, below I’ll try and guide you with the options and my preferences based on my professional expertise and experiences with my own two children.

You should wait until your baby is showing weaning readiness cues. These typically occur at around 6 months of age. Your baby should be sitting up, showing an interest in others eating and reaching and taking food to their mouth. Your baby should also be able to take food to the back of their mouth and swallow it – rather than pushing it back out with their tongue. If you start but then realise your baby is not read then stop and try again a week later.

Weaning is a gradual process and the first weeks and months are about having positive experiences, learning to eat, being exposed to a range of tastes and receiving the different nutrient’s that food offers. Follow your baby’s lead and go at the pace that suits them the best.

Getting started

Begin with one meal a day and choose to give this at a time when your child is well rested and not too hungry.

Offer milk first.

You can offer different meals at different times of the day. Do what works best for you and your baby.

You can choose to follow baby lead weaning, spoon feed or do a mixture of both spoon feeding and finger feeding

From 6 months you can offer most foods including protein, dairy, fish, meat, carbs and egg as well as fruit and vegetables

Your baby can have tap water from 6 months. Offer water with each meal. From an open cup or a free-flowing spouted beaker. Avoid non-spill beakers.

Your baby should eat in a highchair at the family table. Try and eat something with your baby when they eat.

I have two children and two very different weaning experiences.

Head over to FeedEatSpeak for more feeding and fussy eating tips.

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