Introducing Solid Foods
Introducing solid foods to your little one can seem tricky at times, so I decided to create this space to share what has helped me navigate this interesting chapter. All the information is taken from different sources throughout time.
Signs of Readiness:
Your baby is at least around 6 months old
Your baby can sit in a seated position holding their head steady (this doesn't mean your baby has to sit unaided)
Your baby has lost the tongue thrust reflex & therefore is able to move the food around their mouth & swallow rather than spitting it out
Wanting more milk
Waking up in the night more than usual
The following can be mistaken for signs of readiness but are just normal parts of development:
You can read more on this here.
What to get?
Bibs (long-sleeved and regular)
Cutlery (spoons, forks,..)
Messy mat (not necessary, but good if you want to protect your floors & make the cleaning easier)
These may vary depending on what type of weaning you are doing. If you are doing BLW all apply, if you are doing traditional weaning you may not need the cutlery but may need to buy jars, ice cube tray and a blender (if making own purée for baby). You may also want to buy a cook book.
What to get?
Below are some good places/brands for these items & recipe ideas (in my opinion):
Amazon (there's lot on there!)
What Mummy Makes book
Times of Day to Feed
The best time of day to feed is the one that suits you and your baby where your baby isn't too tired and you don't have to rush. Some babies take a long time to adjust to weaning and others taken to it straight away. When feeding look our for signs that your baby has had enough and follow their lead on this wether you are BLW or traditional weaning. Babies normally start off eating very little (my baby only had spoonful of a purée or a banana).
Milk should still be the main source of nutrition until at least the age of 1. By then some babies may be having 3 meals a day and snacks and other may still be having 1 or 2 meals. It is good to begin with savoury food first, basic things like carrots, broccoli, potatoes ect. It is best to introduce foods that can cause a reaction slowly 1 at a time to give you time to spot any allergic reactions to these foods. The only food a baby shouldn't have before the age of 1 is honey.
Types of Weaning
Baby-led weaning means offering your baby only finger foods and letting them feed themselves from the start (rather than spoon feeding them puréed or mashed foods). You can offer a range of small, finger-sized pieces of food.
Solid Starts is a great resource to learn how to serve certain foods.
In this approach, you feed your baby and gradually introduce it to more solid foods. You'll begin with smooth purées before moving to mashed and chopped foods, then finger foods and finally small bites. You can create your own purees using a blender and they can be frozen for when they are needed or you can buy jars and pouches of pre-blended food.
Baby Led Weaning (BLW)
There is no wrong or right way to wean. Some people prefer BLW and others prefer tradition, the important thing is that your baby is exploring food. There is no more of a chance that your baby can choke doing BLW than there is doing traditional weaning.
A drink of water should be offered each time your baby has solid foods. Just like the food, your baby may not take to drinking water straight away. An open cup is better for teeth development but using other sippy cups/straw cups is also fine. It is whatever suits your baby best, this could be a trial and error process. The water you give your baby does not need to be boiled, it can be taken straight from the tap.
Giving breast or formula milk is still the main source of nutrition for the first year.
Offer the breast before food and after no need for water if your baby is breastfeeding still .