Weaning: Getting Started

Is your child ready for finger food? ​

Whether you have chosen BLW, Spoon-fed or a mix of methods, read below for some tips on starting with finger foods.

NHS ADVICE

Most recent research reveals that most babies reach for food around 6 months. This is also around the time that childrens’ motor skills are developed enough to give them the ability to eat solids independently. This is why most parents begin Weaning between 5 and 7 months. This fits in nicely with the NHS recommendations that babies should be exclusively breast or formula fed for the first six months.

Q: What if my baby chokes?

ANSWER: ​Know the difference between gagging and choking. Your baby will gag during this process, especially if they take a mouthful of food which is too big. Gagging is a safety mechanism that moves food to the front of the mouth to prevent choking so as long as your baby is sitting upright the gagging reflex will help teach your baby to take smaller bites and stop choking from happening. If you are still worried about choking then take a baby first aid course or watch this recommended clip on you tube to help put your mind at ease. Red Cross First Aid Clip

IS YOUR CHILD READY?

STEP ONE:

Check that your baby is showing the signs that they are ready for Solid Foods:

Can your child:

  • put food in their mouth unassisted?
  • show interest in your food?
  • sit up by themselves and hold their head up unaided?
  • hold food in their mouth and manipulate it with their tongue?​

STEP TWO:

Make sure that you have the correct equipment:

​1. A secure highchair or bumbo seat. Your child must be sitting upright when eating to the reduce the risk of choking. The Ikea Antilop has the best reviews on most Mum’s websites. Also, the Bumbo is easy to use anywhere. Most parents recommend a highchair with a removable tray for easy cleaning.

2. A large bib that keeps your babies clothes as clean as possible. The most popular is a bib with sleeves so that your baby is as covered as possible. Some parents don’t even bother with bibs and just strip their babies down to their nappies.

3. A large floor mat to keep your carpet protected from the mess. I also have friends who have used old towels and even shower curtains.

There are no need for bowls or plates at this stage as they will only end up flying across the room. Some parents introduce a cup right from the start but many have found that this also gets flung across the room. If you do decide to introduce a cup ‘Bickiepegs Doidy Cup’ seems to be a favourite.

STEP THREE:

Now you and your baby are ready to start exploring food together. But note that chip-shaped food is easier for your little one to grab.

The idea is that baby eats what you eat but in the early weeks you may want to think carefully about how your babies food is cut up. If their food is cut into chip-sized shapes then your baby is going to have more luck gripping it.

For example: if you are eating carrots chopped into circles you may want to cook some carrots that are also chip shape

for your baby.

STEP FOUR:

Eat as a family

Obviously it is difficult to get everyone sat down for all three meals a day especially if one parent is out at work during the day.

But try to make one meal a day where you all sit together so that your baby experiences good manners, conversation and sharing.

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