Top tips for starting solids

Weaning your baby is an exciting milestone for any parent.

Weaning your baby is an exciting milestone for any parent. But it can soon feel daunting when faced with different advice. The goal is to make this new transition healthy, fun and safe for your little one. 
Here are some tips on getting started:
  • Trust your gut. World Health Organisation guidelines recommend starting your baby on solids no earlier than 17 weeks but before 26 weeks. Depending on medical advice. When nearing the 26-week mark go with your gut. A mothers instinct is very strong and when your baby is showing all the signs you will know when they are ready.  
  • Choose the right time. Choose a time when they are not frantically hungry, maybe give them some milk, to begin with, to partially satisfy them. They will then be more receptive to the new idea.
  • You can skip White Rice Cereal. Baby rice is fortified with Iron and it is easy to digest. But on the other hand, it is pure starch and not very tasty or nutritious (apart from the added iron). You could try instead whole grain cereals like brown rice cereal, barley or oatmeal. Also fortified with iron. Or you could always skip them all together and start with root vegetables like sweet potato, carrots, parsnips or butternut squash.
  • Make a plan. One thing that works very well in my busy house is making a plan for the week. When doing your food shop add to things you can make for your little one. Do them in bulk and freeze for the week. One less thing on your to-do list!
  • One feed at a time. Start by giving one solid feed at a time. Begin with about 2 teaspoons. Lunchtime is a great time to begin.
  • Make a mess! Allow your baby to make a mess. Or to hold the spoon or food. Not only will they enjoy eating it more but it will also give them a positive and enjoyable experience with food. They will be more likely to experiment with foods in the future and be more independent when eating when they are in charge.
Every baby develops individually so keep an eye on your baby and look out for the cues that they’re ready to wean. If they can do the following you might like to try them on some simple solids.
  • Coordinate their eyes, hands and mouth so they can look at the food pick it up and put it in their mouth.
  • Sit unaided and hold their head steady
  • Have a big interest in their mum or dads food and follow their fork from plate to mouth.

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