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The-stages-of-weaning

The Stages Of Weaning

You can start weaning your baby from 6 months. If you have not yet invested in a high chair, now is the time to do so. Sitting upright while eating prevents choking accidents. Your baby may have a good appetite but not many teeth, so start with foods that they can gum or that will dissolve easily in their mouth.

As they grow you‘ll be able to give them bite-size pieces of whatever you‘re eating. Encourage your baby to drink from a lidded beaker with two handles. Cooled, boiled water is the best drink you can give them. Remember cow's milk is not suitable for children under 12 months.

Stage 1 (From 6 Months)

Baby rice mixed to a runny consistency with breast milk or formula. Offer just one or two spoonfuls to begin with and just once a day. Generally speaking, offer the baby rice at the second feed of the day. Give half their normal milk feed, then 1-2 teaspoons of baby rice, and then finish the milk feed. Continue like this for 2-3 weeks before moving onto Stage 2. Remember to start the feed when you have plenty of time and are relaxed as it may take time!

Stage 2

After a few weeks of baby rice it is time to start introducing new tastes and flavours, such as puréed fruit or vegetables. Puréed carrot, parsnip, apple, pear or mango are good ones to start with. As you progress, you could look to combine different fruit and vegetables - for example carrot and apple, parsnip and pear, carrot and parsnip, and so on. Alternatively you could try mixing the fruit with the baby rice. It is probably best not to introduce too many flavours until baby gets used to each taste you introduce over the coming weeks. Introduce new foods in the middle of the day, along with the milk feed. Then move the baby rice or cereal meal to later in the day.

What you will need to get started:

  • Food processor or hand blender

  • Several plastic weaning spoons

  • For bowls, you can start with tea cups, ramekins or similar as you will only need a small amount. As you move on, getting some plastic bowls is a good idea as your little one will look to grab at them

  • Lidded cup with handles

  • Several plastic-backed bibs

  • Ice cube trays, to freeze extra purees

  • Plastic containers (suitable for freezing) or freezer bags for storage

If your baby started weaning is now approaching the seven month mark, you might consider introducing dairy products like unsweetened yogurts, such as fromage frais.

Stage 3

If your baby started weaning is now approaching the seven month mark, you might consider introducing dairy products like unsweetened yogurts, such as fromage frais.

Stage 4

At this stage you can start to introduce some meat and fish to your baby's diet. Make sure it is completely puréed and that baby is above six months of age. Meats and fish provide baby with a great source of much-needed protein. Try mixing them in with your normal vegetable purée or make a quick casserole with meat and veg that makes a tasty purée.

Stage 5 (when baby is at least 7-8 months)

At this stage you can start to introduce slightly lumpier puréed foods, but never ever leave baby unattended as they can choke in seconds. Remember do not use added sugar or salt and avoid soft-boiled eggs until baby is one year or over.

Stage 6 (when your baby is about 10 months)

By this age your baby will be much more adept at feeding themselves, but will still need help from you. Embrace this wonderfully messy stage with open arms! Give your baby lots of finger foods to try, such as small pieces of toast, small pieces of ripe banana, well-cooked pasta or teething crackers. Be careful of feeding baby anything that is too hard, such as apple slices, that they could choke on. At mealtimes they may be able to grip a cup and drink from it independently (though some children may not do this for a few more months) and hand-feed themselves an entire meal.

Share your weaning comments below.


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