All mashed up or a hands on approach to weaning? When to start weaning your baby and which method to choose?!

Talk of the table....

In most cases, your baby will be ready to go on to solids from around 6 months old. This is called the weaning stage.

By six months, your baby should also be able to sit properly and grasp objects and most babies will have started to cut a tooth or two as well as developing better jaw and tongue coordination. If your baby suffers with reflux, you might be advised by your doctor or health visitor to wean earlier.

Face First!  At the beginning, try not to worry too much if most of the food tends to go all over your baby’s face ( that’s what Funky Giraffe Bibs are for!) as your baby at this stage, will still be getting most of their nutrition from your breast milk or from baby formula, if you are bottle feeding.

How do you start? That depends whether or not you choose puree or spoon feeding baby as opposed to Baby Led Weaning. (A very popular foodie fad!) It’s very exciting offering your baby their first taste of food, but it can be quite scary too, as it’s another milestone for you both. Don’t worry, take a look at these tips for getting started.

Never leave your baby unattended when they are eating, in case they choke. This applies to both ways of feeding your baby.
Let your baby enjoy touching the food! Yes, it can get messy but that’s what bibs and highchair tables are for! If you have chosen BLW, you let your baby lead the way and start with finger foods, rather than purees from the outset
If your baby is not keen to try the food, never force the issue, but wait until later to try again.
Never force a spoon into their mouth. Let your baby open their mouth for the food. Some people recommend allowing the baby to hold a spoon at the same time as you. Allow your baby to get used to the feel of the spoon in their mouth.
Only offer a very small amount of food at first and limit to once a day. At this point, they do not need to have three meals a day either. Once your baby has started to accept the food, you can increase the amount and frequency it is offered.
Think Goldilocks and test the food before feeding your baby! You do not want to give food that is too hot or too cold, but just right!
Never add salt or sugar to your baby’s food. If you are going the puree way, then include foods like, mashed potato, soft cooked vegetables like parsnips, carrots or fruits such as apples and pears.

So which side of the table do you sit on? In our recent FaceBook impromptu discussion, the overwhelming majority of comments appeared to be in favour of BLW. This “ messy method” allows babies to literally get stuck into food and explore different tastes and textures.

Here are just some of the comments in favour of BLW:- “ At 15 weeks he grabbed a banana and ate half!” “Fantastic eater” and “ Eats everything”, with some mum’s choosing to do a combination of both puree and BLW.  Spoon fed babies were also described as "great eaters."

Our top tip? At the end of the day, as always, choose the method and the timing that best suits your baby and you. Try and stay relaxed around mealtimes, as your child’s attitude towards food is shaped by those of their parents. Just remember to have plenty of bibs to hand whichever method you choose!

What tips have you got to share? We would love to hear from you!

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