Well-balanced weaning – Getting Ready For Weaning
Your little one is growing and you can’t wait to start weaning. It’s such an exciting time, but as a mum myself, I know it can be quite scary too. When you start googling weaning recipes, the information can be overwhelming! So I’ve broken down a few tips to help you get going below.
Before you even start thinking about what baby food to buy, one of the best tips I was given when I had my first baby (and was full of anxiety about everything ) was to take a baby first aid course so I could turn my fear into knowledge. Check online for a local course, an NCT first aid course, or if there are none close to you, they have online courses as well. Have both parents and whoever will be looking after your baby join in. Once you’ve taken the course, it’s on to the preparations for weaning…
I found it difficult to know how old my baby should be to start weaning and there still seems to be a lot of conflicting information! Tom Pom Organic follows the NHS Start4Life programme which recommends you start weaning around six months. If you think your baby is ready before six months, just have a talk to your doctor and as with everything in parenting – you know your baby best, including when your baby is ready for solids.
So, what are some signs that your baby is ready to start weaning?
There are four signs you should start to look out for:
- Baby can sit upright and hold their head unsupported.
- Your baby shows interest in what others are eating – you know, those big eyes watching you eat dinner as if they are really jealous!
- Your little one must be able to pick up the food and bring it to their mouths. They will do this with other large toys, their dummy or pacifier; you will see that skill develop naturally.
- Baby needs to be able to move food to the back of their mouths to swallow it. This may not be so obvious, but it will the first time you try purées!
Next step, it’s time to shop for all your weaning tools and accessories! Find a high chair, a washable or wipeable bib, a non-breakable bowl and baby spoon. You can buy a fancy baby food maker, but they are a lot of money for a short period of use. A strainer and hand blender will do the same. There are lots of small businesses selling amazing items for weaning online and on Instagram, so enjoy the search.
And it’s now time to decide what to give your baby for their first taste. This is a really big moment, and it’s good to think about this in advance. Studies show that if your baby’s first tastes are single vegetables, including more bitter flavours, that they will have healthier eating habits as they grow. For example, if your baby’s first taste is a mix of three sweet fruits, they won’t know the true taste of each fruit and they are likely to prefer sweet flavours from that point.
I’d recommend starting with vegetables including broccoli, parsnips, sweet potato and carrots. Work your way through each vegetable individually, as it may take several attempts for your baby to accept the flavours. Making your baby food is economical and gives your baby the taste of true natural flavours. Make the first purées with baby’s milk, and start with a smooth purée – you can start to add in texture when baby is ready. Always remember to avoid salt, sugar, saturated fats and babies under one cannot have honey. For the days where you’re tight for time, Tom Pom Organic baby food rings are all allergy-friendly and taste just like home-made – if you fancy having some for back-up in the freezer take a look at our single vegetable purées to help with the beginning of the journey.
Once you have the gear and your menu prepared and your baby is ready to start – it is recommended you kick-off the weaning journey when your baby is healthy, awake and happy. It is best to choose a time of day when you feel relaxed and don’t need to rush, but when you can also have help on hand if you need it.
You are now ready to start your weaning journey! For more tips check out our YouTube videos at Tom Pom Organic, follow us @tompomorganic and we would love to hear about any of your added suggestions for how you prepared for your baby’s weaning journey by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy!