From around six months old your baby is ready to be weaned and this marks quite a leap in their development.
Your baby will be ready for solid food when you notice the following signs:
- He can sit up and hold his head steady
- His hand eye coordination has developed sufficiently that he can bring objects easily to his mouth
- He is able to swallow
Another sure sign that he is ready is when he starts pinching food from your plate!
To begin with, how much your baby takes is less important than getting them used to the idea of eating. They will still be getting most of their nutrition from breast milk or infant formula.
Babies don’t need three meals a day to start with, so you can begin by offering foods at a time that suits you both.
Gradually, you’ll be able to increase the amount and variety of food your baby eats, until they can eventually eat the same as the rest of the family, in smaller portions.
- Always stay with your baby when they are eating in case they start to choke.
- Let your baby enjoy touching and holding the food.
- Allow your baby to feed themselves, using their fingers, as soon as they show an interest. Place the food directly onto the tray of the highchair and allow them to pick the food up at their own pace.
- Don’t force your baby to eat – wait until the next time if they’re not interested this time.
- If you’re using a spoon, wait for your baby to open their mouth before you offer the food. Your baby may like to hold a spoon, too. You can put pureed food directly onto the tray too so that they can try to feed themselves.
- Start your baby with soft cooked fruit and vegetables (or mashed) such as carrot, sweet potato, broccoli, pear apple. Raw foods such as avocado and banana are very good options.
Weaning should be a fun time for your both!