Sometimes helping your baby transition from milk to solids isn’t all smooth sailing. Our expert tips will help make the change easier.
While weaning your baby is an exciting milestone, sometimes parents battle to get their baby onto solids. We chat with registered professional nurse and midwife, Pippa Hime from My Midwife, for tips on how to make the transition easier for both you and your baby.
Know this before starting solids
Weaning usually takes place at around six months, but your baby may be ready for solids as early as four months.
Wait for your baby to show signs of being ready to start solids. Signs such as waking in the night after previously sleeping well, starting to show an interest in what you’re eating, and putting all objects to his mouth. He should be able to hold his head steady for around 10 minutes in a supported sitting position.
Try to establish a good habit of feeding. Feed your baby in a specific area using a high chair or booster seat. This will prevent you from chasing your little one around the house with a bowl and spoon!
Allow your child the opportunity to make a mess. It’s all-new for him and he’ll love the feeling of squishing his newfound ‘food’ between his fingers and smearing it around. You can do a big hose down at the end of mealtime!
Try to use fresh ingredients whenever possible. Buy some baby recipe books and get cooking. Remember you can freeze extra food in ice-cube trays – the perfect portion sizes for little ones.
When introducing a new food apply the ‘3-day rule’ to ensure your baby doesn’t have any adverse or allergic reactions to the new food.
Keep calm and carry on. Toddlers can be difficult to feed so try to relax and remember it’s just food and it just needs to be eaten! The tenser you are the more your little one will play up too.
Try to eat as a family as often as possible. Your toddler will enjoy the social side of eating.
Variety is vital. Try to vary your toddler’s diet as much as possible. It’s easy to get stuck on feeding one thing all the time because he likes it, but you want him to have a well-rounded palate and a healthy appetite.
Toddlers don’t have huge appetites so try to keep portion sizes smaller but more frequent. This may be easier if you include nutritious snacks throughout the day such as yoghurt, sandwiches, or fruit.
Get creative. Most meals can be turned into farmyard animals, oceans of fish, cars, or smiley faces. The more interesting the food looks, the more likely your toddler will dive into it and munch away.