As a mum of 2 children, I think that only the very best will do when it comes to their health and happiness. All parents will certainly agree on that! When I started giving solid foods to my babies I was probably not aware enough of all the aspects this new step will be involving. I have gathered for you below the main aspects and some recommendations of the Health Department. Hope you find them useful!
Your little one may be ready to taste one or two solid foods, this exciting step is called “weaning”, which means you move your baby away from a milk only diet to a diet containing a variety of solid foods.
Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first 6 months, unless otherwise advised by your health professional, solid foods in any form should not be started any earlier than 6 months. Many mums choose delaying weaning a bit longer and continuing to breastfeed, as we all know that breastmilk is such a perfect food for a baby.
Nevertheless, your baby does need to start eating some solids at about 6 months, as milk alone will not provide all the nutrients your little one needs for starting the second half of a busy first year!
You will have to find the perfect moments for introducing the very first food: not too early but not too late.
Is your baby ready?
You may want to consider introducing first foods when your baby:
- does not seem satisfy with the usual amount of milk and starts to demand more feeds
- appears to be more restless and starts to wake in the night, especially if he has learned to sleep through
- shows an interest in your food
When and how to introduce foods?
- choose a time of day when your baby is active, he will be more interested in new things.
- choose a time when your baby is not starving, because he will want and expect milk. Half way through a milk feed may be a good time.
- hold your baby upright on your lap so he can swallow easily.
- offer the food on a small plastic spoon or on the end of your clean finger.
Are you fully equiped for weaning? You will probably find that you already have most of the equipment needed to make home-cooked meals for your child but certain items will facilitate food preparation.
Equipment does not need to be expensive or complicated but you should look for items that will make preparing solid foods easy for you and that will later help your baby learn how to feed himself.
- processors and blenders: electric food processors, liquidizers or hand blenders make it easy to puree large quantities of food quickly.
Hand-held blenders are easy to clean and ideal for small quantities and to keep purees in the container provided with the blender.
Note: a metal-mesh sieve can be used to eliminate any fibrous material from purees for babies.
- Baby chairs: A good bouncy chair that supports the back is ideal for babies who cannot yet sit unaided. Once he can sit upright, your little one can progress to a rigid highchair with safety harness.
Bouncy chairs are lightweight and may recline in different positions.
Highchair should be wide based and sturdy with a wipe-clean tray.
- Feeding kit: All you will need to start with is a small weaning bowl and a shallow plastic spoon, preferably made of soft, flexible plastic that will not hurt your baby’s tender gums.
– suction-pads on bowls allow them to be secured to highchair trays
– feeding cups enable babies to learn to take fluids independently
– children’s cutlery should be made for little hands
Bibs: feeding can be messy! Protect your baby’s clothes with a bib.
– soft cotton bibs should have a plastic backing
– bibs with sleeves give the best all-over protection when your baby starts to feed himself
– soft plastic pelican bibs with a shallow through are suitable for older babies.
At Motherslove we are stocking Boon products to assist you through your baby’s weaning step. As you may know a boon is something extremely useful and helpful and Boon Inc really honors its name as it offers the most innovative and practical products for your little one’s feeding. So if you do not know Boon Inc, be ready to be oohed and aahed over every products!