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Every weaning journey is unique, but to help you prepare, we’ve shared some top tips to make the process a little easier for you and your baby.
Make Sure They Are Ready to Start Weaning
While every child is different, babies are typically ready to wean around 6 months of age; once they can hold their head steady and upright, have developed hand and mouth coordination and are swallowing more food than they push back out.
Stick to a Routine
Establishing a set mealtime routine and keeping it regular will make weaning a little easier, as it helps your little one know what to expect. Having a routine creates a sense of familiarity, which makes baby feel safer and more relaxed when trying out new flavours and textures.
Prepare Food in Advance
When you’re weaning a baby, you’ll want the process to be as efficient and time-saving as possible. Preparing ingredients, meals or purees in bulk can save a lot of time. Just store them in tupperware in the fridge or freeze individual portions for later.
You can also make use of pre-prepared baby food products, such as Babease weaning pouches, to save time and have meals ready whenever you need them. These can be particularly handy for on the go feeds and to introduce new and exciting flavours to your little one’s palate.
Start with Veggies
A great way to kick off the weaning process is with vegetables, especially bitter veg. Research from nutritionists suggests that introducing bitter vegetables like broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts early on in the weaning journey can lead to a lifelong enjoyment of eating veggies. That means fewer fights about ‘eating your greens’ throughout childhood!
Offer a Variety of Flavour and Texture
Keeping the weaning journey fun and interesting for your little one will help them stay engaged in the weaning process and more receptive to trying new things. Keep them intrigued by introducing new flavours and a variety of textures as they develop.
Try offering the same ingredient in new ways to keep things fresh, yet familiar. For example, sweet potato could be served mashed one day, in finger food size chunks the next day, and with a sprinkle of cinnamon for flavour on another day.
Encourage Sensory Play
Sensory play is important for weaning, as not only does it keep things fun, but it also helps your little one improve their coordination and develop their brain. It will get messy, but embrace it; it’s an important part of the process!
Encourage the exploration of different textures through mashing, squishing and rearranging their food. If you’re worried about the mess, then laying a plastic sheet on the floor and using a bib should make clearing up a little easier.
It’s easier said than done, but staying patient throughout this process is key. It might be taking an infuriatingly long time for your baby to finish eating, but if you’re getting frustrated, they will pick up on that, and it might become even more challenging.
Try Again with Food They Reject
When you first introduce a new food to your weaning baby, they may not accept it straight away, or they might reject a food they were previously enjoying. Just know that it can take between 6-15 tries for a weaning baby to accept new foods. Stay calm, practice patience and try again.
We hope these tips help you and your little one have a successful and fun weaning journey.