Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How to start weaning.

Welcome to "weaning part 2". Your baby is over 17 weeks old, able to sit up and putting everything in their mouth. (See previous blog, Weaning and when to start.)

So, now you have decided that it’s time to start on solids, what should you do? To begin with, the aim is to teach your baby how to swallow food rather than to actually feed them. They should carry on having the same amount as milk as before as the amount of calories that they will get from the ‘solid’ food will be minimal. 

Choose a time when you baby hasn’t just had a milk feed but isn’t overly tired. It doesn’t really matter what time of day it is. Start with something simple like baby rice or fruit or vegetable purée. The consistency of the food should be relatively runny but not too runny. Put baby in highchair. I would advise giving them something to play with, like another spoon (my first son just used to snatch the spoon and we’d end up using about 4 spoons each feed.) Bibs are definitely advisable, you can get ones that cover the arms as well, we call them radiation suits. Put a small amount on the end of the spoon and get it into the baby’s mouth. Sounds easy doesn’t it? Your baby will probably turn their head in every way other than where you want it, it’s okay to steady their head so that they don’t get purée in their eye. Try to place the food on the roof of their mouth as it will stand a better chance of staying in their mouth.

It’s amazing, you put some food in and 3 seconds later, twice as much comes out. Until now, they’ve only sucked on either a breast or a bottle so when you put the food in their mouth, they try and suck it, the result being that it is pushed forward and out of their mouth. Don’t worry, they will get there in the end.

In the next blogs, we'll look at 'What to give them' and 'The Rules'.