Weaning your baby may seem like a daunting experience but there is no need to worry. Meal times should be fun times! With little to no preparation required, you will find it as rewarding as your baby will. We have compiled a guide to worry free weaning to help you along this exciting time.
When should I start weaning?
You will need to start introducing solid food into your baby’s diet at 6 months of age. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for at least 6 months. Your healthcare professional will guide you through this process as every child has different needs.
This guide is intended as a guideline only and should never replace the advice of a healthcare professional.
How will I know?
As with many cases during weaning, let your baby tell you if he’s ready. Some clues that your baby is ready to try solids are:
- He/she may start to show an interest in your food; perhaps by watching you eat or by grabbing at your food.
- Baby may appear hungrier than usual or appear dissatisfied by a normal milk feed.
- Baby may wake up hungry in the night when before he/she was sleeping through.
Weaning is a great time to engage with your baby and many specialists feel it’s an important way to encourage a sense of well-being.
Remember to be patient. Weaning is a slow process, your baby has to learn how to swallow and explore new textures and sensations. He/she may struggle to finish the food you give him but just like us grown-ups, a baby’s appetite will vary from day-to-day.
You should never force him/her to eat. Always let your baby guide you and develop at his/her own pace.
Beginning the process
The best food to start baby on is organic baby rice cereal. Olli Organic Step 1 Cereal is a gluten-free product and is specially formulated for babies using unpolished brown rice.
- Mix the step 1 rice cereal with your baby’s milk until it reaches the consistency of single cream.
- Avoid introducing your baby to food when she/he’s very tired, hungry or upset. Choose a meal time either at lunch or early evening and make sure you have plenty of time and no distractions.
- Any distress or anxiety on your part will be sensed by your baby.
- Make sure your baby is able to hold his head in an upright position whilst sitting propped up and you are both sitting comfortably.
- Always spoon feed your baby. Never add food to your baby’s bottle. Always remember that you are trying to wean your baby off the bottle as well as teaching them how to eat from a spoon.
- If your baby pushes the food out of his/her month or refuses it, don’t worry, he/she is probably just not quite ready yet, continue breastfeeding and try again in a few days.
- During the early months of weaning, it is important your baby still receives his daily portions of breast milk or infant milk. Your aim is to slowly replace the milk feeds with solid food meals.
- To start with, your baby only needs a taste of solid food then little by little; you can build up his intake, but still give him his milk. Start by reducing the milk given at lunch time or mid-afternoon and increasing the amount of baby rice cereal.
- Once your baby is comfortable with the concept of solid food in the form of a rice cereal, you can start introducing vegetable and fruit purees, one at a time. Olli™ step 1 jars offer single flavour variants in convenient ready to use 80 ml jars.