Weaning is one of the hardest and yet most fun parts of bringing up a baby. Teaching them how to eat, try new foods and help them grow into a lover of the variety of foods there are about.
It is hard though, working out how to start off, which way you will feed, baby-led or spoon-led, what to feed, when to try different foods, there is so many decisions, and even though Joseph is my third child, it hasn't been any more easier than with the other boys.
I thought today, as part of our Vital Baby #WeaningWarriors role, that I would give my top tips to help when it comes to weaning. I follow these 6 tips and, so far, Joseph is enjoying his journey into solid food. So, here are my 6 top tips for weaning...
This is the main one. When you are planning to wean, get prepared. Don't just start when you haven't got everything sorted. You need to be persistent and cannot be stopping and starting with weaning because you aren't fully prepared. Stock up on jars and pouches if you are using ready made baby foods and make sure you have all the utensils to hand. The Vital Baby Feeding Kit Bundle gives you everything you will need for the weaning process. And if your're weaning above a brand new cream carpet, make sure you have a blanket or towel down to protect it!
Let Your Baby Set The Pace
All children are different and learn at their own pace so it's important to follow your babies natural pace and not rush them. Responsive feeding is key here. Learn the signs of when your baby has had enough and don't push it. Like adults, sometimes babies just aren't as hungry as other times and so might not eat the same amount all the time.
Teething Doesn't Have To Be A Pain
Teething is a hard time for babies and parents too. Not settling at night, the pains they get, and the fact that it will more than likely put your baby of his food as it hurts to eat. I've found the foods such as tubes yoghurt's are great for teething babies as it's cooling and you can even put them in the freezer for a little while so your baby can grind their gums against it.
Finger Foods Are Key
When your baby had mastered chewing and is a little pro at munching their way through foods, make sure to offer finger foods as the next step as this will teach them how to handle food properly and eventually manage to get it to their own mouth so they can feed themselves. Steamed carrots and broccoli are great to start with, following on to other veg and sandwiches and toast when they're ready.
Trial And Error
Weaning is all about trial and error. Keep trying different food and you'll eventually start to learn what your baby does and doesn't like. If your baby turns his nose up at something then just try something else and then come back to it a different day.
But most of all...
Make It Fun
If you get stressed as your baby hasn't eaten something, then so will he. Finger foods are great for fun feeding time because I find that if I make it fun, sounds and all, popping a carrot into my mouth and pulling faces will make Joseph do the same whilst chuckling away this will help your baby develop a healthy relationship with food.
So there you have it, my 6 tips for weaning. Do you have any other tips to add?