The little one is growing at a rapid rate and so are their taste buds. The boobs, exposing yourself in public, having to sterilise everything and the constant bottle filling, just isn't cutting it on it's own and that signals the start of a new era; weaning is upon you!
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The prospect of weaning can be a daunting one. Advice on when to start, when to know if your baby is ready, or whether to go with baby led v’s traditional weaning can leave parents feeling like they are light years behind before they have even begun!
So we have teamed up with the wonderful Babease to pull together everything you need to know about weaning. From start to finish.
So lets get started, how do you know when to begin?
At the moment the World Health Organisation recommends that babies are exclusively breast fed for the first 6 months and that weaning should begin after this time. Now, as we all know, this is not often always the way it is. As parents we know that every baby, and every situation is different, so it is important that you do what you feel is right for your baby and to help we have put together the 3 signs that your baby is ready to start weaning.
1) Able to sit up : Before weaning can begin and this may seem obvious, babies will need to be able to sit up! This developmental mile stone is key in allowing them to engage with the weaning process properly but additionally being in an upright position when weaning, is key for digestion and the prevention of chocking. So, if your baby is not able to sit up then they are not ready to wean.
2) Hand to mouth co-ordination: Second to the ability to sit up is the ability for babies to co-ordinate getting the food from their hand and into their mouth. Be it through the use of a weaning spoon or with finger food, babies need to be able to feed themselves. This encourages independence but also ensures they are eating at a pace that works for them and also eating amounts that they feel they are able to manage.
3) Able to swallow: Young babies have a tongue-thrust reflex which means they instinctively use their tongues to push objects out of their mouths. Until this reflex fades, your baby will push any food out of their mouth and will end up with more food on their face than in their tummy.
When you've seen all these signs it means your baby is ready for solid food! Good luck and let us know how you get on!
NOTE: There can also be a few signs that are mistaken for a baby being ready for weaning: • waking in the night when they had previously been sleeping through. • wanting extra milk feeds and chewing fists