Being Dad Feeding Time How To

How to successfully wean your little one

Avatar photo
Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Confused about how to wean your baby? Follow this advice for a smooth transition from liquids to solids.

You’ve nailed all your milk feeds and now it’s time to introduce solid foods. But where do you start? And when? And how? The following guide will help you through this sometimes challenging stage in both a parent’s and child’s life.

When is the best time to start weaning?

All UK health departments and the World Health Organisation recommend nothing but breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life. Babies are rarely developmentally read for solid food before about six months of age.

How do I know if my baby’s ready to start having solids?

At around six months most babies will show signs they are ready for solid food. The important thing to remember is that if your baby is ready, all three of these signs will be there:

  1. Coordinate their eyes, hand and mouth, and can look at food, grab it and put it in their mouth by themselves.
  2. Stay in a sitting position and can hold their head steady.
  3. Swallow their food. Small babies instinctively use their tongues to push foreign objects out of their mouths. And until this reflex fades, they are likely to do the same thing to a spoon or a piece of banana.
What kind of implements are out there to help me with weaning?

There are plenty to help you. From spoons designed especially for feeding babies to handy little food pots that allow you to fill them up with teeny portions, perfectly sized for small mouths. There are even food processors that let you steam cook, blend (to your desired consistency) and reheat your baby’s food. The Babycook 4-in-1 food processor from Beaba, who have a range of uber-helpful weaning and feeding products, is a great example of this.

What are the best things to give to my baby when we first start introducing solids?

Try smooth baby cereal or baby rice mixed with your little one’s usual milk. You can introduce pureed or mashed veggies or fruit. Good starter foods include pureed ripe bananas, cooked apples, pears carrot spinach, potato or peas. From six months your baby can also try finger foods like avocado and banana. And also soft cooked and cooled sticks of veg and fruit like sweet potato, carrot apple or pear.