Four Top Weaning Tips

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Feeding childIt’s going to get messy … but it’s going to be fun! Here are Giraffe’s four top weaning tips to get your little one set on the road to solid food:

1. Choose your moment

Teaching anyone a new life skill is going to be hard if the pupil is tired, cross or – ironically in this case – hungry. So don’t wait until your baby is screaming in hunger and maybe feed her just a little earlier than normal. In this way she won’t be frustrated by the fact that her hand to mouth coordination needs a little work and more food is spilling out than actually going in. Gently encourage her, with plenty of eye contact and smiles. For babies you can attract attention by zooming the spoon into their mouth and making funny train or plane noises to hold their interest. A few months on and your little one might like to copy you with her own cutlery. Eat together and lead by example.

2. Patience is a virtue

 Weaning is an exciting time, often for both parent and child. But sometimes, baby simply doesn’t want to know. While you can’t wait to teach her the difference between a banana and an apple, she may still be content to breastfeed or bottle-feed and shows little or no sign of interest in your mushy courgette puree. If this is the case, don’t worry. Simply try again in a few days or a week. Show her how you and your family enjoy eating different foods and encourage her with different flavours and colours. She will get there, as all children do, but it might just take a little time.

3. Variety is key

In the early stages it is important to introduce new foods one at a time, so as not to overwhelm your baby or risk digestive issues (or allergies). Once weaning is more established, make sure to offer your baby different tastes on a regular basis. You wouldn’t choose to eat carrots at every meal, so realistically why should your baby, regardless of whether they’re pureed, lightly mashed or teamed with baby rice? On the subject of texture, once your baby has mastered the basics and a few teeth are present, change it up by offering lumps, bumps and crunchy stuff to enjoy and explore.

4. Prepare for mess

 Yes, we’re afraid your kitchen or dining room is going to get trashed. Weaning means a lot of cleaning and you can’t really prevent it! What you can do, though, is lessen the effects of the chaos by investing in a couple of key objects. A wipe clean mat placed on the floor directly under your baby’s highchair can save carpets and time spent picking bits of rice cake out of crevices. A washable bib can save at least one change of clothes on your baby’s daily wardrobe rotation! Having a steady supply of baby wipes or washcloths can help too. Oh, and don’t forget to duck…

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