Essential weaning guide

If you're about to start giving your baby solids, or don't know whether your baby is ready to begin weaning, read our expert info for the answers you need

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Weaning guide

Moving your baby from milk to solids is an exciting but daunting milestone. We’ve created a step-by-step guide helping you at each stage – from very first foods to more adventurous flavours and textures.

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So, if you’re think about weaning, what are the first things you need to do?

Check your baby is ready

The Department of Health guidelines recommend that you start weaning at 6 months. By this stage your baby will be able to learn to chew, swallow food and pick up food to eat.

There are a number of signs that your baby is or isn’t ready – including head and neck control and hand coordination.

When to start weaning and signs your baby is ready to wean

You can also see what our mums are saying about their weaning journeys on the forum

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How to start weaning

Start with baby rice – it’s got a similar taste to milk and has quite a bland texture.

Cover up, and sit him on your lap. Babies need to learn how to push food to the back of their mouth with their tongues and then swallow it. This can be messy!

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Essential weaning guide

Begin with a spoonful of baby rice. Mix it with some of your baby’s usual milk. It should have the consistency of a runny yoghurt.

At the beginning, start off with her normal milk then try the baby rice. Finish the feed with more breast or bottle milk.

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Essential weaning guide

Don’t overload the spoon with food. Use a shallow weaning spoon and allow your baby to feel the new texture of the food in her mouth before giving another her spoonful.

If your baby isn’t keen on spoon-feeding, gently rub a clean finger with a small amount of food on it over her lips instead. Wait another day before trying again.

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Essential weaning guide

In the first few weeks, carry on with the milk feed as normal. Your baby will need them as well as the solids you’re introducing.

Expect your baby to eat one to six teaspoonfuls per feed.

Milk will remain her main source of nutrients until she’s over a year old.

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Essential weaning guide

After two weeks, try introducing other foods. Ideal first foods for purees include pear, dessert apple, banana, carrot, sweet potato and butternut squash.

Avoid nuts, shellfish, exotic fruits, eggs and egg products and cow’s milk as these could cause an allergic reaction.

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Make sure the fruit and vegetables you have are fresh and, if possible, use organic produce.

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