Time flies when you have a little one – it’s as though you blink and before you know it, your tiny little newborn has become a fully fledged infant!
Introducing your child to the world of food can be a fun journey. However for new parents, the experience can often be nerve wracking and overwhelming.
There are several ways to go about starting solids and there’s no right or wrong way to go about it. The most important part is knowing when your baby is ready to start. Not sure? Look for these cues:
- Your baby is over 4 months of age, generally 4-6 months of age
- Your baby is starting to eyeball your dinner plate and show an interest in what’s happening around them at dinnertime. They may start to steal food from your plate, or open and close their mouth while watching you eat
- Your baby is able to sit upright with support and has good head and neck control
One of the biggest dilemmas parents face is deciding how to introduce solid foods to their baby. The two most common options include Purees or Baby Led Weaning.
You might remember stories of your parents steaming up your first foods, either blitzing it in a food processor or carefully mashing it by hand – welcome to puree! Infants tend to start with these first, before they progress to more challenging textures. Introducing a range of foods is essential across their food journey, and nearly everything can be pureed: from cereal, to fruit and veggies, to meat and other legumes. The great thing about pureed food is that you can generally freeze excess portions, ready to grab for the next meal. Easy!
The essentials you’ll need: bibs and a few bowl/spoon sets
Baby Led Weaning
Baby-led weaning is when you skip the puree stage altogether, and simply let your baby feed themselves. Once again, you would start with soft foods that are easy to handle, and that encourage self feeding. Babies begin self feeding by grabbing food with their fists, and eventually move towards developing a pincer grip that allows them to pick up and handle food with ease. When your child begins Baby Led Weaning, there may be a little more play than eating at first – this is normal! Grabbing, touching and eventually moving to their mouth is all part of the process.
The essentials you’ll need: bibs, plates, bowls, cutlery as time progresses
Remember: you can also use a combination of these weaning techniques for your baby’s solid food journey – this will allow your baby to experience a variety of textures and food types over their months. Whatever you choose, when you’re ready to dive into the solid food journey, we’re here to help!
Our range of feeding and tableware essentials will make your life easier – from silicone bibs to suction bowls, plates and cutlery. All are made from food-grade silicone that is BPA free with no plastic, PVC or nasties. They’ll contain the mess, are dishwasher safe, and will most importantly help to promote self feeding and independence in your growing child.
It’s important to remember that solids do not replace breastmilk or formula for the first twelve months – you may have heard the saying ‘food before one is just for fun!’ The amount of solids that your child eats is not as important as the experiences and the variety of textures you are introducing.
Of course, if you’re concerned about your child’s journey, it is important to seek guidance from your child health nurse or general practitioner.
What were some of your baby’s favourite first foods?
Written by Mamajags Media on behalf of Wild Ivy Lane.
Photo Credit: @thevaratribe