Updated: Jan 7, 2020
Weaning is an exciting time for any mum. It’s amazing to watch your little one begin to experiment with new flavours and textures. Oh but the mess!! Don’t even get me started on the mess! I have many mums visiting my photography studio in Salisbury for sitter sessions or first birthday portraits who have shared their experience of weaning – so much has changed since my own were little.
I’ve pulled together all of their top weaning tips for you here along with a fab finger food recipe too!
Is My Baby Ready For Solids?
Most babies are ready for solids around the age of 6 months but there are some clear signs to look out for that indicate your baby might be ready.
- They can stay in a sitting position and hold their head steady
- They can co-ordinate their hands, eyes and mouth, so they can pick food up and put it in their mouths themselves
- They can swallow food (rather than spit it out)
You can find out more about the signs your baby is ready here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/solid-foods-weaning/
If you aren’t sure or want to start weaning earlier than 6 months, your health visitor will be able to offer great advice. The health visiting team for the Salisbury area can be contacted here: https://wiltshirechildrensservices.co.uk/health-visiting/teams/wiltshire-health-visitors/
Weaning is a messy business. You’ll be encouraged to let your baby feed themselves and this can cause all sorts of mayhem. Luckily there are some precautions you can take to help keep the mess to a minimum.
You’ll need more bibs than you think! Although cloth bibs are useful for milk feeds, they are less protective of clothing than plastic weaning bibs. Lots of my mums swear by the long-sleeved bibs that have a plastic backing. More recently I’ve had a couple of mums who have visited me for first birthday portraits mention these bibs which look fabulous at stopping most of the meal hitting the floor: https://tidytot.com/
Our friends at Coverbugs also offer an easy solution to keeping your highchair clean at home, as well as trolleys and car seats when you're out and about: https://coverbugs.co.uk/
Great foods to introduce first are foods that your baby can hold themselves but that are soft and easy to eat. Sweet potato wedges or soft fruits like banana or ripe avocado are perfect. Think about food that is really easy to mush once it’s in your baby’s mouth. Don’t worry about the volume they eat – food before one is just for fun. You might be surprised at the change in your baby’s nappies when you think they haven’t eaten much at all!
Recommendations from our mums
One of our mums, Anne, has these recommendations, which worked perfectly for her little boy:
- Low salt alternatives to your own meals
- Pasta is life! Make up batches of meals using pasta hoops (from Italian delis) and veggies, and freeze them for later
- Finger foods (with some assistance!)
This is a fab recipe one of my clients passed to me for Porridge fingers. It’s a great breakfast or snack food and can be cooked in advance and stored in a container in the fridge for a couple of days. It’s also great to pack up and take out for the day.
Makes 6 servings
¾ cup porridge oats
⅔ cup milk of your choice
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup of soft fruit of your choice – banana is good as are berries
Pour the oats into a small flat-bottomed microwaveable dish
Pour over the milk
Mash the fruit with the cinnamon
Add the fruit to the dish and stir everything until it’s mixed well
Use a spoon to press the mixture down into the bottom of the dish
Cook in the microwave for 2 minutes on high
Cut into fingers and serve when cool
I’d love to know if you enjoy this recipe.
If your little one is sitting sturdily it’s also a brilliant time to think about booking your sitter session. They are growing up so quickly, this is the perfect milestone to capture their personality – you can even bring along their favourite finger food. See more about my sitter sessions here: https://www.littlebeanbabyphotography.co.uk/bigger-beans
Hopefully see you soon!