All new things can be stressful. Starting your baby on solid foods is no different.
But you’ll learn things as you go—and as you do, you’ll be able to let go and enjoy the ride.
Today, the Wild & Stone team is walking you through the basics of baby weaning. And as a plus, we’ll give you a few pointers on how to do it in an eco-friendly way.
According to the NHS, you should aim to breastfeed for the first 6 months of your baby's life.
"Exclusive breastfeeding (breast milk only) is recommended for around the first 6 months of your baby's life. Breastfeeding alongside solid foods is best for babies from 6 months. You and your baby can carry on enjoying the benefits of breastfeeding for as long as you like." Source: NHS.
In other words, the ideal time to introduce your child to solid foods is from six months onwards.
Aside from the nutritional aspect, the act of eating is also the initiation of baby humans into society. A few tips later (and they're right below), your baby will start greeting the family seated at the table.
You can choose between two methods—the old school method and baby-led weaning. No two babies are alike, so it’s best to figure out what works for you right at the table.
Each method has its pros and cons. While traditional weaning is gradual, baby-led weaning is more personalised, following your baby’s natural pace.
And while spoon-feeding may be easier for some, the self-feeding approach helps your baby explore food more independently.
First off, you don’t want to start weaning too early. Babies aren’t able to ingest and process solids before they're 17 weeks old.
You should start weaning only after your baby has reached 6 months of age.
Your little one can be ready to advance their eating habits even at 4 months of age, but before making any changes, talk to your doctor. Yet, if your baby checks all the boxes below, it’s a good time for action.
Pro Tip: Before you start with spoon-feeding, make sure to watch out for false signs that may mislead you to think your baby is ready for weaning:
How your weaning baby will adapt to the new eating lifestyle depends both on you and your baby. But this is a process, so try not to force anything.
At first, solid food will be a mere addition to your baby’s usual milk feeds, so start with small amounts.
The primary source of energy and nutrients for babies at this stage is still breast milk or infant formula. Thus, stay focused on gradually helping them get used to new tastes and textures.
Below are some tips to make weaning easier and more fun:
It’s time to give wings to your little food explorer, and you’ll do that by offering a variety of foods in the first year of your baby’s life.
Don’t skimp when it comes to variety. By offering an abundance of tastes (including those that are not sweet, such as spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower), you can prevent babies from being too picky at the table down the road.
Start with meals of steamed, mashed or soft-cooked parsnip, potato, sweet potato, and carrot. Below we’ve outlined some ideas on what to avoid.
Around 6 months of age, your baby will most likely become better at moving food around their mouth, as well as chewing and swallowing. You can skip baby rice and other smooth, blended foods and cut right to the chase if this is the case.
This is the time to go ahead with the baby-led weaning method and give the baby pieces of food to self-feed.
The sooner you encourage babies to eat independently, the faster they’ll develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
Make sure you start with safe weaning foods. Pieces of fruit and vegetables should be big enough so the baby can hold them in their fist.
Self-feeding can come with the risk of choking—so start with finger food that breaks up easily in your baby’s mouth. Another way to avoid the risk is to omit raw carrots, apples, and nuts from the menu.
Need ideas for what finger foods to include?
For a great variety of organic baby meals and snacks to help your little one get all the vitamins and nutrients they need, check out Piccolo. Selling over 40 products that can be found nationwide across the UK, packed with ethically sourced and sustainably farmed ingredients from independent farmers. Shop their products today.
To put traditional or baby-led-weaning into practice, you’ll need a little help from the outside. It takes a little more than a high chair and a bib to launch the adventure.
Think baby-friendly spoons, plates, and bowls. Single-use plastics aren't ideal for babies as they can be hard on gums. And they’re also pretty hard on nature.
Suffice is to know that by 2050, virtually every seabird species on the planet will be eating plastic.
The Wild & Stone’s You Are My Sunshine Baby Weaning Bowl and Spoon are baby and eco-friendly—nurturing both little humans and nature.
The set helps your baby transition to solids more easily as it’s secured in place with a suction cup base. Moreover, it’s made of Moso Bamboo, which, unlike plastics, causes minimal harm to the environment.
So why is this bamboo weaning set your best weaning ally?
Want more? Have a peek at other Wild & Stone eco-friendly products that can help you further along the weaning process.
What better way to celebrate a milestone than letting your baby show off its feeding talents on an eco-friendly picnic. Check out our Bamboo Picnic Cutlery Set.
And why not take some beeswax wraps with you to pack your yummy goodies in? Check out our awesome reusable Beeswax Food Wraps.
So, there you go, a few tips to help your baby transition to solid food meals. And a little more, a way to make weaning part of the bigger story—of leaving the world a little better than we found it.
Our bamboo weaning sets help you get through the day more easily (as some of our verified buyers can attest).
We also make sure our production and distribution processes are as green as can be.
So far, Wild & Stone has raised over £4,000 for the Marine Conservation Society. Join us to raise even more and help rid the world of unnecessary plastics.
Doubting your impact? Only one brand, namely Wild & Stone, prevented 100,000 plastic items from being sold and subsequently sent to landfills.
Browse through our eco-friendly shop, start your plastic-free journey and see what your personal impact can be.