weaning 2Weaning is the gradual ending of your baby’s total dependency on milk. However, whether they are breast fed or bottle fed, milk is still the most important part of your baby’s diet.

It is recommended to continue your baby on at least 500ml of milk every day until they are 12 months old.

The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months. From about 6 months, babies need more than just milk feeds, and so spoon feeding or mashed foods known as ‘solids’ are introduced to provide the extra nutrients that baby needs.

It is important not to introduce solid food before your child is 17 weeks and no later than 26 weeks.

Your child will show signs of being ready for solid food which will include
  • Being able to sit up with support and control head movement
  • Bringing their hands up to their mouth and maybe putting objects in their mouth
  • Being alert and seeming unsatisfied after feeds and demanding more feeds
  • Showing an interest in your food
First foods to try

The amount of food a baby takes will increase gradually. For the first few weeks you can expect your baby to take anything from 1-6 teaspoons of food atweaning 4 a time.

Often the best food to start your baby weaning with is a baby rice cereal.
The rice cereal should be mixed with either breast or formula milk until it is a soft runny consistency. Once your baby gets used to swallowing runny cereal it can be mixed with less liquid. Never add rice cereal to a baby’s bottle.

Remember some babies take to solids right from the start, while others are less enthusiastic, but be patient and keep trying.
Introduce one new food at a time and allow your baby get used to it before starting another. If your baby has a reaction to a particular food, such as diarrhea, a rash or vomiting, you will know easily which food is the culprit!

Recommended foods to start weaning on are
  • Gluten fweaning foods midree cereals

Once your baby has mastered cereals then introduce:

  • Pureed fruits (bananas and pears are good to start off with)
  • Pureed vegetables such as potato, carrots, butternut squash
  • Pureed meats
Foods to avoid when weaning your baby are
  • Nuts, peanut butter
  • Eggs
  • Fish, shell fish
  • Citrus fruits
  • Honey
  • Salt and sugar

It is recommended to continue your baby on at least 500ml of milk every day until they are 12 months old.