How to wean your baby from bottle

In today’s post we will be covering some basic guidelines for all the new mums who are not very sure what the best practices on how to wean your baby from bottle.

Endless baskets full of sodden crusted dirty bibs and clothes seem to be the only thing you wash when you have a newborn. You could possibly have hundreds of bibs, yet that would not be enough to keep up with the amount of times your wonderful little one decides that they no longer want all that milk in their tummy, and we all know that it has to go somewhere! So when the day comes that your baby begins to show an interest in food, you couldn’t feel happier!

Mother with alot of washing

Endless baskets of washing?

When to start weaning your baby?

Effectively, weaning shouldn’t really start until your baby is at least 6 months old. A baby’s digestive system needs time to develop so that they are able to cope with hot and cold solid food. So for the first six months, your little one will need nothing more than formula or breast milk.

If you still have doubts, please read our guide on how long you should be breastfeeding for.

It’s also important to remember that your little one will also not need the standard three meals a day, at least yet anyway! So do not worry if your child doesn’t seem interested with solid food, there is nothing wrong with that. How much your baby eats is much less important than actually getting them used to the idea of eating solid food for themselves.

You have to let your baby naturally want to eat; you are not going to be able to force them to eat something that they have never seen before. Don’t worry about ending up having a high needs baby. It’s all about getting your child interested in food. Now for most babies, this should not be a hard task at all!

For most of their life’s already they have been either munching on their own hand or trying to gobble yours up, so introducing a soft piece of pear may be a welcome difference to them. Eating for the first time will be exciting for them, they will be touching, smelling and tasting something which they never would have experienced before. Let your little one discover and explore the new flavours and textures of the wonderful thing we call food.

Baby Eating food

Let your little one discover and explore new flavours

So when will you know that your baby is ready to eat solid food? There are usually three signs to look out for. One being that they can now stay sitting up unaided and hold their head steady. They should also be able to fully coordinate themselves, this meaning that they are able to use their eyes, hands and mouth to successfully pick up the food and eat themselves. Thirdly, your baby should be able to swallow food. If your little one is not ready or able to do this, they will simply push the food back out.

If you are about to wean your child, there are some important points to remember to help you get started. Make sure that whenever you feed your child, you never leave them alone as they could begin to choke whilst you are not in the room with them. A big key pointer of getting your child to feed on solid food is that they need to be interested in what they eat. They need to be interested in food (which I’m pretty sure they will be!)

Let your baby grab hold of the food themselves and chew and nibble on it as much as they like. They need to experience it! Don’t force your little one food if they do not want it as you can always try again another day. Always give your baby a small portion of food. Remember, they are only little and they have been so used to just drinking milk, solid food may fill them up quite quickly at first. Offer them small weaning spoons sized portions at a time and if it’s hot, always cool it down or check before they munch away!

When you are ready to start to introduce your baby into solid food, make sure you have the right equipment to do it.

What are weaning spoons?

Weaning spoons are the tool to introduce a baby to solid food, like soups. Silicone tipped ones are the most recommended type.

What portion should your baby have?

From 6 months they should have 5 to 10 spoonfuls per meal (weaning spoons), in 2 to 3 meals a day.

Average feeding portion

The average feeding portion size

Here is a few handy tips for when you begin to wean your child.

  • Be careful when you introduce food as they may be allergic to nuts, soya, wheat etc…
  • Carry on feeding your child milk alongside the introduction of solid food
  • Introduce food such as mashed or soft fruit such as apple, pears or banana’s or vegetables such as parsnips, potatoes, sweet potato or even baby food.
  • If you are looking to introduce more interesting foods you could prepare soft cooked meat, chicken or fish.
  • Introduce drinking cups which is filled with water to have with meals.
  • Most importantly, get them used to eat healthily at a young age

Do You Have The Right Equipment For Weaning?

Having the right weaning equipment makes such a huge difference, and yet many parents don’t realise that special weaning spoons and weaning bowls are even available. There’s a big difference between a plastic bowl, a baby’s food bowl, and a weaning bowl, and there’s also a lot of difference between plastic spoons, toddler spoons and weaning spoons.

Feeding a baby
Weaning your baby

One of the important design features of a weaning spoon is that it is soft, rounded and slightly flexible. A young child’s gums are very soft and sensitive, and any spoon is going to rub against them every single mouthful. Some toddler spoons and plastic spoons can be flatter, with slightly sharper edges, and this can be uncomfortable for your little one. Weaning spoons tend to be slightly thicker, and this aids comfort. A little flexibility also helps when your child moves quickly whilst the spoon is still in their mouth.

Weaning spoons
Weaning Spoons for your little one

Weaning bowls are primarily designed to be easy to hold, since you’ll usually have the bowl in one hand and the spoon in the other. An ordinary bowl can be less easy to hold for long periods of time, and more likely to get knocked by a flailing arm! Many weaning bowls actually have comfortable handles built in, which makes it much easier to use.

You might also want to look out for weaning bowls which have resealable lids, because this can make it easy for you to prepare food in advance, pop it in the fridge and keep it for later when your child is ready. They are also easy to take with you when you’re out and about and your child needs to feed.

Weaning bowl
Weaning Bowl

You can also find some weaning sets which allow you to clip the spoon into the lid of the weaning bowl, which means no more lost spoons!

Still breastfeeding?

In the first six weeks of breastfeeding, many mothers honestly cannot see themselves making it to three months. It is exhausting; awkward; nerve wracking; painful; trial and error; and you never feel quite sure you are doing it right. However, over time you grow in confidence and by around four months, after surviving another growth spurt, you start to find it easier. Out with friends, you notice how much easier it is for you to discreetly feed while others have to mess about with bottles and temperature. You might also notice that your baby seems less prone to illness than the formula fed babies and that aside from the obvious general tiredness of motherhood – which all your mother friends experience, regardless of their feeding choices – things are not so bad. In fact, you are actually enjoying breastfeeding.

Continue reading “Still breastfeeding?”

What does birth and breastfeeding have to do with being a dad?

In the last 20 or 30 years, fathers have departed from the traditional ‘distant’ image when it comes to parenting. For example, during the birth of the child, instead of being sent out to chop wood, or disappearing down to the pub to wait for the news, they are now expected to be present, fully engaged and involved in the actual birth. Where fathers previously left most of the baby care to the mother, (who was most likely being supported by her mother, older sister, and neighbours) now images of fathers making bottles in the dead of night and changing nappies  while the mother smiles on, or has coffee with her girlfriends, have proliferated.

Continue reading “What does birth and breastfeeding have to do with being a dad?”

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