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Everything You Need To Know About Weaning Baby

Congratulations, you have got through the sleepless nights, breast feeding vs bottle feeding debate, and have a little one who is thriving and ready to move onto weaning and solid food. Wondering where to start or what weaning method to choose? Based on my experience as a Mum of 2, here is Everything You Need to Know About Weaning Baby, in association with Pip & Pear.

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Before You Begin Weaning

When should I wean? According to WHO Guidelines, babies should be weaned at approximately 6 months.

Personally I feel every child is different and you know your child best. Go with your instincts and seek advice from a health professional if you feel your child needs solid food before 6 months.

Weaning is about first tastes. In the beginning, your baby will still be getting most of their calories from their milk feeds.

No matter what method you use, introduce foods slowly and watch out for any reactions especially if there is a family history of food intolerance or allergies.

Buy a good high chair that is comfortable for your baby but can be easily cleaned!

Recommended Reading: 20 Homemade Baby Food Recipes

What Is Baby Led Weaning?

babyeating

Baby Led Weaning is letting your child feed themselves, with supervision, a variety of bite sized foods.

Your baby self-feeds from when first foods are introduced, no spoons, just hands!

What is Spoon-fed Weaning?

feedingbabyMany parents opt to puree food for babies and younger children as it can be easily mixed with baby rice and breast milk or formula, to provide your baby with their first tastes.

With this method you will need to feed your child, rather than them feeding themselves.

You may also like – Children and Sleep What Every Parent Should Know.

Baby Led Weaning – Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Your baby learns to chew before swallowing. As food is served ‘soft’ the fact that they probably don’t yet have teeth, makes little difference.
  • It enhances your baby’s fine motor skills as food is cut, initially into chip sized pieces and later into smaller bite size pieces, making it perfect for little hands to pick up.
  • So long as you haven’t added salt, your baby can eat what the rest of the family eat after the initial introduction of foods.
  • It is easy to feed your child on the go. Either by taking some lightly steamed vegetables with you or buying fruit and cutting it up while you are out.

Cons

  • messybabyIf your baby is hungry it can get frustrating for them trying to pick up food. So timing meals between milk feeds is vital so your baby is not too hungry when they start eating.
  • It will get very messy, hands only with this method!
  • It is a very social experience but takes time and patience.
  • You baby controls their solid food consumption so it is not as easy to tell how much they have eaten.
  • It can be frightening as a parent when the gag reflex kicks in and you may think your baby is choking. The gag reflex is normal, and so long as you never place food in your child’s mouth, they will experiment and find what works for them.

Spoon Fed Weaning – Pros & Cons

Pros

  • You can cook large batches of food, puree it and freeze in ice-cube trays ready for use in the future.
  • KB1197 KEES BEYERS SPECIAL BUYS ADVERT ARTWORK - PLASTIC TUB RENDER SHORT - SPICED APPLE AND PEARS (1)You can buy good quality, off the shelf products, like Pip & Pear, and be confident that your child is getting their recommended daily intake of fruit, vegetables, iron, vitamins etc.
  • You can tell exactly how much your child has eaten.
  • It can cut down on mess, although not by much and not for long as soon your baby will want their own spoon!
  • It can be quicker and more structured than baby led weaning.

Cons

  • Lumps can become an issue and this can be frustrating as your baby grows and you still find yourself pureeing their food. Make sure to puree it less and less, or buy age appropriate meals for them, like Pip & Pear Stage 3 range(10 months+), which has some lumps and chunks for texture and chewing.
  • It can be quicker and more structured than baby led weaning.
  • It can be more difficult to feed on the go as most foods will need to be warmed up before you feed your child.
  • As your child swallows their food, they learn to chew at a later stage and the eating experience is not as sensory as baby led weaning.

When I was weaning my daughters, I used a combination of both methods. My older daughter still does not like very lumpy food, but generally they both eat a wide variety of foods and are thriving. As I said before, you know your child best so go with your gut instinct.

Happy Weaning!

About Pip & Pear

LOGOWhen Irene Queally had her children she found it frustrating and near to impossible to find a healthy alternative to home cooking, when feeding her babies. She began making her own batches and serving them in her restaurant, and it proved so popular, Pip & Pear was born.

Pip & Pear is a range of baby food that is the closest you can get to REAL HOMEMADE FOOD (delicious taste, texture and appearance) with all the nutritional goodness, so you can have all of the goodness and none of the guilt.

Find out more on their website Pip & Pear, and follow then on Facebook.

Which weaning method are you thinking of trying or do you have a weaning story? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below.

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