I’m a first responder – here’s the simple test EVERY parent needs to do when weaning their baby

MEALS can be hard work – especially for parents who have just started weaning their little ones.

Experimenting with different foods to see what your child likes and doesn’t like is a big step and can be exhausting.

Weaning can be daunting and there are a number of things you can do to help your little one


Weaning can be daunting and there are a number of things you can do to help your little onePhoto credit: Getty
Experts show parents how the squish test works in baby-led weaning


Experts show parents how the squish test works in baby-led weaningCredit: tinyheartseducation

Now an expert has revealed the key tip every parent who practices baby led weaning needs to know.

Baby-led weaning can start from around six months and is the concept of giving them finger foods and letting them feed themselves – rather than spoon feeding.

This can be scary, however, as some foods pose a greater choking hazard than others.

Experts at Tiny Hearts Education say there’s a simple test you can take to easily digest food.

Parents warn of life-threatening dangers when giving children squeezable food bags
The mother's warning after the toddler almost chokes on the children's love for everyday foods

First responders said the “squeak test” is easy and if the food squeezes down – then it’s more likely to be safe for your child.

“The pressure of your index finger mimics your little one’s toothless gums.

“So if it can be crushed, it’s probably safe to give.”

“If it doesn’t squeeze, it must be modified before it is given.” they added.

To do the test, all you have to do is place the food you want to give your little one between your forefinger/forefinger and thumb and press down.

If it gets flat, it’s fine, and foods like banana and avocado get mashed easily.

But if it doesn’t turn into a mush, you need to change it.

When it comes to weaning, the NHS says there are three signs that tell if your baby is ready for their first solid food alongside breast milk and formula.

If your little one can stay in a sitting position and keep their head still, coordinate their eyes and hands to look at and pick up their food, and swallow food instead of spitting it out, they’re ready.

Medical professionals say it’s important not to confuse certain behaviors with a willingness to wean.

The NHS states that fist-chewing, asking for extra formula and waking up more often during the night than usual are all normal things a baby does and often doesn’t mean they’re ready to be weaned.

Official guidelines state: “Starting solid food does not make it more likely that you will sleep through the night.

“Sometimes a little extra milk helps until they’re ready to eat.

“If your baby was born prematurely, ask your doctor or GP for advice on when to start weaning.”


But when your baby is ready to be weaned, all she needs to start is a small amount of feeding, once a day, at a time that’s convenient for both of you.

The NHS explains: “You can start weaning with individual vegetables and fruits – try mixed, mashed or soft-boiled parsnip, broccoli, potato, yam, sweet potato, carrot, apple or pear sticks.

“You can also mix baby rice with your baby’s usual milk. Make sure any cooked food is cool before offering it to your baby.”

However, stopping breastfeeding can be daunting as your child has more control over the foods they put in their mouths.

The guide states that it is important to know the difference between a choke and a choke.

Although it may seem strange, gagging is a normal reflex your baby will have as he learns to both chew and swallow food.

The gagging is loud and your little one’s skin might look a little flushed.


In comparison, gagging is loud and if your child has fair skin, they might look blue.

In children with darker skin, the gums or the inside of the lips may start to look blue.

Knowing what to do when a child is choking can be life-saving.

Red Cross experts said to remember the five-hit rule: “Hit her hard on the back between the shoulder blades.

“Backblows create intense vibration and pressure in the airways, which is often enough to clear the blockage. Releasing the blockage allows them to breathe again.”

If the child is small, you will need to place them across your lap and perform up to five powerful back blows with the heel of your hand mid-back between the shoulder blades.

If the five back punches don’t work, you need to try five stomach thrusts.

To do this successfully, hold the child by the waist and pull inward and up past the belly button.

This pushes the air out of the lungs, hopefully releasing the blockage.

The NHS says: “This will create an artificial cough, increase pressure in the chest and help remove the object.”

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Sarah Y. Kim

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