Lifestyle

I’m a parenting coach – here are the 3 signs your baby is ready to be weaned

Meal times can be hard work, especially with a baby.

Getting your little one used to complementary foods can be a problem as many parents already have trouble getting children to eat what is in front of them.

Transitioning your baby from formula to solids can be daunting — but one expert has revealed how you'll avoid it when it's time to make the switch

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Transitioning your baby from formula to solids can be daunting — but one expert has revealed how you’ll avoid it when it’s time to make the switchPhoto credit: Getty

Around 10 percent of parents find this to be the most difficult part of mealtimes, and another 10 percent highlight that their children only want to eat dessert.

Weaning is the introduction of solid foods and is usually done when a baby is over six months old.

Shifting them from mixed meals to solid foods can be daunting, and one expert shared her top tips for the transition.

Parenting coach and early years expert Sophie Pickles said you shouldn’t stress yourself when it comes to the next phase of baby weaning.

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“Don’t feel pressured to wean your baby a certain way.

“Baby led weaning is very popular right now and can bring great benefits to your baby, but traditional weaning using purees and finger foods is just as good.

“It’s about your personal preferences, your lifestyle and also your baby’s individual needs,” she said.

Unless you’ve been advised by a doctor, Sarah, who works with Munchkin, said you shouldn’t wean babies from complementary foods until they’re at least six months old.

Before you start your journey, you need to consider three things:

  1. Can your baby sit in a high chair with good head control?
  2. Does your little one show an interest in food and eating?
  3. Can your bundle of joy use their entire hand to hold or pick up items?

If the answer to these three questions is yes and your baby is more than six months old, then it’s time to wean.

Sarah adds that one of the biggest concerns parents have about weaning is the fear that their baby will choke on the food.

“Keep in mind that this is highly unlikely as babies’ mouths are specially designed to prevent incidents of choking.

“However, accidents can happen, and taking a toddler first aid class or even watching some short videos on what to do when your baby starts gagging can help make you feel more comfortable,” she said.

The majority of babies will transition to solid foods by six months, but Sarah said some might not start eating much until they are closer to ten months.

This, she explains, is because the early stages of the process are all about sensory exploration.

During this time, your baby’s focus is getting used to the taste, texture, and smell of different foods.

“Expect 90 percent of the food you serve to end up on the floor or get crushed between sticky fingers instead of in your baby’s stomach — at least for the first little while,” she said.

As you begin the transition, Sarah said milk should still be your baby’s primary source of nutrition and calories.

It’s important not to worry about dropping food or bottles when you start weaning and to follow your baby’s lead.

“Always offer milk first and don’t expect the feeding pattern to change for at least the first few months,” she added.

Health chiefs previously warned that children who are weaned too soon are at greater risk of infection or slower weight gain.

dr Zoe Williams, The Sun’s GP columnist, said: “Weaning can be a very confusing time for parents.

“For most healthy babies, the easiest way to get over the confusion is to wait until your baby is around six months old.

“It gives them time to develop properly so they can get on with solid food.”

dr Zoe will lead an Office for Health Improvement and Disparities campaign to keep new parents informed about their babies’ feeding.

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https://www.the-sun.com/health/5277655/parenting-coach-signs-baby-ready-weaned/ I’m a parenting coach – here are the 3 signs your baby is ready to be weaned

Sarah Y. Kim

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