Experts Share Everything You Need to Know About Weaning 

Starting the weaning process can seem like a daunting period for parents, with many considerations to take into account. To help reduce the stress, baby and nursery retailer Kiddies Kingdom have spoken to baby weaning expert and nutritionist, Katie Angotti to share everything you need to know about weaning.

When should you start weaning a baby onto solid foods?

Around the six-month mark is when most babies are ready to begin weaning, however, Katie comments that “each baby is different and that they should show development signs that they are ready.” She advises that signs to look out for are if they can “hold their head steady, have some hand-eye-mouth coordination and have the ability to swallow foods when offered and not push it out automatically with the tongue thrust reflex.”

How much food should I give my baby? 

There is no right or wrong amount to give your baby, as Katie shares that “usually, as a baby gets older, they will eat more. Most people find that by 7/8 months babies are happy with two meals a day and by 10 months they can enjoy three meals.” She also adds that “until 12 months, milk is still really important for nutrition, so taking things slowly with food means that babies won’t reduce their milk too quickly.”

In terms of portion sizes, Katie says that there is no such thing “but instead look at your baby for signs that they have had enough such as pushing food away, closing their mouth, spitting it out or getting frustrated and upset.”

What foods would you suggest starting weaning with?

When it comes to deciding which food to start with, Katy recommends “any soft cooked vegetables, soft fruit, pasta, rice, porridge, lentils or yoghurt.” She also encourages parents “to offer foods that they themselves will be eating at the same time because babies learn from copying us and we want to teach them to enjoy foods that the family eats.”

What are some tips to help weaning go smoothly?

The weaning journey can be tricky but to help, Katy recommends working on making mealtimes enjoyable and to “focus on how you give food, rather than what you give. Babies don’t eat well under pressure, so keeping things calm and without pressure really makes a difference”. 

She also emphasises that all babies and families are different and when weaning to “first go at your baby’s pace, as some will take a lot longer than others to get into food.” She also adds to “find your own approach that is realistic for how you live as a family. What matters more is that you all enjoy learning to eat new foods together.”

What to avoid when weaning?

Foods that are potential choking hazards are to be avoided, with Katie advising that “whole nuts, grapes, blueberries or anything too solid are a big no.” She also recommends that before your little one is twelve months, “it is good to limit the amount of added salt and sugar they have so that you can focus on more nutritionally dense foods, which means avoiding many processed foods.”

How to play it safe when it comes to allergies and intolerances?

Many parents may worry when it comes to trying foods containing any of the main allergens, however, there isn’t too much cause for worry, as Katie comments that “unless your baby already has a diagnosed food allergy or eczema, there is no need to avoid allergens when you start weaning.” If you need to test your baby for allergies, you may visit your local allergy testing center.

When trying allergens, she shares that “some people like to offer new allergens earlier in the day, so that you have more time to spot a reaction. Just be sure to introduce allergens one at a time and in small amounts so that any reactions can be easily monitored.”

What methods work best for a fussy eater?

There can be many reasons a baby would refuse food, with Katie sharing that “it may not be the food taste or texture and it could be because they are feeling tired, are teething, constipated, unwell, too hungry, not hungry enough – the list goes on.” She also adds that “too much pressure can make the situation worse, so if your baby is showing clear signs that they aren’t interested in eating then pause, take the food away and come back at a different meal time to try again.”

Jumaimah Hussain, Showroom Store Manager at Kiddies Kingdom comments:

“Make the weaning process easier on yourself by investing in all the necessary products. Get yourself a good quality highchair with lots of space for your baby to inevitably play with their food and rubber plates that suction onto your highchair to help stop your little one from throwing their plate.

Make sure to enjoy it! Weaning can be so much fun, seeing their joy at experiencing the simple pleasures of food.”

Brenda Kimble

Brenda Kimble is an entrepreneur and mother of 2 daughters and a son, plus their beagle named Duke! She loves blogging, crafting, and spending time with her family.