baby-led weaning or spoon feeding?
There’s no right or wrong, there are benefits to both. The important thing is that as a parent you feel calm, confident and supported. It’s a learning journey for your little one, not a race to the finish - no matter how your little one eats.
how much should my baby be eating to start with?
In the very beginning, babies will usually just have a small amount - like a teaspoon or less. But you may find your baby wants more, or they may want even less.
Follow their cues: if their mouth is open and they’re looking at the food, keep going. Mouths that are clamped shut, head turning away, or if they’re crying - bring mealtime to an end, even if it’s barely started.
By responding to their cues, you’re nurturing your baby’s inner hunger and fullness cues and helping them establish confidence around mealtime.
what equipment do I need to start weaning?
Not much! The only must-haves, I would say, are a vegetable peeler, pot and steaming basket to cook fruit and veg to the right texture.
A high chair with a supportive footrest is also important, to make sure baby is in a safe position for eating. Other than that, the rest is nice-to-have!
my baby won't eat anything - what do I do?
It depends. If you’re just getting started with weaning, I’d say take a break and come back to it next week. It may just be that your baby isn’t ready.It’s normal for a baby who is teething or otherwise unwell to go off their food, so you may choose to take a break and come back to it.
Remember to stay patient and never force your baby to eat anything - this can often have the opposite to the intended outcome. Prepare meals together and eat as a family whenever possible - this also helps babies who may be hesitant.
Persistence and repeated exposure are the names of the game, and a reminder that it’s not a race - learning to eat is a developmental skill like any other (walking, reading, etc) - so stay cool and stay calm, and don’t hesitate to reach out to your GP or Health Visitor with any specific concerns!
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