Meet Mira, mum of two toddlers, dentist and founder of Baby Boosa. Mira specialises in weaning and feeding products for babies and toddlers and shares some of her top tips for weaning.
I remember feeling quite daunted at the prospect of introducing solid food to my children, who are now 4 and 2 years old and thankfully thriving with healthy appetites and a love for all kinds of cuisine! I am so pleased to be able to share some of my top tips to hopefully help anyone who feels overwhelmed by the process.
Take it at your own pace
I weaned both my children at 6 months of age, as recommended by the NHS. Try not to feel pressurised to start the process any earlier. It’s essential to try and get organised before starting the weaning journey by making sure you have the right equipment and ingredients so you and baby can feel nice and calm throughout the process.
What do you need?
This is also the best time to start using an OPEN cup. As a dentist I feel so passionately about ensuring babies are given the chance to establish correct oral development which can be hindered with prolonged bottle use.
Introducing an open cup alongside the weaning process is the best way to help promote healthy development all round. Like anything, it will take time for your baby to adjust to a new skill but try and stay calm and encouraging. Plus, with consistency, things will rapidly improve and will pay off in the long term.
Don’t be fooled, it will be a messy process as I discovered firsthand, so don’t be disappointed with lots of spillages at home… just make sure you have bibs at the ready! The Baby Boosa ‘My 1st Cup’ is great for this; we designed it with two handles, aptly sized for little hands to help babies practice the fundamental motions of drinking.
Start by filling the cup to the top so it's easily accessible when your baby puts their mouth to the rim. You can always pop some puree in an open cup at the start if water or milk is challenging. At 6 months of age, babies only need a small amount of water per day - around an ounce - so don’t worry if there’s more water on your floor than in your babies’ mouth!
This one is an essential because weaning is messy!
We recommend our Baby Boosa bibs that are easy to clean, comfortable for the baby, stylish, and most importantly can be thrown into the dishwasher without a second thought.
No one needs to spend time scrubbing bibs, there’s enough to do in the day with a little one in tow!
It’s really important to have the right bowls and plates that make the cleanup process that much easier - which will help to alleviate any unnecessary stress caused by spillages and mess.
Make sure to get your hands on baby tableware that is easy to clean and can be popped into the dishwasher alongside the bibs!
Make sure to have plenty of spoons on hand so that you can load them up with goodness for your little one. Let them have a go too (keeping in mind half of them will end up on the floor with the water they spilled earlier) so they are involved in the process from an early age.
Baby Led Vs Spoon Fed
These are two different methods of introducing food to your little ones. I used a mixture of both baby led and spoon fed to get my babies used to different textures, but make sure you go with what you feel comfortable with.
I really love the guidance provided on this by Charlotte Stirling-Reed, the baby and child nutritionist and author of ‘How to Wean Your Baby’ where she offers more in-depth advice on her trusted Veg-Led approach.
Ice cube trays and a hand blender
I found it much easier to batch prep baby food, as babies begin with such small portions at the start of the weaning process, and there would always be leftovers.
Amazingly babies show you signs that they are full, so watch out for these such as when they simply lose interest in the food and start throwing it around as opposed to putting in their mouth.
If in doubt, try again
Don’t be phased by all the funny faces that babies pull when they start weaning. It doesn’t mean they don’t like what they’ve tasted, it just means that whatever they have just eaten is a new experience for them and they are adjusting to that.
Don’t be afraid to have them retry anything that they seem to be struggling with, you may be pleasantly surprised to find they love it after one or two tries.
Keep calm and carry on
Above all, remember that no one is perfect, and neither is the process. It’s about trial and error, so just be as prepared as you can with all the right tools at hand so that the process is eased a bit and is more enjoyable for both you and baby. Happy weaning!
In the process of weaning, or about to take it on? Have a read of our blog post on ‘What to look for in a highchair’ here for more guidance.