STARTING SOLIDS Five signs that your baby could be ready for more than just milk ... #1 They no longer seem satisfied by a full milk feed #2 They demand frequent milk feeds #3 They wake in the night for a feed despite having previously slept through the night #4 They’re interested in watching others eat #5 They’re able to support their head and neck well when seated While the World Health Organisation recommends that solids should be introduced in small amounts from the six-month mark, many parents find that their babies want to experiment with food a little earlier – at around five months, sometimes even four months. The traditional method of weaning is to start by feeding babies puréed vegetables and fruit such as sweet potato, potato, carrot, pumpkin, apple and pear. Eggs, meat, fish and food with more texture are introduced here and there; babies tend to start wanting finger food at around nine months. Another increasingly popular method of weaning is baby-led weaning (BLW), which involves babies feeding themselves from six

months when they can sit upright. This requires no purées or spoon-feeding, and babies sit with the rest of the family at mealtimes. Food is offered in sizes and shapes that babies can handle with their fingers and feed themselves. Some like to use this method simply because it’s easier and less time-consuming for the whole family to sit and eat similar food. Weaning is an important time in babies’ lives, and it’s best to introduce them to the widest variety of food possible in their first year. Whichever route you choose, the goal is to have a contented baby who is not a fussy eater.

38 KIDS’ GUIDE2019

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