Phoebe Talks Weaning
Signs of readiness for the very first foods, episode 1
Episode 1 of "Phoebe talks weaning" podcast discusses what are the signs of readiness for the very first foods after breast-feeding?
It's time for your baby's first solid food!
You decided on the first veggie, but will it be finger food or puree?
This episode will look at the two main routes of complementary feeding. The traditional route of spoon feeding your baby pureed food and baby led weaning (BLW) where you let your baby take the lead and offer food in a safe shape so your little one can self feed.
Our first episode will be looking at readiness signs for starting solid foods. We'll also cover signs that are commonly mistaken as readiness signs, like cluster feeding, grabbing food and chewing fists.
It’s a question most first time parents have when their baby's six month birthday is approaching. Likely, you've had a ton of well-meaning advice from family and friends on how to wean your baby. What foods to give first, what to avoid and most importantly what method to use: baby-led-weaning or traditional weaning.
Before we go into the different methods, let’s dive into the signs for readiness!
At around six months, your baby is likely to show the following cues, that show readiness for solid food:
- Stay in a sitting position - this can be with or without support - the important thing to look out for is if the baby is holding their head upright and steady.
- Hand to mouth coordination - can your baby pick up an object and put it in their mouth?
- Make a chewing motion with their mouth (is your baby chewing on objects they put into their mouth?) and swallow food, rather than pushing it right back out. Though this might happen in the very beginning, but do check the nappy, you’ll be surprised by your findings ;)
Misleading signs of readiness
While we talk about signs for readiness, I’d also like to mention signs that are easily mistaken for signs of readiness and you’ll be likely to observe them from 4-5 months of age:
- Chewing fists. Babies often chew their fists, or any other object that they can put into their mouth, to relieve sore gums. Teething is a long process, it doesn’t mean that the teeth are going to pop out when they start chewing on things.
- Wanting to feed more often than usual. This can have many reasons, it might be a growth spurt or a change in the feeding behaviour, some babies cluster feed, meaning they feed many times in a short span of time.
- Waking up in the night although the baby has previously slept through (count yourself lucky if you’ve had a baby sleeping through the night at this young age!), or waking up more often. Remember your baby is literally brand new to this world, they learn, they grow, they develop, and they are also learning how to sleep. And of course it can also be a growth spurt that just requires an extra feed.
- Watching you eat your food and wanting to grab it. Have you heard of the expression “monkey see - monkey do”? That literally sums it up, you are your baby’s role model, they want to do everything you do. While you’ll be eating your delicious dinner and it might seem mean to deny your four months old a taster, believe me, it’s best to hold off until your little one is really ready for it at six months of age.
Please be advised that any information is given as general guidance only. Should you have any concerns over the wellbeing of your child such as intolerances, allergies and weight, or your baby was born prematurely or you are unsure if your baby is ready for solids, it is always best to consult with your Health Visitor or GP.
In my next episode, I’ll talk about traditional weaning, spoon feeding pureed food; and baby led weaning (BLW), where you let the baby take the lead and feed herself.
*Disclaimer: Please be advised that any information is given as general guidance only. Should you have any concerns over the wellbeing of your child such as intolerances, allergies and weight, or your baby was born prematurely or you are unsure if your baby is ready for solids, it is always best to consult with your Health Visitor or GP.*