weaning after 6 months(25 Posts)
I guess this should be in food, but it all seems to be proper meals over there!
I will soon be starting to wean my 6mo old. Do I need to do baby rice / purees like I did at 4 mo with my DS1, or can I really go straight to solid solids, as my HV implied?
i think at 6 mths, simple fruit and veg purees would be ok.
That is wean onto solids.
He's breastfed, and will be so for another few months.
SoftFroggie I think its wise to start off with purees just to get them used to the idea but I believe you can move on to lumpier food quicker than if you start at 4 months.
Softfroggie - no need for purees and mush. After 6 mths, you don't need to bother much with spoons, though they do make yoghurts and fromage frais easier to give.
actually I have been giving ds (bf-only til 6mo, now 8mo) quite a lot of purees, along with rice cakes and bits of well-cooked veg, e.g. broccolli florets and carrots and soft fruit (banana slices, peaches etc). The purees seem to go down pretty easily esp as he isn't all that fussed about drinking water during a meal. Some of them have some lumps in them, some are quite smooth.
Never bothered with baby rice though.
meant to say, it depends also on the number of teeth your baby has at the time - obviously without molars everything has to be squishable between gums/tongue/roof of mouth and without incisors food has to be either in tiny pieces or v v soft.
At 6mo they can do a fair bit of spoon-feeding themselves if you hand them a full spoon and then swap it for another when they've had what was on the first.
I just cut up family food into very small bits for the baby to pick up and eat. Never bothered with purées and spoon-feeding.
I weaned my dd at 4 month, she had puree for a month and then went on to 7mth+ jars, now at 7mth shes on 10mth+ jars and small cut up meals, she only has two front teeth at the bottom but can still eat small bits of meat and any veg you give her, she also eats toast, bread, sandwichs, it all depends on how hungry they are and how much they like what theyr eatin.
A good tip is to give them a lot of stuff they can do themselves like bread fingers, turkey goujons, peices of toast and things, they love that!
No need for purees if weaning from 6 months - purees are only used because babies used to be weaned before they were capable of learning how feed themselves or chew.
I started my ds on solid food at just under 7 months doing the baby-led approach. He has never been spoon fed & has only ever fed himself. He is breastfed on demand (& so has effectively feeds himself) so I saw no reason to start feeding him! It is a great way to go & has saved me hours of work & ds loves it! He just has bits of our food (obviously only bits that are suitable without sugar or salt or potential allergens). Any can be eaten by hand in my book - some are just messier than others! DS has graduated from carrot sticks & pear wedges to things like shephards pie, rice & porridge - all eaten by hand.
I would highly recommend it as it enables babies to learn to listen to their own bodies (so they are not overfed) and improves their coordination skills. It also means they are eating real food straight away and are therefore less likely to have problems with food later.
I do much like sazhig does, only I do spoonfeed sometimes, I can't deal with the mess from DS2 eating ratatouille with his hands! But although I tried pureeing, he didn't like being fed all the time, and I've given up on all that.
Oh, and CarolinaMoon, most of the chewing we do is with molars. No babies have molars. But they have hard gums, which is how they chew. My DS2 only has one tooth, which isn't much use (not sticking out much), but he eats steak, ratatouille, bananas, watermelon, chicken, breadsticks, bread, whatever. I do watch him closely, and probably wouldn't give anything too chewy (squid would be out, so would peanut brittle or toffee), but by and large, he just eats our food. He really likes adult pasta, and does fine with penne with his hands.
tbh though, I don't have any tiny portions of 'family food' hanging about at ds's mealtimes cos he's my first. Ice-cube portions of purees and the odd bit of unpureed fruit and veg are as much for my convenience as for his.
nqc - yes I know! depends what you mean by 'baby' doesn't it? I didn't mean 6mo have molars, sorry for being too brief. I just meant there's a limit to how solid the solids can be. The reason I haven't given ds pasta etc yet isn't because I don't think he could manage it, it's because I haven't introduced gluten and dairy to his diet yet. And haven't organised myself into freezing fish and chicken etc, oh dear...
hope this is clearer
p.s. what does your ds chew his steak with?
in fact, what I meant was what I said: 'without molars...'
Oh yes, you did say "without molars", I noticed the "without incisors" first.
DS2 chews his steak with his gums, as DS1 did. I think. I can't tell. I do know that some goes down, but I think chicken is easier.
(Even with molars, DS1 sometimes has problems with big pieces of meat - he takes in more than he can swallow and it all goes wrong and gross.)
I've been much more relaxed about allergens this time around - I weaned DS1 at 16 weeks and did the whole waiting thing. This time, I was aware of when I introduced the big allergens (gluten, dairy, nuts, seafood, egg), but didn't fuss overmuch. Well, it's easier at 6 months anyway.
Um, CarolinaMoon, do you and your DH/P not eat? DS2 eats my food as much as DS1's. (Although, before we weaned DS1, we did eat a lot of ready meals, which I probably wouldn't give to either of mine now.)
my ds didn't have ANY teeth until he was over one and he was eating three normal meals a day by then.
it's just the timing NQC - I generally eat with ds at lunchtime, but often have sandwiches or an omelette, neither of which I'm giving ds yet. I'll give him bits of 'appropriate' things I'm eating - e.g. fruit. In the evening, ds eats at 6ish and dp gets in at 7ish, baths ds and then we eat, so it's all happening at different times. Am not that odd, honest .
I'm going to start with the 'allergens' soon - he 8mo in a few days' time, but dp has a couple of mild allergies and dp's dad has atopic eczema (sp?) so I have been bit cautious so far.
I totally understand being cautious. I'm sure I introduced allergens later with DS1, I'm just really lazy now. (I have mild excema, mild asthma, and an antibiotic allergy. DH's sister is asthmatic. I probably should be more careful.)
So many of you have really thought about this. Thanks for all the replies.
So can I just give him a lump of cooked potato or cooked carrot stick for his first meal?
Sazhig, what does 'baby-led' approach mean? I fed DS1 froem 4 mo cos I didn't think I'd ever "spot the signs". Have waited till 6 mo with DS2 as advice has changed emphasis. HOw do I know?
He's exzematic, and possible tendancy to allegy / asthma (some in family). Anyone know what particular allergens / food items I should avoid?
SF, sticks of cooked carrot would be good. Potato can be a bit dehydrating, but not a problem if your child drinks juice or water.
We really just went with family foods, without putting too much thought into it (but knowing about salt etc.). In fact, I think my last child just sat under the table and foraged for whatever the others dropped (I don't particularly recommend this approach, but it worked ).
To answer your questions Softfroggie:
Signs a baby is ready for solids:
- baby is able to pick up items & get them into his/her mouth
- Baby has the capacity to learn how to bite, chew, move food around mouth & swallow
(Both of these usually conicide with the digestive system maturing so it can handle solid food)
- Baby can sit unaided (to avoid choking - items fall out of the mouth instead of back towards the throat)
- Baby is taking an interest in others eating (although this is hard to tell as they show interest in pretty much eveything - just becasue they want to have your newspaper doesn't mean they want to eat it!)
- Baby shows signs of being hungry after breast/bottle feeds (that is not related to teething, growth spurts etc - again quite hard to tell!)
Given that some are quite hard to tell, I personally waited until ds showed all these signs.
You might find this link useful:
Baby-led weaning is basically putting suitable foods within the reach of your baby from about 6 months, allowing them to have control of what and how much they eat. It usually starts by them nicking something off your plate! Babies feed themselves using their hands as opposed to someone else spoon feeding them. It has great advantages:
- Babies are less likely to choke when they ahve control over what goes into their own mouths.
- Less work for mums - babies can have food in its natural state or lightly cooked (as you ir I have it)
- Less likely to have problems with food later
- Helps babies develop their pincer grip & hand/eye coordination
There's a yahoo email group if you are interested: It is well worth joining as there are loads of tips & you can access Gill Rapley's guidelines for baby-led weaning (she has done a study into baby-led weaning which is to be published soon I think)
You also asked about allergies. I have been a bit anal about this really as there are allergies in both mine & dh's families, plus ds has eczema himself, also I'm a paranois first-time mum who reads far too much on the internet! We started very slowly at just under 7 months introducing one new food every week and basically following this . Once he had a few items under his belt we started combining things so now he has at least 2/3 veg or fruit & maybe meat with every meal.
We also went slowly to avoid it affecting his breastfeeding too much (as I love it so much and I'm rather lazy!). He had one 'meal' a day for 2 months, then 2 meals, then 3 meals from 10 months.
Here's some ideas for foods that we did when we first started him on solids:
Veg: (all steamed or boiled) carrot sticks, parsnip sticks, broccoli spears, green beans, butternut squash wedges, potato chunks, courgette sticks.
Fruit: (all raw) apple wedges, pear wedges (both with skin on or off depending on ds's mood), dried apricots.
Other stuff: Rice cakes (plain & unstalted), turkey strips (dry fried or boiled).
Once he had got used to holding sticks etc we moved on to chunks & slices & he can now pick up pretty much anything, even individual rice grains so anything goes really! I've just started serving millet porridge & he has great fun squishing it & throwing it around as well as eating!
I cannot recommend blw enough - ds has great fun at mealtimes & we are eating healthier as well! I just cook the meals as normal, and just make sure they contain something that ds can have. Everything is plainly cooked and then put aside if we are having a sauce he can't have.
Sorry for the long post! Hope I've been useful. Fell free to ask any other q's!
Thanks Sazhig, I'll read up on your links.
I weaned DS1 following quite a different approach, but he has a pretty healthy diet, LOVES veg and fruit and strong flavours. I can't really face doing all the pureeing again! The finger food approach sounds more up my street.
I'm rather hoping that getting DS2 onto food will help him sleep longer at night.
As you said, hard to tell if he's interested in food / eating as he's interested in everything and anything he can get his hands on goes in his mouth.
Will read your links and post back if I have any other qs. Many thanks, SF
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