Whether weaning the baby before 6 months of age or after that, the golden rule is: no solids before 17 weeks and before baby can control his head and neck while sitting upright supported in a chair to be fed.
Because at around 6 months of age, baby’s iron reserve is dried out, they should start weaning on iron-containing foods like: rice baby cereals, broccoli, lentils and baby food with iron.
Once your baby is around 6 months old and you’ve started with solids, it is very important to introduce him to this new food gradually. It is also important to start always with milk as this is the most important food in nutritional terms in baby’s first year of age. However, which solids and when are they given to your baby influence his sleep extremely.
Here it is one way of onto food weaning:
You can start introducing solids slowly after the 11am feed, starting with 1 teaspoonful of organic baby rice, mixed to a very smooth consistency with formula/expressed milk or cool boiled water. Once baby tolerates this baby rice at 11am, you can give the rice after 5pm instead. Once baby is happily taking 1-2 teaspoonfuls of baby rice with milk or water at 5pm, a small amount of pear puree can be introduced after the 11am feed. If baby tolerates the pear puree, transfer it to 5pm feed, together with some healthy carbohydrates (this will also prevent the baby from being constipated).
Small amounts of vegetables and fruits can be now slowly introduced after the 11am feed (more root vegetables than fruits which are sweeter).
Every new food should be tested for about 3-4 days, increasing 1-2 teaspoonfuls a week. Keeping a food diary could be also helpful to avoid /detect any allergies.
Between 6 and 7 months, baby could have daily 2-3 servings of carbohydrates (baby cereals, wholemeal bread, pasta or potatoes) + 3 servings of fruits & vegetables (cooked, rich in vitamin C to help iron absorption) + 1 serving of animal / vegetable protein + 3-4 milk feeds (180-240 ml).
The first weaning foods could be: pure organic baby rice, pear, apple, carrot, sweet potatoes, potatoes, green beans, zucchini, parsnips, mango, peaches, broccoli, avocados, barley, peas & cauliflower.
Protein (meat, poultry, fish & lentils) could also be introduced around 7 months, at lunchtime first (because they are harder to digest).
By the time babies reach 10 months of age, they should be well established on 3 solid meals per day (home-made if possible), with the right balance between protein and healthy carbohydrates at all meals. This will give them the chance to sleep through the night, without any feed during the night. Yeees!
After 1 year old, baby’s milk feed at lunchtime should be slowly replaced by water or diluted juice from a Sippy cup.
Remember to always smile and have a positive expression when offering new foods to your baby.
Source: Gina Ford, 2000, “Content little baby book”
See the next post for suggestions for sleep inducive food for toddlers.