Some mums feel sad that weaning signals the end of the teeny tiny baby stage, but weaning offers a real opportunity to bond – and it’s a bit of an adventure too!
Babies sometimes find the process of weaning a little clinical and miss the comfort of sucking milk. When offering your baby her very first taste or two you may find it easier to hold her on your lap so that she feels loved and secure. Babies are unable to lick food off a spoon with their tongues, so choose a small shallow plastic weaning spoon so she can take some food with her lips.
When babies feed from the breast or a bottle they instinctively push their tongue forwards – this is called the tongue-thrust reflex. Your baby needs to learn to swallow solids and not push her tongue forwards. If she can’t get on with a spoon, dip a clean finger into the puree and let her suck your finger for a few mouthfuls.
You don’t need to sterilise your baby’s spoons or bowls, simply wash them in a dishwasher. After all, your baby puts everything in reach into her mouth and none of these is sterilised. However, it’s important to sterilise your baby’s bottles and teats as warm milk is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
You will find that your baby will let you know how much she needs to eat; some foods such as carbohydrates will fill her more quickly than fresh fruit and vegetables; when she appears to be full or resists your attempts to feed her, it’s time to stop.