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Do you know when to start weaning?

Wednesday, 29 March 2017  | 

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When To Start Weaning?


Weaning is always a massive unknown, it's incredibly hard to know what's going to work for you and your family. Once you've gotten a month or so in, things become a lot easier and you find your groove - but how on earth do you get there? With my first son it felt really natural to know when to wean him, he was a whopping 9lb 13 born, so always on the top percentile in weight and height and he was more than ready at the recommended age then. However Patrick, my second son, wasn't ready till he reached just over six months. That was a huge difference of two and a half months in when I began weaning each of my sons, it's a clear indication that every single child is completely different. What works for mine, may not for yours and vice versa. However, a few tell tail signs should help you know when weaning isn't too far away; 


1. If your child is reaching six months and has an increased appetite for milk then do try them with food, there is absolutely no harm. If things don't initially work out, you can always retreat and try again in a few days or weeks, there is certainly no rush when it comes to weaning. 


2. Your little one will start to become interested and curious about food, this definitely happened with Patrick, it wasn't the initial glances which started at five months that alerted me for his readiness, it was more the insatiable lurches for my actual food that made me rethink when we needed to give him a taste for himself. 


3. They should be able to sit unaided and hold their head confidently before you being feeding them any form of solid food, this is key in preventing choking or any serious problems. It's also key for their comfort when sitting up to have meals.


4. They are 'high chair ready'. You'll notice your three month old certainly wont be able to sit properly in a highchair, even if they're propped up their head is unlikely to be above the tray. However as they grow you'll soon realise when your six month old begins to grow into their chair - this is a time when you should start to think about weaning.


5. If your little one is over the recommended weaning age and their sleep becomes disruptive, definitely try weaning as perhaps they're waking because they want a little more substance in their diet. Children need more vitamins than formula or breastmilk can provide from six months, so it's wise to keep that in mind.


6. When your gut tells you. Mothers intuition, (and fathers) has a lot to be said for, I think when you know 'you know'. So make sure you go with what is working for you, if in doubt don't ask your Nan what she did, or your friend, ask your health visitor - this is their profession after all.


I hope this has helped any of you out there looking to wean your little ones soon. I know weaning can be a little bit of a hazy fog that's hard to battle through, everyone wants to pass on their pearls of wisdom and it's easy to get lost in that. It's wise to familiarise yourself too with what foods to begin with and avoid during those first few months, then just sit back and enjoy! Weaning is a fun journey, so make the most out of it.

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