Hi, I'm Sophie and I'm the founder of Mamamade. When I began weaning my daughter, I wanted her to have the very best - everything home-cooked, organic, plant-based, flavourful and healthy - but the reality was that I struggled to keep up with mealtimes on top of milk feeds. (Sound familiar?)
So I created Mamamade. A service for parents like me: delivering healthy, organic baby meals to the door. We put a lot of heart into supporting our community with conversations, resources, events and 1:1 chats. But I know that, when it comes to nutrition and wellbeing, there's no one-size-fits-all. So, although these are my 7 top tips on successful weaning, it's most important that 'you do you'. And have fun!
1. Look for the 3 signs of readiness
These usually appear around 6 months. Is your baby:
- Able to sit up and hold their head steady on their own?
- Able to swallow food has lost the reflex to thrust their tongue?
- Do they have good coordination? Can they look at food, grab it and move it towards their mouth?
2. Start slow & small
So, start with one small ‘meal’ a day. Young babies can become easily overwhelmed and mealtime should be as reassuring as possible, with no pressure. Let them set the pace by responding to their hunger cues. You can then gradually build up the number of meals they’re eating.
3. You do you!
Try to forget everyone else. Whatever your pals are saying or you're reading on other blogs, weaning will be most successful when the methods and timing work for you and your family. Really, there’s no right or wrong way.
4. Variety is king
The best way to raise a confident eater is to offer a wide variety of foods all of the time. It really doesn’t matter which foods you present first - just keep offering the rainbow. Remember that old tip that you might have to serve a new flavour or texture as many as 20 times before your baby will chance it. Don't give up and fall into a rut of a very limited diet. You'll probably regret it in the longer run.
5. Sit with your baby
Ever noticed how the food on your plate seems more appealing to them? That’s why eating together is such a great tool to encourage exploration and boost confidence for your little one. Even one shared meal a week can make a huge difference. So pull their high chair as close to the table as you can and make it a family affair.
6. Patience & Persistence Pay Off
Some babies take to solids quicker than others, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Your baby is learning SO much - eating is a brand new skill as well as a full sensory experience, given all the new flavours, textures and tastes. Give them space to explore and discover, and you’ll find weaning a much more enjoyable experience (despite the mess!)
7. Ask For Help
Things not going to plan? Feeling confused or overwhelmed? It’s not easy being green, and you’re not alone. Mamamade offers 1:1 coaching and community - and our podcast is a great place to start.
So there you have it: words from the wise. But we'd love to offer you advice whenever you need it and when you subscribe to weekly Mamamade boxes, you get just that. Exclusive access to our weaning coach - a 1:1 call where you can ask all the questions you have about baby and child feeding.