Weaning Q & A

May 5th, 2006

Q: When to start?
A: For most babies, milk or infant milk provides all the nourishment needed up to the age of 6 months, but if you think your baby needs solids before this time, ask your health professional for advice.

Q: What foods should I offer to start with?
A: Baby rice, fruit (e.g. banana, apple, pear, mango) or vegetable (e.g. carrot, parsnip, potato, yam) purees mixed with your baby’s usual milk make good first weaning foods. These first tastes should be bland-tasting, smooth and gluten free.

Q: How much should I give and when?
A: One or two teaspoons of food offered before, during or after one of your baby’s usual milk feeds is all that you’ll need to give to start with. Gradually you will be able to increase the number of spoonfuls offered – be guided by your baby’s appetite, so if he still seems hungry after a couple of teaspoons of food you can give a little more. As your baby begins to want more, start giving some solid food at two and then three feeds a day.

Q: Increasing variety?
A: Try and give a wide variety of tastes as your baby is less likely to be a fussy eater later on if you do. If a food is rejected at first, try it again another time as your baby may grow to like it.

Q: How long will weaning take?
A: Weaning from a milk only diet to one containing a wide range of new tastes is a gradual process which can take quite some time, but by the age of about one year most babies will be eating a varied diet. Remember all babies are different so relax and go at your baby’s pace. Allow plenty of time for feeding, particularly at first, and let your baby enjoy learning this new skill.

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