Your weaning questions answered, with Nanny Louenna
Feeding your little one can often feel like a minefield and weaning even more so. It is a big. new journey that can come with a ton of questions! We've partnered with Nanny Louenna, a childcare expert with decades of experience to share the answers to some of the top questions she has been asked.
Q. How do I know if my baby is ready to start weaning?
"You’ll notice a lot of baby cereal packets say from 4 months. The NHS guidelines recommend waiting until 6 months but sometimes Health Visitors will recommend before this and in those cases, you should look for options that show the correct age range for your little one.
At around 6 months, your little one may be ready to wean so if they are showing these signs :
- Able to support their head
- Not being satisfied after a milk feed
- Wanting their milk earlier than usual
- Waking up in the night or earlier in the morning than they have been before
- Taking an interest in your food and opening their mouths when they see you eating"
Q. What’s the best order to offer different foods to your baby?
"I always suggest offering fruit or vegetable purees and baby porridges as their first food before they are 6 months old. From 6 months, babies start needing a more protein heavy diet.
In my experience there is a taste window and babies who’ve explored food are less fussy as they’re experienced a wide range of tastes and textures that they accept and carry on eating. Avoid any food with added sugar, Kendamil porridges are ideal as they are sugar free."
Q. Should I offer my baby their food at the same time as their milk feed?
"I’d always advise that you stick to your normal milk routine and then offer foods at a different time - it is a lot to offer them both at the same time.
If you’re looking for a routine, I have a number of suggested ones on my app that you can follow. I usually start by offering a dinner time purée for the first week, then dinner and lunch for the second week and add breakfast in on the third week."
Q. What if my baby is wanting more to drink when they’re too little for weaning?
"Most 3 months old will be having 5 feeds per 24 hours, usually of around 8oz per feed although this can vary depending on the size of your baby.
There is often a growth spurt around this stage, so they might be draining their bottles fast, but in this case I’d always offer them a little more milk rather than trying to wean too early."
Q. Is it safe to mix formula or breastmilk with porridge?
"Yes absolutely - I’d advise it. It brings a familiar creamier taste and can help with the consistency to make it easier for them to swallow.
Just be aware that it might change the nutritional information on backs of packs, as you're adding the extra nutrition from the formula too. A number of kendamil porridges already contain milk too for that creamier taste."
Q. How runny should you make porridge for baby’s first taste?
"For their first taste, I’d recommend adding a little extra milk or water at first so that it is really smooth, runny and easy for them to try. As they get older, you can make it a little thicker."
Q. Can you add different flavours to Kendamil porridges?
"Definitely! Just blend some fruit until smooth and then add it to the porridge. Strawberries, blueberries, apple, pear, mango are all favourites of mine to add, plus from 6 months old you can also add yoghurt to their porridge too.
I like to use Kendamil Creamy Porridge as a base, but they also do other flavours if you want to save a step!"
Q. When should you stop feeding formula?
"At 12 months, babies can switch to cows milk or an alternative. At this stage, they should be having 3 good meals a day and formula is no longer their main source of nutrition.
I do tend to continue to offer them a bottle of milk in the morning and evening and toddler milk can be an important tool for helping parents transition away from formula."
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DISCLAIMERS: Louenna is a Kendamil brand ambassador but all opinions are her own. Post contains Affiliate Links.