Moving your baby onto solid food can be a bewildering experience. It takes a little time for them to learn to take food from a spoon and then figure out how to move it from the front of the tongue to the back of the mouth. Introducing solids may cause your baby to gag, spit the food out or cry because the food is not coming fast enough. I always recommend to start weaning from 5 ½ months. This will give your little one time to get used to the idea of food before they are introduced to a wider variety from 6 months onward.
Remember, babies can vary in terms of how long it takes to accept solids. Some will accept them straight away while others may take several weeks.
In our Infographic below we outline the portion size and frequency of meals in a baby's first year. Our tips below are based on weaning from 5 ½ months with easy to follow portions guides and recipes for your weaning baby during the first year. Check out ‘When to start weaning’ for more details. If you started at six months, you should move onto three meals per day, starting at Day 12-14. Move quickly onto the 6-7 months guide.
How to Start Weaning
First Meal: The first meal to introduce is the mid morning meal. Offer your baby their milk at 11am and then give them their solid food between 12 and 12:30pm. Make sure they are not too hungry as this is just a taste. Start off with your 4-6 Month Weaning Pot ensuring that if you start before six months you have not affected their milk intake.
Second Meal: After about 3 days and if you feel your baby has taken well to the first few tastes move onto the second meal. The second meal is the breakfast and again should only be a taste in a 4-6 Month Weaning Pot.
Third Meal: After the first week you should start to move your baby onto their third meal of the day and you should also increase the amount of food offered to your baby. Introduce the third meal in the evening at about 5pm after giving them an afternoon milk feed at 3pm. The portion size is still a taste, 4-6 Month Weaning Pots. Continue to offer different tastes for week two.
From Six Months: At this stage you should have established a good eating pattern with three meals per day along with baby’s milk. You can start to increase texture and add finger foods. Baby should be offered 6-7 Month Pot portions 3 times per day. If you find your baby is still hungry, offer pieces of fruit and fingers foods.
PDF Printable Version Portion Guide for the first year
Tips for Weaning
- Including two 1oz (30g) servings of oily fish in an infant’s weekly diet from about 7 months will help meet their requirements of omega-3 which can boost brain development.
- Introducing lumpy foods from about 9 months is important and helps to develop an acceptance for a wider variety of foods later on. It can also boost their ability to speak and chew.
- Never avoid foods due to a suspected allergen or intolerance*. This can lead to a poor intake of nutrients and may make your baby more likely to develop fussy eating habits later on.
- Avoid staying too long at any particular stage of weaning. Don’t get caught up by batch cooking too much at a particular stage as the texture may not be relevant at a later stage.
- Introduce new textures and flavours (at recommended times) at a pace your child is comfortable with. Make sure to keep moving forward in your weaning journey, introduce variety in your child’s diet to avoid a fussy eater later on!
*All allergies need to be diagnosed by a doctor. If an infant does have an allergy or intolerance to a certain food, see a dietitian to make sure their diet contains the necessary foods for healthy development.