Our guide to starting the epic task of weaning
1. Make sure your baby is ready
Around 5 or 6 months is the recommended time to start weaning.
2. Routine is key
If you don't already have a milk-feeding schedule established, it would be good to try and establish some sort of routine before you begin weaning. This will just make life easier for you and help your baby gradually go from milk feeding to having a balanced diet of three meals a day by their first birthday. An every four hours schedule is a good place to start (eg: 7am, 11am, 3pm, 7pm and then whenever your baby needs milk throughout the night, which will hopefully decrease as they eat more solids)
3. Are you sitting comfortably?
A Bumbo is a great little seat for your baby to sit in for their first tastes. It helps them learn to sit up on their own and supports them well so they can digest properly. Once they are better at sitting, you can move them to a high chair. Buy the original Bumbo here or Mamas and Papas very good alternative here.
A good stick blender is well worth buying to zap up those fresh fruits and veggies. Add water to make your purées nice and smooth to begin with. It's also worth buying some weaning ice cube trays or small pots so you can make big batches and portion them out to freeze. See our list of weaning products for everything you need.
4. First tastes
Begin by giving your baby just a few spoonful's of a single fruit or veg purée to get them used to eating from a spoon. Do this once a day for the first 10 days or so. (11am is a good time)
5. Tea time
After the first 10-14 days, mix two veg together to allow your baby to explore new flavours and textures. Introduce a few spoonful's at around 5pm (or somewhere in between your baby's afternoon milk feed and bedtime milk feed) as well as 11am. Baby rice can be mixed with fruit purée at this tea time feed (and hopefully will fill your baby's tummy a bit before bed).
6. Don't rush
Offer your baby their milk before offering solids. Gradually decrease their lunchtime milk feed as you gradually increase their lunchtime solids until you cut this milk out completely. Let your baby set their own pace but aim to give them a drink of water with lunch instead of milk after a month to 6 weeks of weaning.
7. Read up
Buy a weaning guide or two with lots of varied recipes and weekly guides at each stage of the weaning process. See our list of favourites.
Allergies can take up to 4 days to develop so keep a note of any new foods you give your baby and look out for skin reactions as a sign of a possible food allergy.
If you're brave enough to try baby led weaning, tips 4, 5 and 6 won't really apply. We were not brave or patient enough so we are in no position to give advice on this! We'd recommend buying a good baby led weaning guide, like this one by Gill Rapley & Tracey Murkett.