My daughter, 9 months, is absolutely not interested in being weaned. My mum says that she’ll keep going and will soon be pulling up a stool to sit on while she breastfeeds. What should I do?
Every baby is different in how they take to solids, assuming your baby does not have any medical issues you need to keep trying weaning, you will get there before she pulls up that stool! Here are some suggestions which I hope may help:
Try and encourage you baby to touch and feel the food, playing with food can help them become familiar with it. If you can, sit them in a highchair and put out small bits of food, most children will automatically suck on the food, this is a start. The best finger foods are foods that can be cut up into pieces that are big enough for your baby to hold in their fist, and stick out of the top of it. You can try
- Cooked sticks/slices/chunks of broccoli, sweet potato, potato, courgette, butternut squash etc.
- Raw slices/chunks of banana, avocado, peaches, pears, melon, cucumber etc
- Cooked rice
- Citrus fruits, strawberries and kiwi fruit
- Cooked pasta, with or without sauce
- Cubes or fingers of bread/toast (watch out for this sticking to the roof of the mouth if they cram a lot in)
- Breadsticks (check for salt content)
- Cheese – cut into sticks or grated
- Pieces of cooked fish or meat
- Yogurt/fromage frais (check for sugar content)
- Low sugar/salt breakfast cereal
- Chopped hard boiled egg
- Cooked pulses
Try and eat with your child; they are much more likely to eat if you are eating as well. They may want to try the food which you are eating, which is a good way of getting them to try new foods. Just be mindful of sizes of pieces to avoid chocking and remember that some adult foods may have too high a salt content or be too spicy.
Another key point is not to let them fill up with milk before meal times. Try and get into a routine and stop feeding around two to three hours before lunchtime. At this point if they are thirsty just give them water, when it gets to lunchtime they are more likely to be hungry and more willing to try new foods.
If they do not want to take food off a spoon, just give food they can put in their mouth themselves, if you are trying a pureed food make it thick enough they can pick up in their fist. Yep it’s going to be messy but oh so satisfying as you see a child enjoying experiencing food.
Try and relax at meal times, tension can be picked up and will impact on your baby and they will become tense too.
Offer small amounts, they can always have more once they have finished the initial portion, babies are very good at regulating their own intake.
Do not panic your baby will get there in their own time. If in you feel your baby has a problem with swallowing or you are still having a problem in another month or two and nothing is working you may want to seek advice from your health visitor.