Weaning Tips: Introducing Equipment and Food
Some babies can put up a bit of a fight when it comes to weaning. Mainly it's because they don't want to wean. They'd like to stick to the same comfortable routine. They can act suspicious towards you and any of the tools you use for weaning them, like the bottle, spoons, bowls, food, etc. They may learn to recognize these objects as objects they dislike, which can make weaning harder.
To keep this from happening, introduce the objects to your baby a few days before you plan to start weaning them. If you didn't get the chance to do this before your first weaning attempt and the your attempt wasn't successful, wait a few days for your baby to familiarize themselves with the objects. You can do this by leaving the objects for your baby to touch and play with, or by giving them the objects at certain points in the day. Right before feeding is usually the best time.
For example, you can leave a baby bottle with a bit of water in it in your baby's crib or play pen. Your baby is bound to play with it and touch it. S/he is also likely to try and put it in their mouth (as babies often do) and may discover its wonders on his or her own. While you and your husband eat, you can give your baby a bowl and spoon to play with. These should be the bowl and spoon you plan on using when weaning them. Doing this will familiarize your baby with the objects and by watching you, s/he will see how the objects should be used.
Once your baby is used to the objects, you can begin showing them how they work, and in doing so, your weaning process begins.
If your baby is suspicious of new foods, introduce it to them by letting them play with it a little first. Try and plan the introduction of new foods when your baby is happy and relaxed. Don't give them something they've never tried before when they're cranky and really hungry. They're unlikely to eat it. If your baby rejects the new food, try mixing it with some of the food they're already comfortable with then slowly reduce the amounts of the old food till they're completely eating the new food.
Remember to introduce lots of different types of food to your baby during their first year of eating because this is when their taste preferences form. These preferences will fully form by the age of two, and may not change again till they're about eight years of age. Try and let your baby hold the spoon and learn how it works. This may be a bit messy, but the thrill of feeding themselves will often encourage babies to keep trying new things.
Equipment You Need for Weaning
- Baby bowl (try getting one with a suction cup at the bottom so you can attach it to the table)
- Baby spoons (colored ones are the best since they will keep your baby's attention)