What to expect when you start weaning
Introducing solids can be an exciting time full of experiments and fun. Here are 5 things to expect when you start weaning...
Sign 1: Your baby can hold their head and neck in a steady position
In order to start solids, your baby needs to master a few motor skills. One of the most important ones is the ability to hold the head in a steady position. This helps your baby to observe how the food makes its way to the mouth and to coordinate chewing and swallowing.
Sign 2: Your baby can sit with almost no support
Your baby doesn’t need to be able to sit freely. You can give the first meals having your baby in a half seated position on your lap, stabilizing the back with one hand and feeding with the other.
Sign 3: Your baby shows hand-mouth coordination
At this stage, babies explore the environment visually and orally – with their eyes and their mouth. This means that at some point your baby will want to try the food rather than only watch you eat it. Once they are able to grasp for the food and bring it to their mouth, you will know that you are good to go.
Sign 4: Your baby is able to take food from a spoon
Babies have an inborn reflex: their tongue pushes anything automatically away when it is touched. This is to protect them from aspirating food that they cannot chew yet. Once the key motor skills are developed, this reflex vanishes and your little one is ready to dive into the world of food.
Your baby is hungrier than usual:
All babies have a growth and developmental spurt between 3 to 4 months when their calorie demand naturally goes up. This is not the time to introduce solids yet but to increase the frequency of feeds until the phase is over.
Your baby wakes up during the night more frequently:
Around the age of 4 months, babies go through a phase of sleep regression. This has to do with their mental development and less with increased hunger.
Your baby is drooling and chews their toys:
This is actually a sign your little one is slowly getting ready for introducing solids and is not quite there yet. At around 4 months, babies will start putting toys into their mouth in order to explore new textures with their tongue. This sensitizes the nerves of the tongue and trains the muscles - skills your baby will need for trying different foods.