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How to wean your baby onto solid food from 4 to 6 months

- Hello, everyone.

Emily Norris here, and today, I wanted to speak to you

about the first stage of weaning your baby

from four to six months.

I am a mom of two beautiful boys,

Fraser, who's 3 1/2, and Caleb, who is nearly five months.

It's funny how with your second one

you forget what you did the first time.

So I have just had to review everything that I did,

and the correct way to wean, et cetera.

Actually just read all these books,

so that you don't have to.

So these are my top tips for weaning.

- Disclaimer,

my mommy's not a doctor,

she's not an expert,

and not a nutritionist.

My mommy is a mommy.

She has experience.

- First tip is make sure your baby is ready to be weaned.

There's no point in doing it too soon.

But also you don't want to leave it too late.

The Department of Health,

they recommend that you wait until six months.

But you are the mom, and you know best,

and just go with your instincts,

because you can wean your baby

anywhere from four to six months.

And I personally started weaning both of my boys

at the four-month mark.

They're both big boys.

Both over the 75th percentile, so quite beefy boys.

They're exclusively breastfed,

so I don't really feel like I was enough

after the four-month mark.

They were waking up for extra night feeds, so that's a sign.

Really watching when I eat.

Was reaching out for things, and Caleb,

a little bit crying as well.

But doing things like this.

A bit young for those.

(bag crinkles)

(Emily laughs)

Or this.

(bell chiming) (thumping)

Even this.

Mm.

Chances are they're ready to be weaned.

And if your baby has strong head support,

and can sit in a chair well,

they are able to have their head up and swallow.

Or if when you go with a spoon,

they sort of open up like they're quite ready.

You'll know as a mom, you'll know your instinct.

But if you put the spoon to their mouth,

they're really not interested,

and they just suck on it (sucks mouth) like it's milk.

(Fraser laughs)

Tip number two is,

what are the best foods for weaning your baby?

First food you wanna try-- - Carrots!

- (gasps) That's right, carrots, and apple.

- And pear!

- And pear.

- [Fraser] Ah.

- And mango.

- Oh, yeah.

- So baby rice is the first one,

or baby porridge that you can get in the shops.

Baby rice is probably the first thing you want to try

mixed with your baby's normal milk.

So either expressed breast milk or formula is fine.

Try literally a table, no sorry, a teaspoon of that

with enough liquid like two tablespoons

to make it quite liquidy,

and then see how they react to that.

And some books, they recommend

that you should try one food for a whole week.

Oh, jeez, but I disagree.

I think a whole week of baby rice could be really boring,

and cause constipation.

And then a whole week of carrots,

and a whole week of apples,

I just think it will be a bit much.

So I did a two-day rule, so I did two days of baby rice,

two days of apple, two days of carrot,

two days of parsnip, and so on.

And then after two weeks, then I started changing every day.

Pear, mango,

banana.

It's a great one.

You don't have to cook it or anything,

and just mash it up. (Fraser yelps)

Avocado.

- Can I come? - Peach.

(feet stomping)

Potato. (chuckles)

Sweet potato.

- Ah. - Swede.

- Ah, ah. - Pumpkin.

Butternut squash.

- [Fraser] No.

- And smooth. - And sweet potatoes,

actually. - And smoothie!

(Emily laughs)

- So it's fine to mix, especially in the early days,

it's fine to mix these foods with a bit of their

normal milk. - Ah.

- Vegetable stock, like baby vegetable stock from the shop,

which is lower salt level.

Or if you're a super mom, you can make it yourself,

and you could mix potato and sweet potato

with baby vegetable stock, because it's quite starchy.

So either mix it with milk, or vegetable stock,

so that it's thinner for the early days,

especially if this is before six months.

After six months, it's not as much of an issue.

- Tip number three.

- How often and when? (Fraser babbles)

My personally, for my boys,

week one I fed them around lunchtime.

So they'd had their morning nap.

They'd had like a 10:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m. feed.

So about 11:30 or 12:00 is quite a good time,

so I would do it then.

So just lunchtime for a whole week.

Then week two, I did a bit of breakfast

after their first feed.

We come downstairs as a family.

Do a bit of porridge or a bit of fruit,

and then I did a lunch as well.

And then week three, I did still two meals a day.

So still just the breakfast and lunch.

And I naturally did something sweet for breakfast,

and something more savory

or vegetable for lunch. - No, no, no, no, no!

- Week four onwards, I did three meals a day.

A little breakfast after their first feed.

The lunch as usual.

And then I did a tea at about 4:30 or 5:00-ish.

In that feed as time goes on,

I would like add more baby rice, or more porridge,

or avocado is excellent because it's got good fat in it.

So I try and, you don't want to stuff them full

so that they don't have any milk,

'cause milk is still a priority,

but it does help them sleep a little bit.

Tip four.

So portion sizes.

This I find really confusing.

And no book will say what portion sizes to do,

because it's really down to you,

and down to your baby, and it's so personal.

But as a guide, I personally in the early days,

did about two tablespoons of food.

So I do two tablespoons of carrot.

Use the bowl for that, and then see.

If they took it all, that's fine.

I didn't do any more.

I just did two tablespoons while their digestive system's

sort of getting going that way.

If they don't want all the whole two tablespoons,

that's fine as long as they try it,

as long as you're getting something into them,

and they're getting used to the process.

That's the main thing at this stage,

so don't worry about portion control.

Tip number four, be positive.

Baby will pick up on the way that you are,

and how you're feeling.

They know you, they'll pick up on.

If you're feeding them like this,

he's not gonna like it, he's not gonna like it,

he's not gonna like it, he's not gonna like,

and I personally don't like parsnip,

and so whenever I make it for the boys,

and I try and feed it to them,

I'm a bit like ooh, it's gross, it's gross, it's gross,

and I think maybe they pick up on that as well.

So just be really happy, smiley, singing.

This is wonderful bonding time.

It's really, really fun.

Food is great.

Be positive, and pick up on what your baby is acting like.

If it's a really clinical situation,

and you stick them in this cold high chair

for the first time, you stick a bib around their neck,

and then you put a spoon to their face,

and it's all a bit much, (laughs)

then you can try different things.

Especially for breastfed babies,

meals have always been this lovely time with mommy,

and being on mommy's lap,

so they may want to be fed while you're holding them,

or they may want to be

in a familiar bouncy chair to start with.

Tip number five is, what equipment do you need?

I was amazed that in the books

how much equipment they say that you should have,

and all the whizzers, and processors,

and things that they suggest.

Really don't need all of it.

All you really need is a pot to boil vegetables in,

and a steamer, which holds more nutrients.

So if you wanna steam your vegetables, that's brilliant.

Processor or a,

a bit of a blender.

Old Braun like (imitates blending) smoothie thing.

And you will need bibs.

I like the bibs that have soft on the front

against their skin, but then plastic on the back,

so it doesn't go through to their clothes.

And obviously high chair, or a bouncy seat,

or a car seat, or something like that in the early days.

Weaning bowls, plastic bowls, and weaning spoons.

These are the weaning spoons that I use.

A bit stained from all the vegetables.

But yeah, so they're plastic.

Don't use metal,

because it can be sharp on their little gums.

So just buy yourself some weaning spoons.

Ziploc bags, and ice cube trays.

And that is so that when you make a big batch of mango,

and you whiz it up, you can put it in the ice cube trays,

and put it in Ziploc bags.

That is all the equipment that you will need.

Number six is offer drinks.

So

even though your baby probably

won't take any of it to begin with,

have a beaker with two handles on it, so that they can try.

And offer them cool, boiled water as a drink,

especially in the summer. - Ah.

- No squash, they don't need the squash.

There's loads of time for that when they're older.

But yeah, cooled boiled water, or their normal milk.

Tip number seven, allergies, salt content,

and sugar content are things to just look out for.

High allergy foods (child sneezes)

are egg, (child sneezes)

kiwi, peanuts, tree nuts.

Can't have protein foods or egg

until they're six-months old.

And when they can have egg, it has to be very well-cooked.

One year, they can have cow's milk, bit of honey,

and pate, and soft cheese,

but they can't have any of that before one year.

Seven months, you should aim to have your baby

having three meals a day with a protein meal at lunch,

so some meat, some egg, some lentils, something like that.

And that will really help them sleep well at night,

but also they'll need the protein.

And they also run out of iron at six months.

Your babies are born with a natural store of iron,

but from six months, they will need some iron

in the form of leafy vegetables, apricots, red meat,

egg yolks, and oily fish, and lentils as well.

In the early days, I sort of,

I let Caleb have a rusk every now and then,

because it's nice for him to chew on.

He obviously likes it on his teeth.

But just don't go crazy with rusks,

because they're 30% sugar.

There's as much sugar in a rusk

as a chocolate digestive biscuit.

And even the reduced sugar rusks

still have 20% sugar in them.

So they are quite high in sugar.

Be aware of the sugar content

in baby porridges and things like that.

And also, if you're gonna use packets,

I use the them when I go out.

They are so convenient, and they are really, really good.

There's only fruit and veg in them.

But they normally have been cooked,

so some of the nutrients is gone,

because they need to obviously last the shelf life.

Sorry, Ella's Kitchen,

but some of their packets can be misleading.

Ella's Kitchen, this one for instance says,

red peppers, sweet potato, and apples.

Well, that sounds quite healthy.

But then you look on the back, and,

I mean, that is healthy, but if you are thinking,

oh, I'll give them that,

'cause that's sort of a more of a vegetable-based one,

'cause it's red peppers, sweet potatoes, and apple,

on the back, it's actually 78% apple,

11% red peppers, and 11% sweet potato.

So the majority of it is apple.

So if you're doing it as a lunch,

'cause you think it's more of a vegetable-based one,

just really look on the back,

'cause I fall for that all the time,

because the way it's worded.

Number eight, my last tip is to get organized,

and make batches of food and freeze them.

So if you set aside one evening, or one day,

or one, you know, a time where your husband can have kids,

and you can buy up all the fruit that you need,

cook it up into batches, put them into ice cube trays,

put 'em in a freezer, (Caleb burbles)

and then you're done.

And in the morning, you can come down,

and you can think, right, what's he gonna have today?

Ice cube of mango, an ice cube of sweet potato,

an ice cube of broccoli, peas, and whatever it is.

And it just makes life so much easier.

So if you can set aside some time to get organized,

it's a really big tip from me.

And first started weaning my children,

I bought loads and loads of ice cube trays,

'cause I thought I needed those.

But actually, if you do a batch of mango, and freeze it,

and then pop them out into a Ziploc bag

that you can then label,

then you could use the ice cube tray again,

and then you could use it again, and again, and again.

So in your freezer, you'll actually

just have Ziploc bags full of different things.

And then you can write on the label what it is,

'cause things change their look when they're frozen.

So you can say, sweet potato,

and then when you made it. (Caleb burbles)

So I would put sweet potato, June 2014, or whatever it is.

And then you know from then (Caleb burbles)

that it will last for three months in your freezer.

Okay, thank you, everyone.

I hope my tips are useful.

- [Woman] So you are my new swashbuckling team

to help me win back my jewels from Captain Sinker.

But before we play our first game, let's.

(lighthearted guitar music)

- Hi, everyone.

Oh, that was horrible.

And she's not a nutritionist.

- No.

(Caleb burbles) - Hey, now.

(Caleb burbles)

(Emily laughs)

Not doing it now.

(Emily laughs)

To get all big and strong like this.

- Ah.

(Emily growls)

- [Emily] That was your favorite.

- And orange.

- No, no, no.

You can't have citrus foot until after six months.

- You need lemon.

- No lemon. (laughs)

I don't think the baby would like lemon.

- [Fraser] Can I come again?

- Yes.

- Mango.

- Mango's a very good one.

And parsnip.

- Pa!

- Swede.

Sweet potato is like my favorite one.

- Sweets.

- Not sweets.

Tip number three,

don't do a vlog with your child in the next room.

So I better go,

'cause the babies are crying. (laughs)