How to wean with confidence

Learn everything you need to know about weaning, including signs that your baby is ready, an expert Q&A, and tips for the first year.

We’ve put together a list of top tips from parents, a weaning Q&A with our nutritionist Laura, and expert articles to help you on your weaning journey.

weaning stories and support

Follow parents as they navigate their way through a week of weaning with their little ones.

Weaning FAQs

Babies are likely to show signs of readiness at around 6 months of age for the introduction of first foods. This may be through sitting upright and holding their head steady, showing interest in your food and starting to pick up and move food to their mouth.

Around 6 months of age milk is still important in the diet, but it no longer provides all the iron and zinc your baby needs and this is where protein foods such as lentils, beans, eggs and fish are especially important.

If you are concerned that your little one has a food allergy or an intolerance then you should first get professional advice from your GP. Don’t just eliminate foods from your child’s diet, as they may become deficient in important nutrients. Depending on the severity and urgency, make notes of symptoms and the reactions and talk to your GP.

The first year is vital to exposing little ones to new foods, flavours and textures. These early days are also about trying new textures whether that be from whole cooked or soft raw foods (if following the baby led weaning approach). Or if offering purees first, then your little one will progress from eating runny, thin and thicker purees through to mashed, lumpy, minced and chopped food.

These early days of offering first foods can be really apprehensive and scary for us as parents. However it’s good to remember that gagging is a natural reflex that happens when there’s a risk of choking. They are learning lots of new skills, particularly how to chew, swallow, and how much food to take into their mouth in one go. To minimise risk of choking, ensure to cook food well so it’s a soft texture and cut into suitable sized pieces (e.g. halve grapes and cherry tomatoes) and always stay with your baby at meal times whilst they’re eating.

Also I’d recommend doing a first aid course for babies and children to further put your mind at rest at this time.

The first year of life (so up to 12 months) is all about exposing them to a wide variety of foods and increasing their familiarity to them. It’s also important to introduce protein based foods at 6 months as their iron stores are depleted at this point.

Don’t be driven by calories, rather offer a variety of foods including starchy carbs (e.g. rice, pasta and bread), protein rich foods (e.g. eggs, beans, lentils, fish and poultry) and a range of fruit and vegetables for a balanced meal. Children are good at self-regulating and they will eat to their appetite.

Where you can try and sit as a whole family and eat and enjoy your meal (and vegetables!) all together, so your child can see you enjoy all the foods on your plate.

Children need to try foods such as vegetables many times until they are familiar and accept them. This is tough to witness as a parent, but don’t give up and try offering it again!

In the meantime make sure to include some vegetables within meals (e.g. grated courgette or carrot in a pasta sauce) so you know they are getting some vegetables into their diet.