This is such an exciting time...the look on your baby's face the first time they eat solids (if you can call watery porridge like baby rice solids!?). Isabelle took her first mouthful and looked at us with a 'yeah and?' expression on her face. When Sebastien took his first mouthful, he looked up and me, thought about it, scrunched up his face and started to cry...very loudly with a 'that's not my milk' look on his face.
So where to start? Traditionally babies were weaned around 4mths old, now it's advised to wait until 6mths unless advised otherwise by your Dr. The theory here being that in fact at 4mths their digestive tracts are not mature enough yet and early weaning can lead to digestive issues later in life. That means an awful lot of us must have digestive issues right? Who knows, advice changes with the wind. For us the Dr said we should start at 5mths. In fact I started both of them just past 5mths. Isabelle took to it really well, Sebastien didn't so I put it off for another 2 weeks and tried again.
In the 1st month of weaning you are not trying to replace their milk. Their milk should still be their main source of nutrition. You are just trying to introduce different tastes to the. Baby rice to start with, then various puree fruits and vegetables. Apple and pear work best as starting fruits, and carrot and pumpkin works a treat for starting veggies. Basically the sweet ones. If you are still giving a 5 or 6 ounce 10.30pm feed to your baby (Gina Ford style) weaning also means you can start to eliminate this feed. Reduce the milk by an ounce every 3 days once you start on solids, and eventually by the 2nd or 3rd week you will cut this feed out altogether.
Durung week 1 of weaning you can start by giving baby rice at the lunch time milk feed (just after the milk) - only a tablespoon or so. This is normally around 11am. By the end of the week you can add a teaspoon or two of fruit puree. Usually it is advised (if you want to be cautious) to try something new for 3 full days before moving onto the next thing as that's when you really know if your child develops an allergy to it or not. I didn't do that, I tried a new fruit every other day. By week 2 you can start to give a 2nd solids meal at super time; and by week 3 a 3rd solids meal at breakfast time.
When you start weaning around 5 or 6 mths your baby could be on as much milk as 26oz. What you are aiming at is that once 3 solid meals are introduced along with 3 milk meals that the milk intake is around 18oz. OF COURSE each baby is very different and you have to tailor this to yours. But you need to work out how to increase the solids and decrease the milk. Eventually by the time you have weaning well established your day will look something like this:
7 am - 6oz milk followed by breakfast of 1-2 table spoon baby rice PLUS 1-2 teaspoon fruit puree.
9am – morning nap for 45mins
11.45 - 2 tablespoons CARBO (eg baby rice / sweet potato) PLUS 2/3 teaspoon VEGGIE puree . drink of water (OR well diluted juice, eg 1 teaspoon of puree fresh juice in 2 oz boiled cooled water)
12.00 - Lunch time nap for 2hrs
2.30 – 6oz milk
4.15 – a drink of cooled boiled water (1-2 oz)
5.00 - 1 or 2 tablespoon baby rice with 3 teaspoon FRUIT puree
6.00 – bath time
6.30 – 6/7oz Milk
7.00 - bedtime