Are you thinking about baby led weaning spoons?
You might be starting to look at baby led weaning spoons……
For many first time mothers weaning can be a nerve wracking time. You’ve managed to get over the birth – just about – and you’ve finally got your baby into some sort of feeding routine. You may have struggled with breast feeding – or found it came easily if you’re lucky. Or you may have decided that that wouldn’t work for you and your baby and you’ve been feeding infant formula from a bottle. Whichever route you’ve chosen, as the 6 month milestone approaches you’ll be thinking about the best way to begin weaning onto more solid food – and you may be looking at baby led weaning spoons!
So when is your baby ready to move on and try baby led weaning spoons?
You may notice that your baby is now able to sit up and coordinate their hands and fingers more and is generally more alert and interested in watching what you are eating. They may try to reach out for your food or play with it. By 6 months they are definitely more able to chew and swallow so are usually ready to move on to trying ‘real’ foods. You may hear some people say that weaning onto more solid foods will make your baby sleep better at night, but there is no evidence to suggest that this is true.
Unfortunately any number of things may keep your baby from sleeping through the night in their first year, and teething is often a culprit!
It’s important to realise that this stage doesn’t signal the end of milk or formula feeding, the solids will complement the milk your baby already drinks rather than take its place. It’s really a time when babies can experiment with different flavours and textures of food to give them practice at a bit of chewing and sampling so they can develop wide ranging taste buds and generally get used to the idea of what food actually is! Baby led weaning spoons can definitely help with experimentation!
Your child may not eat a lot and sometimes not much at all, it’s one of those things that takes time to master and be comfortable with, this is why you should keep on with breast or formula feeding as this will still be the mainstay of your baby’s diet. You might even find that more of the food goes on the floor or the table than in your baby’s mouth – and it may go in only to dribble out again! Baby led weaning spoons make all this experimentation a lot more fun!
Baby led weaning spoons – and baby led weaning!
You’ve definitely heard of baby led weaning and baby led weaning spoons if you’ve got a young baby. I’m sure you probably know someone who preaches about how easily their baby took to ‘solid’ foods! You may feel quite a pressure to ‘get it right’ – in fact there is no right or wrong, it’s actually whatever suits you and your baby best and fits in with your lifestyle.
Baby led weaning is not some mysterious art!
So what is baby led weaning and how can our baby led weaning spoons help?
Well, whatever you read will give you a different answer on this one, but we would say it’s allowing your baby to experiment with tiny bits of ‘finger’ foods, and soft mashed or pureed foods that might tempt your baby to taste them and really to get the idea that these are things to put into their mouths! We think also that baby led weaning spoons can really be useful – you can let your baby try to grasp a spoon to allow them to try and use it as a tool to help them experiment with the foods you are providing for them.
That’s why we are bringing you our baby led weaning spoons – smooth BPA free silicone spoons that make it easy for your baby to make their first attempts at feeding. Our spoons are flexible and kind on little gums, they are suckable and soothing for tiny mouths. The handles are easy to grasp and hold and they are tipped with our friendly animal silhouette which your baby will grow to recognise and love. The shape of the scoop makes it super easy for your baby to try to manoeuvre food.
Our baby led weaning spoons are fully personalised with your baby’s name on the handle, your baby will grow used to seeing the markings and while they might be too young to recognise letters they can become familiar with the shapes of the letters, they will certainly notice them.
Our baby led weaning spoons come in calm pastel colours designed to promote peaceful mealtimes – the importance of colour cannot be overstated! Pastel colours tend to calm the mood which is what you want when there is all that stimulation for the senses in the form of food – smell, texture, taste…..calm colours are definitely a good idea for a more mellow mealtime.
You can still help your baby with a baby led weaning spoon
Of course if you are feeling a bit nervous about going straight to baby led weaning when you begin the weaning process, it’s absolutely fine to go ahead and try a bit of spoon feeding or a combination of the two. After giving your baby milk for the first 6 months it can be daunting to think about changing the whole process and it can also be worrying if you haven’t done it before. You worry that your baby might choke or not be able to cope with finger foods.
In reality, at 6 months your baby is ready to move on from the exclusive milk feeding, but this is a time for them to have fun experimenting and finding out about foods and there really is no rush as they will still be getting their main nutrition from milk.
If you decide that you want to spoon feed at first then our silicone baby feeding spoons are still a very good choice as you can use them to feed your baby and maybe later encourage them to grasp the spoon themselves. The main thing is that you make mealtimes fun and pleasurable to allow your baby to connect positive emotions with nutritious food, which will start them on the path to healthy and enjoyable eating. Your baby can watch you having fun wth the baby spoon and they will want to have fun trying out the spoon too!
Our baby weaning spoons are good for meals on the go
When you are out and about take our baby weaning spoons along and it will be ready when you decide to stop off for a bit of lunch or even a picnic. Just because you are trying to encourage your baby to try ‘solid’ foods doesn’t mean that every meal has to be in the house! Food is fun and meals on the go can be an occasion to have fun with other babies and watch them trying their food too! Other kids will be envious of your child’s baby led weaning spoon!
All of this can send the message to your baby that feeding is fun! Don’t forget to take along a water bottle so your baby can enjoy sips of water alongside the food you have brought, or perhaps you are bringing formula along in a bottle, or expressed milk. Whichever it is, putting a PKS Name Band on your baby’s bottle will help to prevent it from getting lost or confused with others as well as being great to grasp onto and hold in baby’s little hands.
So which foods do you feed your baby?
So you’ve got ideas about how to start feeding your baby more solid food – but what on earth do you actually feed them? What are good weaning foods and good baby led weaning foods? Again you may know friends who spend their time cooking for their babies and seem to be super organised!
You might think you’ll never have time for all that but you don’t want to rely too much on packaged baby foods and snacks. Scary though isn’t it? Choosing the foods to give your baby, who has so far just had breast milk or formula. What will you try for that first taste of ‘real’ food?
Popular and recommended foods to start off with as first baby led weaning foods are the sweeter vegetables and some fruits. NHS baby weaning recommends things like:
- Carrot, parsnip, sweet potato, potato, butternut squash
- Apple and pear
These can all be mashed or pulped at first.
Your baby can try them with fingers or a spoon – like PKS baby weaning spoon! You can try letting your baby experiment with these, always being ready to give them a helping hand with a spoon if you think that would help, or you can let your baby just play with the food themselves.
It’s a great idea to give your baby food at a family mealtime then they have the added benefit of a social family occasion! Or try feeding alongside another friend’s baby so they can watch each other! Always remember to supervise your baby with any food in case of choking. Try not to get too anxious about this possibility but it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the way your baby reacts to any food.
Try some flavours that aren’t so sweet too
You don’t need to add sugar or salt to a baby’s food – the natural flavour of the food will be enough for them and it will be a good start to a healthy lifestyle if you leave these extras out. Include flavours that aren’t so sweet too, like broccoli, cauliflower or spinach – these can be very soft boiled and ready to grab in the hand.
Babies will also enjoy the different textures of food so include a variety of textures, colours and flavours. This is the best way to get a balanced range of vitamins. Most of us know the main food groups – Starches such as sweet potato; Proteins such as egg: vegetables and fruits and dairy produce. You should choose a range of foods from all of these groups – vegan or vegetarian babies can substitute alternatives making sure they get all the right nutrition.
If you decide to start off with purees then it’s a good idea to move on to mashed or finger foods as soon as you can to help your baby learn to chew – a skill they need to develop for eating so that a wide range of foods can be tried. At first you might only feed your baby ‘proper’ food once a day – they need time to get used to the whole process and it may actually take quite a lot of time to actually accomplish that one session!
You’re still relying on the milk at this stage for nutrition and you don’t want to stress too much about what your baby is or isn’t actually eating! After a while you could progress to a couple or even three times a day, but keep the amounts small and keep it all fun and not pressurised – or your baby will not enjoy the experience!
Gradually as your baby becomes used to the idea of putting food into their mouth and chewing, you can start feeding them a wider variety of foods, perhaps similar to whatever the rest of the family is eating. Then they will feel part of the team! It’s important though to steer clear of big lumps of harder food or food such as fish that may contain bones – just make sure you check carefully to make sure everything is baby sized!
Some foods, such as whole nuts, should not be given to little ones under 5 because they are larger, hard lumps that can get lodged in the throat. Some fruit has to be checked for stones and larger pips. These are fairly common sense points though and you shouldn’t be put off feeding your baby with nutritious foods!
Enjoy watching your baby experiment with foods!
Once your baby has mastered the art of popping the food in their mouth, chewing and swallowing, you can relax and take pleasure in watching your baby blossom and start to become less reliant on milk for nutrition.
Once your baby is a year old you can try ‘proper’ cutlery – we have a personalised children’s cutlery set comprising of a stainless steel spoon and fork with flexible silicone handles, tipped with our friendly animal silhouette. This really will make your baby feel part of family mealtimes and will allow them to try out the skill of spearing food with the fork! This can take some time and effort to master! Again, we make these in calm pastel colours to keep the atmosphere fun but peaceful!
We hope you can look forward to these early weaning days and months with anticipation and with excitement rather than confusion and dread! It’s always daunting for both parent and baby to start something new and different but it will definitely be worth letting your baby try a wide range of foods in those early days. And PKS personalised baby cutlery will make early feeding more enjoyable and much more fun for you and your baby!
Have a look in our shop!