Your by-age guide to weaning baby

Your baby’s starting solids ― get expert tips on offering new tastes and textures, plus how much to feed your munchkin.

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Up till your baby is 6 months of age, breast-milk is sufficient for his needs. After that, babies should receive age-appropriate foods while breastfeeding continues for up to 2 years of age or beyond. 
            Introducing new foods to bubba will ensure that he gets a variety of vitamins and nutrients, so that he is strong inside to experience more together.
            You should only begin weaning her after the 6-month mark if you spot signs of developmental readiness. Dr Low Kah Tzay, a paediatrician at Anson International Paediatric & Child Development Clinic, says these can range from his ability to sit upright, hold his head in an upright position, eye what you eat, to opening his mouth when a spoonful of food is offered.
            Unless the doctor has ordered it, avoid introducing solid foods if your tot is younger than the desired age as his gastrointestinal system is not mature enough to break down nutrients from food. Also, take note of these ground rules:

1) Milk still rules

Don’t omit milk in bubba's diet just yet as milk forms the bulk of her meals until she turns 1, which also ensures she still gets the required nutrients. Dr Low notes, “At 6 months, children should be given milk after solid foods are given, though the ratio of foods and milk would depend on the child’s appetite.” If you’re worried baby wouldn’t want milk after making the jump to solid foods, offer milk cereal.

2) Be alert to allergies

You should wait several days before introducing a new food to your little one, so that you can pinpoint possible foods she is allergic to.

“Parents should look out for possible choking hazards by making it a point to observe your child when he eats.”

3) Don’t stop just because he hates it

If baby rejects a certain food, it doesn’t mean you leave it out of his diet completely. Try again after two to three days.

4) Read the food labels

When buying store-bought purées and baby food, stay away from foods with excess sugar, sodium or fats!

5) Be bold and be playful

Have fun with bubba’s food and try different combinations and tastes. Try combining different fruits and vegetables, which exposes your little one to a range of textures, too!

6) Mind the consistency

Wong Hui Xin, a dietitian at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, reminds parents to look out for possible choking hazards by observing your child when he eats. Especially since bubba at 6 months is likely not to have any teeth yet, the consistency of the food you offer should be in smooth purées or mashed foods without any lumps. Between 7 and 9 months, give him mushy food with soft lumps or soft finger foods. From 9 months to age 1, you can feed him minced and chopped dishes, as well as hard finger foods. 
            You can let your tot enjoy the same dishes as everyone at home once he’s 1 year old. However, avoid serving deep-fried foods and dishes that are heavily seasoned with salt and spices, Dr Low advises. Go for things like bread, soft rice and steamed fish instead. Here’s a sample meal plan for your tot:

Infographics by Lim Jae-Lynn

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REMEMBER TO...
* First consult your child's paediatrician or dietitian for nutritional advice.
* Never leave baby alone when he is eating! Make sure he doesn’t choke on his food.
* Foods should be smooth, soft and fine in texture.
* Offer foods that have been sieved, mashed, puréed or scraped.
* Cool food before serving.

Click on to read more useful weaning tips...