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How to wean a six month old baby

Advice on how to begin weaning your 6 month old baby, which food to use and suggested weaning recipies.
At about six moths old, when you have decided to introduce solids, offer your baby her usual breast milk or formula. When she is nearly satisfied, give her one or two teaspoons of dry baby rice mixed with enough formula or breast milk to make a runny solution. (The Department of Health recommends iron-enriched infant rice cereal as a starter food.) Baby rice is also useful, as your baby does not have to cope with new flavours as well as using different muscles. Although baby rice is the most common first food there is no reason why you cannot try vegetable or fruit purees first. You may prefer to mix baby rice with, for example, apple or carrot puree.

Give the baby rice, or whatever you have decided to give your baby, on a soft rubber-tipped spoon once a day and then finish with a milk feed. This way, he will not be so hungry that he is too frustrated to try the new food, and not too full to be interested. It does not have to be the morning feed; pick a time that is convenient for both you and your baby.

At first, your baby will seem to eat very little, and it may take a while to get even that small amount into her. Do be patient with your baby and remember it may take a little time for him to learn these new skills.

When your baby is eating two to three tablespoons of cereal a day, try adding another food. As he begins to eat and develops more of a side-to-side grinding motion, add a little less liquid so the texture becomes thicker. This allows your baby to work on chewing (gumming) and swallowing. Some experts suggest introducing one food at a time, four days apart, so that you can tell if your baby reacts adversely to a food. This way any allergies or food intolerances can be detected from the start and saves wasting time trying out all different foods to see which one caused the reaction.

Your baby's appetite will vary from one feed to the next, so watch for cues that he is full. A baby who refuses to open up for the next bite, turns away, or starts playing with his food is probably full. Try:
  • purees of vegetables such as carrots, swede, parsnips, sweet potato, courgette, butternut squash

  • purees of fruits, such as apple, pear, mango, papaya, or mashed banana
  • Gluten-free baby cereals, such as iron-fortified baby rice or maize flour, mixed with baby's usual milk.
Some experts suggest that it is wise to try vegetable purees before fruit ones. Fruit is sweeter and often more preferable than vegetables, trying fruit first may make it harder to persuade your baby to eat vegetables.

Once your baby is happy eating from a spoon, increase the range of foods you offer to include:
  • purees of lean meat or poultry.
  • purees of lentils or split peas.

  • purees of mixed vegetables with potatoes or rice.

  • purees which include green vegetables, such as peas, cabbage, spinach or broccoli.

  • Try to limit the number of sweet or cereal purees to one a day, and always include a vegetable puree. Gradually make the food a thicker consistency.

  • If your family has a history of eczema, asthma, or other allergies, avoid giving cow's milk or milk products (cheese, yogurt, fromage frais), fish and shellfish, soya beans, citrus fruit (including orange juice) or eggs, until your baby is eight months old. You may introduce these foods earlier if there is no family history, though many parents prefer to wait until eight months anyway.

  • Babies from such a family should also avoid peanuts and sesame seeds up to the age of three years.
  • The risk of developing coeliac disease is reduced by avoiding foods containing gluten, such as wheat, rye and barley-based foods. That includes bread, flour, pasta, some breakfast cereals and rusks until eight months. Oats are best avoided, too, in case they contain traces of gluten.

  • Avoid follow-on milk until your baby is eight months.

  • Do not add salt, sugar, honey or other sweeteners to your baby's food.
As your baby's eating skills grow you can increase the thickness of the foods offered to include soft lumps and mashed foods.

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I offer my 6 month old baby small amounts of infant cereal at first (1 Tbsp. cereal + 2 Tbsp. breast milk or formula).
Dilute fruit juices with water (half and half)
Feed baby solid food from a small spoon, not from a bottle or infant feeder.
I make the feeding time enjoyable me and my baby.
My mom say During the first year, a baby is learning about food and how to eat and needs practice at these skills.Your baby’s calories and nutrients are supplied primarily from breast milk or formula during this time.
Strained tofu, dried beans (cooked and mashed), yogurt, cottage cheese, and egg yolk can also be given.
by Dhanushi 5th Dec 2011, 10:29am
I have a baby of 6 months and she has been on solids for 2 months now and she is still having about 4 bottles during the day and i just wanted to no is that right, she also is sleeping al the night how can i get her to sleep thru the night please someone help me
by yummymummycox 26th Nov 2010, 5:09pm
my little girl is 6 months old and is eating solids and has been for about 2 months now!! she has a bottle of 8 oz in the morning a jar at lunchtime, 2 jars ( a main meal such as sweet potato and a pudding like a fruit puree) at dinner and a bottle of 8 oz before bed.she also has about 1-2 oz of juice with her solids at lunch and dinner. This seems to work well for us as she doesnt feel hungry until about 8/9 in the morning and settles well at bed timeand all night. i first introduced her to food at her most alert time which for us was lunchtime around 4 months old. i hope this helps they say that a baby is still surposed to have around 20 oz milk a day .
by princesselle 12th Aug 2010, 10:24am
I have been weaning my baby for 4 weeks ..he has 2 heaped scoops of baby rice with formula milk at dinner time followed by his usual bottle, i have not yet progressed to a second feed or introduced other flavours, however he has stopped finishing his bottles and has gone from 6-7 oz per feed to approx 3-4 oz per feed..i am worried that he is not getting enough fluids as he barely takes any water (less that 1 oz per day) should i introduce fruit juice to get him interested in drinking ? and also should i worried about him not taking as much milk ? now a good time to introduce a second feed of solids or do i tackle the water intake first ?
by sheenabeena 14th May 2010, 4:36pm
My LO is almost 6 monhs now. When do you start introducing extra meals,at the moment shes having puree of carrot,sweet potatoe etc. at lunch time. When do I start three meals a day? am i sounding really stupid??
by kelg 14th May 2010, 3:23pm
Baby has gone off her bottle and she is nearly 6 months. I have started to wean on baby rice but she is not really having a lot of milk alongside this. The health visitor said that she should be having around 20 ounces a day but she sometimes does not have anything near this. Has anyone had a simlar experience?
by bowden 6th Dec 2009, 6:17pm
Hi, i'm a mother with 3 sons and i have weaned 2 of them at 3 and a half months as their bottles increased and watching me eat all the time, they were also double their birth weight. i gave them one meal a day (dinner time) of baby rice for 2 weeks then put a flavour with it for a week then, started him on breakfast intill he seemed he needed more about 3 weeks later and started lunch. hope this helps. if baby gags wait a few days and try a again. but i only think weaning should be done under 6 months if baby is big and strong and i think as a mother u know ur baby best!
by mumofsons 18th Aug 2009, 9:00am
this is all good advice, but i'v been told by my health visitor to start to give my baby all the food and fresh milk cows blue lid and my baby is just six months old.
by sukh 27th Mar 2009, 9:15am
My baby tends to Gag or choke when i'm trying to wean which is really worrying me...any advice from fellow Mums? She is almost 6 months and has a real desire for food but weaning is just not going too well.
by Banan 17th Feb 2009, 9:40am
I have a 3 month old baby and even though it is not advised to ween before 4 months , I have. He was showing all the signs of wanting food especially when I'm eating! He was also getting quite unsettled ! We are now on day 3 and he is asbsolutely loving his baby rice and is so much more settled! I hope that this helps other mum's considering doing the same as I believe that you should go with your instinct, we're not all the same!
by Blueby 16th Sep 2008, 8:47am
Hi what i want to ask is how soon do introduce more than one meal in a day. At the moment Erin is having sum baby rice or friut rice at mid day. But she still seems hungry and after sleeping all night she now wakes once during the night. Should i now introduce giving her another solid dring the day either in the morning or tea time??
by RachelMcGinley 20th Aug 2008, 8:54am