Weaning is an exciting time, but it can produce lots of questions! It’s a big step for babies to move from purees to family foods and there can be challenges along the way. Below we have listed some of the most common questions which we get asked by parents keen to introduce their little ones to the wonderful world of food.
How will my baby ever chew lumps? He doesn’t even have teeth!
Many mums worry about this but babies have quite hard gums which they’ll use to happily chomp away with. They can manage soft lumps without too much trouble at all.
My baby won’t accept any lumps at all. They gag when the texture is even slightly different.
Babies need to learn how to control their mouth muscles in order to successfully chew food. So, they’re born with a ‘gag’ reflex, which prevents bits of food from being swallowed whole whilst he or she is still learning. Essentially, this reflex brings the food back up into the mouth for more chewing. Your baby may look to you for support, so try to stay calm and be full of praise and encouragement.
I am worried that my baby will choke on lumps.
Even though choking is a possibility, it is important not to let your concerns get in the way of helping your baby develop. To be on the safe side, there are many things you can do to minimise this risk. Firstly, always supervise your child when they’re around any food. Secondly, always make sure they’re sitting upright and able to support themselves, (they should also be securely fastened into a high chair, to prevent them from slipping down).
If you do think that your baby is choking, then it is important to act quickly. There is excellent advice and a very good video on what to do if your baby is choking at the following link http://http//www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/helping-choking-baby.aspx
When can I start offering finger foods and what should I offer?
Finger foods can be offered as soon as your baby’s able to eat mashed textures. It’s a great way to help them improve their hand to eye co-ordination and finger movements. This extra independence can be brilliantly useful if your baby’s a bit fussy about lumpy or mashed foods.