Milk will be your baby’s only food until around 4 months. From this point onwards, you can gradually start to introduce other foods into his diet. Nonetheless, remember that milk ("follow-on" milk) should keep an important place in your baby’s diet until his first birthday (children under 12 months require half a litre of milk - or dairy products - per day).
The right time to introduce a new food varies from one generation to the next, from one doctor to the next… even from one region to the next! The current trend is to introduce fruit and vegetables around 4-5 months.
As you can see, weaning starts with the introduction of fruit (around 4 months) and vegetables (around 5 months).
You can start introducing fruit which has been stewed or mashed (banana), as part of the afternoon snack, for example.
On the whole, fruit is the first food that baby will eat with a spoon.
It is a good source of minerals, vegetable fibre and vitamins. It is also easy to digest.
Vegetables can gradually be introduced to replace the evening bottle.
To get your baby accustomed to the taste of these vegetables, you can initially replace the water in the bottle with a vegetable stock, and add the correct dose of formula for the volume of liquid.
Little by little, you can move to a smooth vegetable soup, and the bottle of formula milk will gradually give way to a bottle of soup. You can use a teat with a special soup opening for this.
A few rules to follow, to make sure everything goes according to plan:
· Very gradually introduce new flavours, adding no more than one new flavour a day.
· Give your child time to adapt to each new flavour, by only introducing one new taste every two or three days.
· Never try and rush the process. If baby won’t accept a new flavour, never force him. Just try again a few days later. Be attentive to baby…
· Do not add salt or sugar at first, and avoid mixtures.
· The more you diversify your baby’s diet, the more you will need to remember to give him something to drink: water is ideal.
Whatever happens, this weaning period is a new opportunity for your baby to flourish! He will be able to open up to new flavours, textures, smells and colours…