Discussion | Stage 1 Weaning

This is the second post of our main weaning series. In this post we will give you more reading suggestions and recipe books. We will look into when to wean your baby and go into more detail at the two different types of weaning and their pros and cons in order to help you make a decision on which choice to choose when the time comes to wean your baby. We hope to be able to provide practical and realistic and digestible information for you to prevent you becoming to apprehensive of the next stage of your baby’s development approaching.

Below are some more books that we have used whilst weaning. Patience’s book is very down to earth, no fuss but very informative without making your mind boggle too much. The recipe section is great for stage 2 and onwards and has plenty of family meals for everyone to try. Ford’s book continues in the same way as her routine books, highly informative with lovely recipes from stage 1. Some people are a huge fan of Ford’s routines and others not so, we have found them helpful to learn over the years but to be confident in relaxing them some what and this book is no different. It has the potential to overwhelm, but taken lightly it can be very helpful. Harper’s book is great for meal ideas for families with toddlers and older children. The colourful pictures are a great incentive to mix up your weekly meal plan!
Other reading material we have continuously used is in a previous post, which you can find here. We recommend reading two or three weaning books a couple of months before weaning will to decide what kind of approach you want to take whether that be a strict routine or something much more relaxed and flexible, this way we find you will be much better prepared for the event when the time comes.

When to wean?

Current guideline suggest that you should wean your baby at around 6 months. This can be as low as four months (17 weeks) but certainly not before, however many babies can easily get to six months. Weaning before 17 weeks can have a detrimental effect on the baby as it’s body is simply not ready for solid foods yet. From six months a diet of only milk is not sufficient enough to sustain great development which is why this is the optimum time to wean. Your baby needs to be able to hold up his head, neck and upper body whilst sitting, reach out and grab an object and put it in his mouth and able to have control over the food in his mouth and safely swallow it before you enter the full weaning process. However, the main question you need to ask yourself is “is my baby still satisfied with only milk?” If the answer is yes then you don’t need to start weaning. This however can change very quickly, even week to week.

Weaning styles – puree or baby led?

Below is a table of pro and cons of each style in order for you to come to the best decision for you and your child.


Baby led





Can give parents confidence in reducing the risk of child choking. Myth about the style is that it is mum led and not focusing on when a baby is full. Causing overfeeding. However babies are very good at clamping mouth shut when full. Particularly good for breast fed babies as they are already used to controlling the volume of food they have. Have to consider how your cook your family meals. You shouldn’t use processed foods, salt or sugar in family meals.
Purees quick and easy to make and store. To begin with babies eat different food to the rest of the family. Often seen being used with subsequent children as they want to copy older siblings. Make parents worry about child choking.
Can have finger food too. Be aware of jar/pouch baby food as they have totally different textures and tastes to home cooked food. Eat family meals from the beginning. Is very messy from the start.
Can batch cook and have meals at the ready in the freezer. More care needs to be taken in how you prepare baby’s food. Needs to be prepared in a way that baby can pick up with palm in the beginning.

Stage 1

Stage 1 of weaning is still a time where milk is still the main food supply. Solid food is there to support it. We always recommend to families that introducing food at lunch time to begin with is the best time of day to start followed by lunch and dinner and then onto all three meals. This is simply due to, not having to face something new first thing in the morning – for everyone’s sakes!, if it goes horribly wrong you have the afternoon to recover and most probably a big sleep to forget about it all, and it gives baby the chance to really digest it’s new food thoroughly before bedtime.

How to store

If making purees we have always frozen these in freezer bags/ziplock bags. You can also make up baby led weaning foods and keep them frozen too to save you time. But we have recently been trying out a new product called DoddleBags. These brilliant, reusable and recycleable bag are excellent for storing baby food in them as well as a grab bag for when you are on the go. Read all about them here…with a little benefit at the end!

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