Starting your baby on solids can bring mixed emotions. Whilst it should be exciting to reach a milestone it can also be quite daunting when you don’t know what to expect or how it will go. All weaning journeys are different as your baby will respond differently to another baby. So its best to be flexible when you begin stage 1 weaning.
This blog will share more detail on what the first stage of weaning (stage 1 weaning ) is. What happens and what you can expect. Some tips to get you started along with the suitable foods for stage 1. I will also share with you what this looks like from 6 – 7 months week by week. So you can be clear on where you start your weaning journey.
There are three weaning stages 1 – 3 before being about to eat like other family members (family meals).
Stage 1 weaning – 6 – 7 months
At around 6 months your baby will be ready for weaning. This is the time for introducing new tastes and smooth textures whether you are doing purees, or soft finger foods (baby led weaning).
Stage 2 weaning 7 – 9 months
During stage 2 weaning your baby will be ready for more combinations of foods from all the four food groups along with different textures. Textures should be more lumpy and mashed at this stage.
The quantity of food they should be having will increase gradually during this stage too. This will eventually be up to 3 meals a day if they are ready.
Stage 3 weaning 10 – 12 months
Once your baby is having three meals a day, this will continue with introducing more coarser textures to get them used to chewing food themselves. If they are baby led then finger foods can be harder to get them to chew and bite which will develop their feeding skills.
This blog will be focusing on the first weaning stage (stage 1 weaning) in more detail now.
What happens in stage 1 weaning?
Stage 1 weaning is all about getting started and getting them used to taking solid foods very gradually. They will only need small amounts to begin with as their tummies are only tiny.
Milk feeds are still very important at this stage and remain around the same amount. You’re just adding in one solid meal a day to begin with and this will be small teaspoonfuls. Depending on your babies appetite this could be a few teaspoons up to around 10 teaspoonfuls. Its important to be guided by them.
Foods should be single flavours or single foods to get them used to these before progressing.
So start with single vegetables first before moving onto fruits and then other foods.
After a few weeks or when you think your baby is getting more hungry you can start to introduce a second meal so by the time they are 7 months they should ideally be getting 3 small meals a day. Again this varies from baby to baby and only progress when they are ready.
For tips on getting started you might like to check out this blog: How to start weaning: best first weaning foods.
What are suitable foods for stage 1 weaning?
- Foods that are soft and may need cooking to be made into a puree or soft finger foods.
- Full fat versions of dairy products like milk and cheese. Strips of cheese but only pasteurised cheese until they are older.
- Easy on the fibre as this can fill them up very quickly.
Broccoli, kale, green beans, squash, courgette, potato, cucumber, avocado, spinach, asparagus, aubergine. Then carrots, parsnips, butternut squash, cauliflower, turnip, sweet potato, swede, peas, sweetcorn.
Apples, peaches, nectarines, pears, plums, bananas, strawberries, raspberries, prunes, other berries, pineapple, mango.
Baby rice, white rice, potato, white breads, white pasta
Pasteurised cheeses, full fat milk, full fat plain yoghurt,
lion stamped eggs, white fish, lentils, chickpeas, chicken, pork, nut butters, beef, lamb, salmon
How long do you have to be on stage 1 baby food?
As a guide stage 1 is about a month before progressing on to the next stage. Some may take longer but its best not to delay too much if you can.
If they make a face, look like they don’t like or push it away then its best to try another time. It can take quite a few attempts to get them used to new foods.
So what does this look like for a 6 month old week by week.
Stage 1 weaning schedule:
Start them off at lunch time for one meal a day for the first week.
Introduce one new bitter vegetable each day for example; broccoli, kate, green beans, squash, courgette
If you have cooked the vegetables then don’t add anything, just cook in water, drain and puree.
You can mix some of the puree into your babies regular milk drink (breastmilk or formula) which will help to give them some familiarity with their usual milk taste. Or once they are 6 months old they can have full fat pasteurized cows milk to add to their foods.
Foods should start off very runny and smooth in consistency and then progress through the weeks still smooth but thicker.
Repeat the same as week 1 but with other new vegetables such as carrots, cauliflower, turnip, parsnip or some you have already tried if they didnt take to it.
Introduce new single fruits first like apples, peach, pear, plums, banana alongside the vegetables they have already tried
Alongside the fruits and vegetables you can start to add in other food groups such as: dairy foods like yoghurt, cheese, milk and or protein like beans, lentils, eggs, fish, and meat.
Its best to add one new food in a day so they are getting variety and you can check for any reactions.
As you start to introduce other foods that are not fruit and vegetables like cheese, eggs, nuts you may be thinking about allergens and the risk of introducing these. If this is something your worried about introducing then you may like to check out my mini guide called: How to introduce allergens to your baby.
They should be having two meals a day now, so one fruit based puree and the other a savoury vegetable and other foods mixed.
They can start having three meals a day in this fourth week. For example breakfast, lunch and tea time. E.g Breakfast – fruit puree, lunch – vegetable puree with rice, tea – vegetable puree.
Make sure you are including a variety of foods to get them used to new flavours.
Stage 1 weaning recipes
Here are some of my favourite recipes to get you started.
This blog has given you more information on the types of foods you can include in stage 1 weaning along with a detailed breakdown of how it should look for weeks 1 – 4. Bearing in mind this is only a guide, your baby is also a guide in terms of how full and hungry they become and its important to be responsive to this so they are getting what they need.
What information did you find helpful in this blog? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below.