Actually, they can. Babies’ gums are strong enough to deal with lumps. Some babies don’t get their first tooth until well after their first birthday, but a range of textured food are absolutely fine for baby to digest and actually encouraged when weaning.
They most definitely should at this stage of exploration. Playing with food is an important part of baby’s discovery of textures and tastes and physical skills like the pincer action for picking up things and co-ordination to put food into their mouths. Research has indicated that sensory play makes infants more likely to choose to eat healthy foods as they grow up. Play, self-discovery and new experiences also encourages baby to be adventurous and try new things. Yes, it’s messy - but so worth it.
A common assumption but unfortunately it won't, as eating and sleeping are unrelated behaviours. Weaning should not be started in the hope that it will 'cure' any night time distress or unsettling. Establishing a sucessful sleep routine can difficult in the early stages which differs with each child. If you're worried about your baby's sleep habits or lack of sleep during the night seek the advice of your doctor or healthcare professional. And for when to know if baby is ready check out 5 Big Signs Your Baby Is Ready To Start Weaning
There is no right or wrong meal structure during the weaning stages and definitely not something to worry about this early on. Babies learn from the people around them: typically, parents decide on the “savoury then sweet” order of eating, which becomes the 'norm'. The important thing at this stage is to allow your baby try different tastes together, experiment with a combination of sweet and savoury flavours at the same time.
This would simply take forever! Introduce new foods on a daily basis, and mix them with flavours you already know your baby likes. Don’t give up if baby pulls the yuck-face at a spoonful of lovingly-prepared food – it can take many attempts for baby to accept something new.It’s really important to introduce foods which are more likely to cause an allergic reaction slowly but early on – things like cow’s milk, eggs, and gluten should be presented one at a time, so you can identify any allergies they may have.
Wrong again! Babies know when they're hungry or not. Instead of dictating how much they should be eating, we should let baby figure it out themselves. Baby will let you know when they’re finished! During the transition onto solid foods, they’ll still be getting breast or formula milk, rich in the nutrients they need.
Not necessarily: this may be because they've just discovered their fists, which usually happens around 4 months. Fist-chewing, waking in the night and wanting extra milk feeds are all normal behaviours for babies and do not necessarily mean baby is ready to start solid foods. For the right signs to look out for, read 5 Big Signs Your Baby Is Ready To Start Weaning
If you’ve been frantically Googling “weaning foods”, there’s a good chance you’ve come across ghee. Ghee is a typically Indian form of clarified butter, which many claim has amazing effects on baby’s bone and brain development, metabolism, weight gain and immunity. In fact, ordinary (unsalted) butter or olive, coconut or vegetable oil is fine to use, and will still provide the fat and nutrients needed to help baby grow healthily.
Feature Editor: Jasmine Davis