ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Weaning your baby - babies first foods

Updated on June 12, 2011

When your baby reaches a few months of life, they no longer get all the nutrients they need from breastmilk or infant formula alone. There are two main choices when it comes to weaning your baby - ordinary weaning, whereby you spoonfeed your baby smooth foods, or baby led weaning - where they feed themselves.

Ordinary weaning

The advice is to begin weaning your baby from 4 to 6 months, though exactly when to start doing so is controversial and continuously changing. Some studies argue that breastmilk or formula are sufficient for your baby for the first 6 months of life or even longer, and to give food prematurely might cause problems with the baby's digestive organs, whereas others suggest weaning at 4 months to avoid allergies in later life. Parents should trust their instincts with their baby.

There are three possible routes to begin weaning your baby. Many parents begin with baby rice or cereals. They are available in supermarkets and will have a label stating that they are suitable from four months. It's probably best to get one without gluten at first.

These are made by adding one spoonful of the cereal powder into a bowl, along with around 30ml of the baby's usual milk so that it is a smooth mixture, like pancake batter. At first the baby will only be able to take a small amount, but this will increase.

Other first foods to try are:

cooked pear puree

cooked apple puree

mashed banana

carrot puree

mashed potato with baby's own milk

These are a few suggestions of foods less likely to cause allergic reactions in babies. Some advice is to try vegetables before fruits, but this is not necessary.

You can make these yourself by peeling (and coring if necessary) the fruits or vegetables and cooking in boiling water without adding any salt or sugar. When they are cooked, blend together using a hand blender or even a fork and they can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months, providing you haven't added milk or rice to thicken. They are very cost effective, much moreso than jars or tins of baby foods.

Try each new food every day for three days before attempting something else, to ensure your baby doesn't have a reaction to it. After two or more foods have been tried separately, they can be blended together to make new tastes, e.g. pear and apple or potato and carrot.

Baby led weaning

This involves letting your baby feed themselves, usually using their hands but later on using cutlery too. Foods need to be soft enough for the baby to suck on and swallow a little but not so soft that they bite off large amounts at a time.

Baby led weaning is not recommended until the baby is 6 months old due to many products containing gluten. Although it may seem that the baby might choke, baby led weaning poses no higher a choking risk than ordinary weaning, due to the baby's built-in gag reflex which is very powerful.

Some great choices are:

sliced soft fruits:



cooked apple

cooked pear

slices of peach



Cooked slices of vegatables:








avocado (uncooked)

Other foods:

toast with butter

crumpet with butter


Some messier foods to try:

scrambled egg cooked with a little cheese or formula milk

mashed potato


weetabix biscuits mixed with a little breastmilk, formula or cows milk

Foods to avoid

Fish should be avoided until 8 months of age

Honey should be avoided until 12 months of age

Peanuts and other nuts should be avoided until after 12 months of age but then may still pose a choking hazard so care is needed, it is recommended not to give nuts until the child is 5 years old.

Fruits such as citrus fruits and strawberry are more likely to cause allergies so give these in very small amounts and watch for any signs of allergy.

Salt and products containing it are not allowed to be given to babies at all, they are very dangerous in the first 12 months.

Avoid sweetening with sugar but definitely with artificial sweeteners.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • ThePracticalMommy profile image


      9 years ago from United States

      I have never heard of baby-led weaning; what an interesting concept. I guess I do a mix of both, since I spoon feed my baby with the cereals, fruits and veggies now and then in a month will give her soft foods to try on her own, just like I did with my son.

      Thanks for sharing!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)