Baby Weaning Myths – Busted!
With thanks to Laura Erskine, Parenting Expert with BabyDoc Club UK
Health experts have evolved their best practice weaning advice when it comes to how soon and what foods a parent should give to their growing baby. Here are some weaning myths – busted!
Contrary to popular belief, filtered tap water is fine for your baby from 6 months. Provided your local council has approved your tap water as suitable for drinking, then you can offer your little on some regular tap water in a beaker from 12 months at meal times.
We know cow’s milk is not ideal as a drink before 12 months, but avoiding the introduction of dairy when weaning your little one can actually increase the risk of a dairy intolerance. You should aim to start including cheeses or yoghurt in meals from 6 months and add cow’s milk to your baby’s cereal. This will mean your baby will be ready to accept cow’s milk from 12 months.
Health experts used to recommend waiting to introduce commonly allergenic foods like eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, and shellfish, until after your baby’s first birthday. But the evidence based on comprehensive research is now the opposite! It has been proven that introducing these known allergen foods when your baby is between 6 and 8 months old may actually help prevent food allergies.
Don’t shy away from offering nut butters from 6 months if there is no history of allergies in your family. Just take care to choose low salt varieties or make your own! And of course, keep an eye out for any possible reactions.
The 3-day rule
New tastes or foods don’t have to follow the ‘3 Day Rule’. You can offer a new taste or food at each feed if you like; this will help to add more variety at the early stages where baby is more accepting of new tastes and textures. However if your child has a skin condition or there is a history of allergies or intolerance in your family, then take extra care with those foods that may cause a reaction. Examples include: kiwi fruit, strawberries, eggs, nuts, fish (or shellfish), wheat, dairy and soybeans.
Baby led or Spoon fed
You don’t have to choose a specific weaning strategy for your little one. The best approach is a little bit of both where you offer finger foods to your baby at meal times as well as spoon feeding. This way your child will associate meal times with exploring food and feeding themselves, while parents don’t need to worry that they’re not consuming enough by using a spoon.
Usually a child has to experience a new flavour up to ten times before you can rule it out as one he doesn’t like. And even at that he may like it again in two months time as his palate for taste is developing and changing every day. Finger foods are great to avoid a fussy eater because it gives baby control, sometimes a baby’s refusal might be simply a desire to explore their food and feed themselves.
So there you go. Weaning myths – busted!
About BabyDoc Club
BabyDoc Club is the UK’s only social-first parenting community. With an audience reach of over 4.5 million mums a day through their Facebook and Instagram social accounts, BabyDoc Club provide no-nonsense advice straight to mum’s social news feed. Unlike other parenting communities, BabyDoc Club don’t require followers to leave their favourite social platforms to get the lowdown on common parenting challenges, expert product recommendations and special offers. BabyDoc Club is the millennial mum’s favourite parenting community with content formats perfectly optimised for the modern social Mum.
Disclaimer: The views and advice given in this article are those of the guest writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Weaning Week or any other organisations represented on this platform