5 Common Weaning Mistakes

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Weaning is a new journey for both you and your babe. It can be a rewarding yet challenging process and there are bound to be some hurdles -- even for the most seasoned parents and non-fussy eaters! Here, we discuss five common problems that parents run into during weaning.

How Long Does It Take for Babies to Wean?

First of all, weaning is not an overnight process. It’s all too easy to point the finger at yourself in frustration, but your babe may simply be taking their time getting used to weaning, which is truly a whole new world for your little one! Each and every single child needs different lengths of time; some will take just days while others will take months. Your first baby might’ve breezed through weaning in two days, but your next might require half a year. There’s no rule on how long weaning will take and you want to make sure to nurture your child’s natural approach to weaning by not rushing the process.

What Should You Not Do During Weaning?

Avoid Starting Too Soon

As mentioned, stay attuned to your child’s developmental stages and when they appear ready to start weaning. Starting too soon can cause discomfort and even lead to negative associations with food.

Don’t Feed Your Baby Separately

We know that mealtimes can be incredibly stressful for parents, especially if you have other family members to feed. It can feel easier to hold off on feeding your baby until you have the wherewithal to focus on them individually. However, eating is social and babies learn to eat in part by observing what and how their parents eat. If mess is one reason you feed your little one separately, consider using a full-length baby bib so that you can focus on bonding rather than cleaning.

Not Offering Enough Variety

Even though your babe is just starting to try out different foods, that doesn’t mean it has to be boring! In fact, testing out a variety of flavors and textures can encourage a healthier weaning journey as children begin to develop preferences and motor skills to accommodate different types of food.

Stop Providing Alternatives

This one can be tricky. While you want your mini-me to try out different types of foods, you also want to discourage them from developing fussy eating habits. Instead, have a “safe” food you know that they will enjoy available alongside a new food. This allows you to both offer and limit variety in order to refrain from catering to picky eating.

Eliminate Distractions

It’s never too early to be mindful about eating. It can be tempting to have the TV on if your baby is extra fussy around mealtimes, but these sort of distractions prevent your child from fully experiencing mealtime. This is especially important for those early in the weaning process, as you’ll want your little one to taste (and enjoy!) their food as well as pay attention to chewing and swallowing processes.

If you’re starting out on your weaning journey, grab a baby bib and check out some tips to find out more about what parents wish they did differently during mealtimes to help you along the way!

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