Originally published on Nov. 4, 2018.

It can be confusing working out the best way to introduce solid foods to your premature baby. There is a lot of advice available, from Professionals and friends and family ,but the truth is that the research isn’t yet definitive. This means that advice can be dififcult to apply to your baby.

Over the next few posts we're going to be breaking down weaning in a bit of detail, so you:

  • can make decisions about when to start weaning
  • can make informed choices about what approach to take to introducing solids
  • have tools for managing common difficulties
  • understand when to introduce different textures

As a Speech and Language Therapist, I am not trained to offer advice on food from a nutritional perspective, and so I won't be going into detail about nutrition considerations. For general nutrition advice, please talk to your Health Visitor, or Dietitian if you have one. I also recommend this Facebook group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/weenourish/ , led by a Canadian Dietitian called Caitlin Boudreau.

What is weaning, anyway?

Like most things in your child's development, moving onto solid foods might seem like something that just happens, and that is simple. But in reality, the many milestones your child accomplishes all the time are all complicated, with a series of steps and skills to conquer.

From a Speech Therapist's perspective, weaning involves (at least) two main skills:

-Learning about different flavours (establishing a range of foods)

-Learning to chew (moving on to different textures)

Together, understanding these two areas of development will help you to make decisions about when to start weaning, and how to progress it.

Keep an eye out for upcoming posts where we will talk more about this subject, and in the meantime, you might find these older posts helpful