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Weaning tips

Before you begin weaning, here are some tips that may help you introduce your baby to solids.


Choose the right time, ideally a time when:

  • you are not rushed or under pressure
  • your baby is not too hungry or tired
  • you are not distracted by other people

Turn off distractions like the TV, radio and your phone.


Always wash your hands before you prepare food or feed your baby.

Make sure you're baby's bowl and spoon are clean before you use them.

Be prepared for a mess. Dribbling bibs and floor mats are useful.

Let your baby hold the food

Let your baby enjoy touching and holding food.

If you’re using a spoon, wait for your baby to open their mouth before you offer the food. Your baby may like to hold a spoon too.

Enjoy this special time as your baby begins to discover a whole new world of food.


Start introducing solid foods once a day.

  1. Start with 1 teaspoon of food per meal. Gradually increase the amount.
  2. Introduce new foods 1 at a time and allow your baby to get used to the taste and texture.
  3. Offer the solid food first and then follow with breast or formula milk.

Do not worry about quantities of food in the first 2 weeks.

Wnen your baby is taking about 6 teaspoons of food at 1 meal, introduce a second meal.


Do not ‘force feed’ or rush them while they are learning this new skill.

Never leave your baby alone while eating, in case of choking.

Food preparation

You can make up a batch of baby food and freeze it in individual portions.

Tips for food preparation:

  • Do not re-use food that has not been eaten as this might make your baby ill.
  • Cooked food should not be reheated more than once.
  • Do not add salt, sugar or stock cubes to your baby’s food or cooking water.

Baby foods: homemade

Equipment for weaning

You will need the following equipment:

  • a chair that your baby can sit in that supports their head and feet
  • blender, liquidiser or a sieve
  • small bowl
  • feeding spoon with long handle
  • cup or beaker with free-flowing spout
  • steriliser for bowls and spoons

If you choose the baby led weaning method, be sure to offer your baby a varied and balanced diet. This will give them enough energy to meet their needs for rapid growth.

Watch a video on introducing your baby to solid foods

Page last reviewed: 28 October 2022
Next review due: 28 October 2025

This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.