Parents love to see their babies move onto solids – it may be tad messy at times but it’s the start of an exciting new era for you and your little one. Learning to love food is an important development stage for baby, by trying lots of different flavours in a relaxed and stimulating way they are more likely to be food lovers in the future.
However, trying something new can be tricky! Some babies take longer than others to get used to solids and you may start to despair when things don’t run smoothly. Relax, all babies are different, weaning is a gradual process, so try your best to go with the flow.
Here are some tried and tested tips to help you along the way:
Embrace the messiness – it will make meal times more pleasurable for you and baby! Protect clothes with a bib for baby and an apron for you – a wipe-clean splash mat underneath the high chair it also a good idea!
Don’t clean as you go – this will only distract your baby - have a nice warm flannel waiting for them at the end of the mealtime and gently wash their hands and face.
Be happy! Make sure you express excitement with a smiley face – babies will enjoy it more if they think you are.
Let them get stuck in – it’s natural for babies to want to explore their food – smearing it on their faces, squidging it in their fingers – it’s all part of the learning process.
Two spoons – Babies enjoy feeding themselves, so as soon as they’re able to hold a spoon let them have a go. Keep another spoon handy so that you can help them along the way – they will also learn through imitation.
Feed their imagination – create food faces on their plate, make noises to represent different vegetables, build rice cake towers - use food in creative ways to make mealtimes fun.
Don’t be dismayed - If your baby isn’t keen on a particular new taste, don’t worry, offer it a couple of times then take it away and perhaps try that food again another day.
Family mealtimes – sit your baby in a highchair at the table, they will feel part of the family and by joining you, they’ll learn that mealtimes are fun sociable occasions.
We’ve been designing and manufacturing highchairs since 1987, so here’s our top five tips when it comes to choosing your first highchair:
1. Safety – Whichever highchair you choose; it should conform to British safety standard BS 14988. Check that a harness is included to keep your baby seated securely. It must comply with safety standard BS 6684.
2. Easy to clean – We know that things are going to get messy, so choose a highchair that is easy to clean. Removable seat cushions are helpful when it comes to a thorough clean.
3. Moving on – early weaning is a fleeting stage so think ahead with a chair that adapts as they get older, being able to remove the tray, adjust the height and footrest will mean that you will get more years from your highchair. See our Multi-Height Wooden Highchair.
4. Space saver - Depending on how much room you have in your home you may want to opt for a highchair that folds away easily. See our Folding Wooden Highchair .
5. Multifunctional – Choose a chair that changes with your little one – our Combination Wooden Highchair converts into a table and chair, perfect for preschoolers who are looking for more independence.