STAGE 1 – GETTING READY TO WEAN
Your guide to Mealtime Matters
Welcome to Mealtime Matters, our hub of weaning advice designed to take you through every stage of the journey! For more on what to expect and how to get the most from Mealtime Matters, read more here
How do I know when my baby is ready to start weaning?
What weaning choices are there?
Once you are ready to start the weaning journey, it’s important to give some thought to the type of approach that you feel will be best for you and your baby. For most parents this will mean following Baby-Led Weaning, a spoon-fed approach or a combination of the two.
In this blog post we explore the pro’s and con’s of Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) and the more traditional spoon-led weaning approach to help you decide which method would be best for you and your little one.
You can also find some top tips for introducing solid foods here
Our new Sensory Weaning approach is an exciting new way to transition from milk to solid foods with a focus on engaging all of baby’s senses to develop happy and confident little eaters. Find out more in our Sensory Weaning Hub
What equipment will I need and how should I choose?
With SO many weaning products out there it’s hard to know what items are going to be truly essential and how to make the best choices to suit you and your little one.
and some tips on how to get set up for mealtime success
doddl cutlery is recommended by feeding and development experts and designed to safely introduce cutlery to your baby from 6 months old, encouraging self-feeding and those first steps towards mealtime independence.
Our coverall bibs are essential for keeping baby’s clothes and highchair protected from all the mess and spills that weaning brings.
The award-winning Bib & Tray Kit consists of a large tray which fits over your highchair tray to provide a large surface from which your baby can explore and engage with their food and preventing food from dropping to the floor – perfect for Baby-Led Weaning! The included coverall bib attaches to the tray to close the gap between baby and highchair and catch any mess and spills.
Our innovative Cover & Catch Bib attaches directly to your highchair or highchair tray to ‘catch’ any dropped food, protecting clothes and laps. It comes with a handy travel pouch so you can take it out and about with you to save those precious outfits from mess and stains.
All our weaning coverall bibs are easy clean, machine washable and made from super-soft waterproof fabrics designed to take you through your entire weaning journey.
It’s important to be aware of food preparation and storage guidance, this handy blog on the importance of weaning food preparation and food safety will give you a great head start
With all the mess that weaning can bring, you are going to need an easy way to wipe baby down without all the fuss and tears! Say no to disposable baby wipes and embrace the eco-friendly, re-usable option.
Our super-soft Bamboo Wash Mitts are designed to take the tears out of clean-up time, bringing an element of play and fun which will help your little one learn to clean themselves (or at least not fight the process!) Read our top tips to make clean-up fun.
STAGE 4 – INDEPENDENT EATING (12-18+ MONTHS)
At this stage you are well into your mealtime adventure and finding your rhythm. As you enter the ‘toddler’ milestones, the relationship with food evolves further with increasing autonomy, independence….and sometimes defiance!
One of the biggest concerns at this stage is whether your child is getting enough nutrients. Read on for some easy ways to think about your child’s intake here Toddler Nutrients
What equipment do I need now?
Most cutlery is designed to rely on strength and coordination that young children have yet to develop which can make the whole experience of using cutlery particularly frustrating for little ones.
Knives in particular are blunt (for obvious reasons!) but at this age your child will enjoy chopping their food, which is an important transition to using an adult knife in later years. The doddl toddler knife features a cleverly designed, safe, serrated edge and is intuitive to hold making it perfect for this phase in your child’s journey.
doddl’s children’s plate is suitable for children 18+ months, and helps young children transition to a ‘grown up’ plate, the next step in developing mealtime skills! The gentle curve towards the back helps keep food on the plate with a lower front and sides that allows easy access for food with cutlery. The non-slip base keeps the plate still and the colourful splat focuses the eye on to the centre of the plate.
If your little one has developed an aversion to having their sticky hands and face wiped after meals or snacks, help is at hand with our super-soft Bamboo Wash Mitts. Designed to help your child learn to independently wipe their own face and take the tears out of clean up time, these super-cute wash mitts bring fun and play to mealtimes and are also great at bath time too!
Long Length Coverall Bib
As your toddler gets increasing active and constantly on the move, our Long Length Coverall Bib is the perfect coverall, protecting clothes and laps from all the mess and spills that come from mealtimes, messy play, painting, crafts and beyond! The included travel bag will come in handy for trips out and the easy-clean, machine washable fabric makes clean up a doddle!
Food preparation and family mealtimes
Building the full experience of mealtimes, including your child in some of the food preparation (where practical!) and embracing eating as a family can all have a huge impact on your child’s associations and development
Read on for some helpful tips on getting your children involved in food preparation and making mealtimes not just about food
What foods to introduce/becoming more adventurous
meal plan/menu suggestions
Nurturing your child’s development can also be useful as a way of keeping them busy in the kitchen whilst boosting their motor skills and even getting started with some early maths!
We’ve got some great ideas here