MEAL times can be hard work – especially for parents who have just started to wean their little ones.
It’s a big step and can be exhausting as you experiment with different foods to determine what you child likes and dislikes.
Weaning can be daunting and there are a number of things you can do to help your little oneCredit: Getty
Experts show parents how the squish test works for baby-led weaningCredit: tinyheartseducation
Now one expert has revealed the key tip all parents practising baby led weaning must know.
Baby led weaning can start from around six months and is the concept of giving them finger foods and letting them feed themselves – rather than spoon feeding.
This can be scary though as some foods prove more of a choking hazard than others.
Experts at Tiny Hearts Education say there is a simple test you can do that will help the food go down easily.
The first aiders said the ‘squish test’ is easy and if the food squishes down – then it’s more likely to be safe for your child.
“The pressure of your pointer finger mimics your little ones toothless gums.
“So if it can be squished down its likely to be safe to give.
“If it doesn’t squish then it needs to be modified before being given.” they added.
To do the test, all you have to do is take the food you want to give to your little one and place it between your pointer finger/index finger and your thumb and press down.
If if flattens down then it’s ok, and foods like banana and avocado are easily squished.
But if it doesn’t turn to mush then you will have to modify it.
When it comes to weaning, the NHS says there are three signs that will indicate if your baby is ready for their first solid foods alongside breast milk and formula.
If your little one can stay in a sitting position and hold their head steady, can coordinate their eyes and hands so they can look at their food and pick it up and if they can swallow food rather than spitting it out -they are ready.
Medics state that it’s key to not mistake certain behaviours for being ready to wean.
The NHS states that chewing fists, wanting extra milk feeds and waking up in the night more than usual are all normal things a baby does and often doesn’t mean they are ready to be weaned.
Official guidance states: “Starting solid foods will not make them any more likely to sleep through the night.
“Sometimes a little extra milk will help until they are ready for food.
“If your baby was born prematurely, ask your health visitor or GP for advice on when to start weaning.”
READY TO WEAN
But if your baby is ready to be weaned, then they will only need a small amount of food at the start, once a day, at a time that suits your both.
The NHS states: “You can start weaning with single vegetables and fruits – try blended, mashed, or soft cooked sticks of parsnip, broccoli, potato, yam, sweet potato, carrot, apple or pear.
“You could also try baby rice mixed with your baby’s usual milk. Make sure any cooked food has cooled right down before offering it to your baby.”
Weaning can be daunting though, as your child has more control over the foods they put into their mouth.
Guidance states that it’s important to know the difference between gagging and choking.
While it might seem strange, gagging is a normal reflex your baby will have as it learns to both chew and swallow food.
Gagging is loud and your little one’s skin might look a little red.
KNOW THE SIGNS
In comparison, choking is loud and if your child has light skin then it could look blue.
On children with darker skin, their gums or inside their lips might start to look blue.
Knowing what action to take if a child is choking could be life saving.
Experts at the Red Cross said you need to remember the five blows rule: “Hit them firmly on their back between the shoulder blades.
“Backblows create a strong vibration and pressure in the airway, which is often enough to dislodge the blockage. Dislodging the blockage will allow them to breathe again.”
If the child is young then you need to put them over your lap and give up to five sharp back blows with the heel of one hand in the middle of the back between the shoulder blades.
If the five back blows don’t work then you need to try five abdominal thrusts.
To successfully do this you hold the child around the waist and pull inwards and upwards above their belly button.
This squeezes the air out of the lungs and will hopefully dislodge the blockage.
The NHS says: “This will create an artificial cough, increasing pressure in the chest and helping to dislodge the object.”
We pay for your stories!
Do you have a story for The Sun news desk?