As your baby gets older, their nutritional needs grow and develop. Exclusive feeding with breast milk or Holle Infant Formula 1 Baby Milk may no longer fully satisfy your baby.

The WHO (World Health Organisation) and Holle recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. Some babies can breastfeed longer, while others will need a small amount of solid food to feel satisfied. 

As a rule of thumb, weaning with purées and porridges can gradually be introduced after 4 to 6 months of age. Because every child is different, and because even from an early age, children can have individual meal preferences, and individual needs, differences from recommended weaning plans are possible and, in fact are perfectly normal! Additionally, your baby’s level of physical activity will influence nutritional needs and the amount of food he or she will demand. More lively and bigger children need more energy than quieter children, and will need to be fed more often, or have larger feeds.

Starting solid foods is a big step for your baby. Eating is a whole new experience - there are new tastes and flavours for your baby to explore and different sensations to get used to. It’s a lot for a little baby to cope with. Start slowly, give your baby and yourself enough time and introduce new meals step by step. A few teaspoons are enough to begin with. 

Usually a baby needs around a week to get used to a new food. If you follow this suggestion it will be easier to spot any problems such as intolerances or allergies as early as possible. You may also notice changes in your baby’s digestion or stools after introducing a new food. This way you can act quickly and substitute ingredients if necessary.

The intention for weaning is that the purée and porridge meals gradually substitute the breast milk or bottle feeds. Ideally, start at lunchtime, just before a milk feed to introduce a few teaspoons of vegetable purée. Slowly increase the amount until the whole lunchtime breast or bottle feed is replaced. Over the months you will go on to eventually replace all of the milk feeds with either cereal or fruit /vegetable cereal meals.

 Possible signs your baby is ready to wean

  • The baby reaches for food.
  • They watch the spoon as it moves from plate to mouth.
  • They smack their lips with interest and make chewing motions.
  • They no longer push the porridge out of their mouth with their tongue.
  • The child can sit upright (with little support) for a short time.
  • They open their mouth when the spoon approaches.

    First steps in introducing solids

    Week 1: Begin with two to three teaspoons of pure vegetable puree and increase the quantity up to 100g.

    Week 2: Add around 50g of potatoes and one tablespoon of weaning oil to the vegetables.

    Week 3: The porridge is completed with 20 to 30g of meat. For dessert, a little fruit purée or fruit juice can be mixed into the porridge.


    Ten Weaning Tips from Holle

    Even if the topic of weaning can often seem overwhelming, it is difficult to go wrong as long as you remember what really matters:

    Stay relaxed. Each child will learn to eat at their own pace. Do not compare your baby with others. Eating different quantities is also fine and depends on a number of factors: individual need, a growth spurt, the baby’s general health, teething …

    1. No pressure. Parents choose what their child is allowed to eat – the child chooses how much of it they eat. Never force your child to eat, but motivate them to try it.
    2. Roughly right. Don’t get bogged down with getting a recipe right down to the last gram. It is more important to ensure that the ratios are right.
    3. Sensory exploration. Playing is nothing more than sensory exploration – this is allowed and encouraged in order to discover a new food. Of course, it should also end up in the mouth.
    4. Rituals help. Helping with setting the table, making a toast or lighting a candle gives children a routine and helps them to prepare for a shared meal.
    5. Set rules. Think about what rules you want to introduce at the dining table. It is important that these are age-appropriate and implemented consistently.
    6. Positive atmosphere. Create a pleasant atmosphere during meals and avoid conflict and distractions, such as media and getting up from the table.
    7. No snacks. Rule of thumb: after about 20 minutes, the meal is over. Observe a break of around two to three hours between meals and avoid nibbling and snacks – with time, children will learn to eat until they are full during mealtimes.
    8. Self-regulation. In order to develop healthy eating habits, it is important that children experience for themselves when they are hungry and full. Do not force your child to continue eating.
    9. No power games. Food is not a prize. Never use food as a reward or punishment.