Updated: Mar 25
There are a lot of things that you spend money on when you have a baby - clothes, bibs, toys, nappies, baby wipes, chocolate (for mum). And a huge number of baby classes all trying to get your attention - baby sign, massage, yoga, music, swimming, gymnastics....it's endless. But have you considered a baby weaning class?
As your little one gets closer to 6 months, you will most definitely be asked questions about whether they are ready for food and what you plan to give them - like when you were pregnant, people can't help themselves and feeding babies has always been a popular topic. Everyone has an opinion on what, when, and how you should give your baby food, and for first-time parents especially, it can be hard to know who to listen to or what to do.
I ran my first baby weaning class 10 years ago, and might be somewhat biased, but I believe it is a truly worthwhile class to attend- after all, you HAVE to give your baby food at some point.
Here are just a few reasons why you should sign up for a baby weaning class near you.
1. Is your baby really ready for food?
Any good baby weaning class will spend time helping you understand what signs to look for when your baby is ready for weaning. Although they sound simple, they often won't occur at the same time and will be surrounded by a whole bunch of other changes in your baby that can sow seeds of doubt. Add to this the ever-helpful input from friends and relatives, and you are left wondering 'how on earth do I really know that my baby is ready?'. Which can be cleared up in an instant!
2. Is it normal for my baby to....?
The first experience of giving your baby food often doesn't go exactly as planned, leaving you with questions about what is normal for babies at the start of weaning. Googling the question will give you every answer under the sun, from reassuring to down-right terrifying - I've had many parents book onto my baby weaning class because an ill-advised late-night search left them believing that there was something wrong with their baby. Attending a class with others will help you see what's normal, and what's not.
3. Can my baby eat...?
There are so many foods that your baby can eat, and very few that they really need to avoid, but actually giving foods to your baby can really make you question what's suitable. My advice is to have a think about the foods you eat regularly and would want to give to your baby, write them down, and ask at a weaning class so that when it comes to actually serving the food, you have nothing to worry about.
4. Making foods safe
Whether you're looking at baby-led weaning, spoon-feeding or a mixture of the two, it's natural to be concerned about making any food safe for your baby. looking at forums online you will see a whole spectrum of opinions - people who are overly cautious, pureeing food to a pulp and never giving a finger food, right through to those who are a little more 'relaxed' about safety, happily giving their little one all the food from their own plate. A good baby weaning class will spend time showing you how to prepare foods safely, and how to minimise the risk of your baby choking.
5. Trusted expert advice
This is the reason I run my baby weaning class - to make sure that you know you can trust the advice you are getting! It's so great to see parents share their experiences online, but as with any aspect of parenting, lots of myths and poor advice get shared too. A baby weaning class that is run by a trained baby nutritionist or paediatric dietitian has the added benefit of being evidence-based and trustworthy.
There are many many more reasons and benefits to attending a baby weaning class, and with classes now running online, you don't have to worry about finding one local to you that also fits around your baby's nap time!
I run a monthly online baby weaning class, which covers all of these areas and so much more! I love running these classes and hearing how everyone goes on to introduce food to their baby. It's such a wonderful way to share ideas about food, and food really is something that we can all come together over. I am so passionate about giving our children the right tools to enjoy and appreciate food and their bodies, and it's an absolute joy to see that excitement shared by parents at the end of my class.
Parents who have attended also join my private facebook group, to continue sharing ideas and to get access to ongoing support from me - it's like having your own private child nutritionist at your fingertips!