A Guide to Stage 2 Weaning
7 min read
The weaning journey is different for every baby, and at no time is this more apparent than stage two!
Here, we provide some advice for parents looking to progress through the weaning stages with their little one.
The weaning journey is often divided into three broad stages:
- Stage 1 (around six months) – Baby’s first tastes.
- Stage 2 (around seven months) – Increased variety and textures.
- Stage 3 (around 10 months) – More regular meals.
Stage two, usually around seven months, is often best described as your little one’s first steps into the world of more regular meals. Of course, they are still experimenting and learning about food, but they will now begin to depend more on mealtimes and experience a broader range of tastes and textures.
If you’re unsure about the weaning stages, be sure to check out our guide! In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at stage two, giving you the confidence to progress with your little foodie’s adventure.
When to Start Stage 2 Weaning
When to start stage two weaning really depends on when you began stage one.
As a general guide, stage two weaning will usually start around one month after the beginning of weaning. So, if you started weaning with your little one at six months, you can generally move to stage two at seven months.
Unlike when starting weaning, few clear signs indicate when your little one is ready for stage two.
Here are two things you could consider before starting stage two:
- Nutrition – As your baby develops, their nutritional needs change. For example, babies need more iron when they reach around seven months, so increasing their food variety is essential.
- Enthusiasm – Does your little one show enthusiasm for more foods? If so, moving onto stage two can keep them engaged in weaning.
Babease Top Tip
Stage two is the most varied part of the weaning journey, with huge differences between little ones. Some babies may already be enjoying variety and three meals a day as part of stage one, whereas others may still be taking their first tentative steps.
The most important thing is to go at your little one’s pace, while also being mindful of their nutritional needs as they develop. If you’re ever unsure what you should be feeding your little one, speak to a healthcare professional, who will be able to offer support unique for your baby.
Stage 2 Weaning Foods
One of the most prominent characteristics of stage two is its increased variety, which comes in both tastes and textures.
When babies reach around seven months, they often require additional iron from their food. This need is because babies are born with enough iron to last for the first seven months.
As a result, stage two will often include more iron-heavy vegetables, such as:
- Dark green, leafy vegetables (spinach, kale etc.)
- Dark or red meats
- Sweet potato
Of course, babies have other nutritional needs that should also be considered.
The best way to meet your little one’s needs and keep them interested in food is by increasing the variety of tastes. Try new vegetables to ensure they experience a range of flavours. You could also consider adding new combinations of vegetables and even spices to keep their tastebuds tingling!
Textures & Lumps
As your budding foodie progresses through the weaning stages, they will slowly experience new textures. Most babies will start with purees during stage one, and stage two is where you can begin to experiment with new textures.
Stage two weaning is a great time to introduce lumps into your little one’s food. Soft chunks of vegetables or mash that can be easily mushed by little mouths will help get them used to using their mouth and tongue, which is an important part of the weaning journey.
Of course, some little ones may have started with lumps in their food, in which case, stage two can introduce some firmer (but still small) chunks. You could even consider crunchy foods – it all depends on what your little one has already experienced.
Stage 2 Weaning Finger Food
Finger food is a great thing to introduce early on during the weaning journey. Not only does it give your little one a sense of control over what they eat and how much, but it also trains their hand-eye coordination.
If your little one has already experimented with finger foods, stage two can be a great way to try and introduce the pincer grip. Babies tend to grab things with their whole hand, but finger foods can be a great way to teach them to pick things up with their index finger and thumb.
The following finger foods are great for teaching your little one about the pincer grip:
- Beans or peas (you might want to mash these first to avoid choking)
- Diced potato
- Broccoli florets
How Many Meals Each Day During Stage 2 Weaning?
How many meals your little one should be having during stage two weaning will, again, depend on your little one’s food experience up to this point.
Usually, stage one is when babies will experience one, maybe two tastes per day. Stage three is often when your little one begins to have more regular and consistent three-a-day meals with the family. Stage two, meanwhile, is often the start of the progression from one to three.
As with most of stage two, the key here is a slow progression. If your little one is still having one meal per day, see if you can introduce another. Likewise, if your baby is already enjoying two meals per day, you might want to introduce a third.
The key here is to not put too much pressure on yourself or your little one. Go at their pace and slowly introduce extra weaning meals over time.
Babease Top Tips for Stage 2 Weaning
Of course, there are always many things to consider when weaning your little one. However, stage two can often be defined by three points:
- Progression – After introducing food during stage one, stage two is where you can slowly increase the number of meals and textures your baby experiences.
- Variety – While variety is essential from stage one, you should look to increase the range of foods and tastes your little one experiences during stage two.
- Patience – Every budding foodie develops at their own pace. As with every part of the weaning journey, keep patient and remain enthusiastic; your little one will get there!
We hope that this guide sheds a bit of light on the second stage of weaning. If you would like more information, be sure to explore our blog, which is full of helpful guides.