I have been keeping a but of a secret.
I have been selected with nine other amazing bloggers to be Vital Baby’s #WeaningWarriors.
The timing couldn’t have been better for us with Baby G fast approaching the six month mark so we will be sharing our journey along with lots of expert advice.
I may be on my second weaning adventure but with a four year age gap, I have forgotten quite a bit and weaning is a bit of a mine field. Are they ready? What do you actually do? Do you go for purées or baby led weaning?
Now I might not be an expert but, as a mother, I know all babies are different. From bitter experience (I would never let my daughter watch Peppa Pig, that type of thing) I know not to rule anything out.
I do remember with Boo that I did a mixture of purées and baby led weaning (allowing babes to hold foods and feed themselves) and I saw no reason why not to do the same with Baby G.
After what I thought were signs of wanting to wean at 17 weeks, I persevered and it really was just a growth spurt. By 22 weeks however, he grabbed a potato off my plate and was well on the way to shovelling cake into his mouth. It is advised to avoid gluten before six months so I managed to prize the cake from his little chubby hand and I re-addressed the weaning.
We tried baby rice with his usual milk but he wasn’t very keen on that so we have opted for first taste purées:
- Carrot and Apple
- Carrot and Pear
- Butternut squash and apple
and then, last night I made pea and mint soup for the family so he had puréed onion, garlic and peas. He wasn’t sure about this though but with bitter tastes, you do have to try a couple of times. Milk is sweet so babies do naturally have a sweet tooth.
Baby G has also enjoyed sucking on fruits. Watermelon was great because he could hold it himself, allowing mummy to eat a little dinner herself.
Weaning can mean a lot of equipment too.
Small freezer pots are handy to store purées in the fridge and freezer.
Baby spoons are essential in my opinion. They are much softer than ordinary spiins-even children’s cutlery so on sore gums or first teeth, you need something soft. They are also small because the baby’s mouth is small.
Having struggled to find a sippy cup that was acceptable to Boo, I also think it is never too early to introduce one to a baby (obviously not a newborn) but as soon as you wean, start offering water at meal times in a cup.
Weaning doesn’t stop because you have to do the school run or go shopping so a portable weaning set is also a good idea.
Thankfully, Vital Baby’s resident weaning expert, Dr Rana Conway has come up with Top Five Tips for weaning.
Offer your baby a wide range of foods so she gets used to different flavours and textures. Babies naturally like sweet foods to start with, but offer slightly bitter foods too such as spinach, broccoli and green beans. Don’t be surprised if these are rejected at first. Every time you try, the chances of success increase.
Let your baby set the pace. ‘Responsive feeding’ is key, so if your baby shows signs that he’s had enough don’t keep trying for one more spoonful. Teething and colds can put a baby off their food and pressure to eat will just cause food battles.
Don’t give too much milk, as this is one of the main reasons for babies not taking to solids. Babies under 12 months need 3-4 breast feeds or 500-600ml of formula a day and giving more than this can make them too full for meals.
Give your baby plenty of opportunities to handle food. Whether you’re starting with spoon-feeding or baby-led weaning, give some finger foods every day. Steamed vegetables such as carrot sticks or pieces of broccoli and soft fruit like bananas and pears are ideal.
Make meal times enjoyable by sitting and eating together whenever possible. If you relax and take your time it will help your baby develop a healthy relationship with food.
To reiterate Dr Rana’s last point, I though I’d share this photo of Boo cleaning up her little brother because she wanted to, not because we asked ( this made me so happy)