Happy Wednesday! It is the middle of the week and I thought I would do a bit of a parenting post for you. This one is about my experience with weaning. Please note, this post is written entirely based on my own experiences. I am not an expert but after doing this a couple of times, I thought I would share what I found with the whole process.
The WHO guidelines suggest solely breast/bottle milk for the first 6 months of a baby’s life. The weaning process can then begin. Some common signs that your little one is ready for weaning can include
- chewing their fists
- being able to sit well unaided
- waking in the night when previously sleeping through
- drinking increased amounts of milk
These are not necessarily present in all babies and can also indicate other things, but will give you an idea of things to look out for. Your health visitor will be able to advise you on your baby as they are all so different, especially if you think you may need to wean early.
I started weaning Leo at around 5.5 months and chose to use a mixture of purees and finger foods. His first meal was a couple of teaspoons of baby rice which he loved! I would make up my own fruit and vegetable purees and started off with simple, one item purees so he got used to different tastes.
I would generally cook a load of extra vegetables on a Sunday when I made the roast dinner, and then puree them all down in a bit of a marathon mash up! I would then put them into large ice cube trays to freeze, which would then be popped out and placed in freezer bags to save space. This made the whole process really easy as I had homemade purees, ready and to hand. I could also choose a single puree, or as he got older choose two or three different fruits/veggies to mix together.
When I started to give him breakfast, Leo would generally have weetabix, baby rice or baby porridge and I would also sometimes mix in some fruit.
I would give finger foods as a type of pudding or for snacks. These started off as very soft and mushy items, generally getting more complex as he got older. I would always give Leo his own spoon and encourage him to dip it in and feed himself from an early age. Around the age of 7 months, I started to introduce small bits of meat into his diet and by ten months he was eating our meals, well chopped. His favourite at this age was my chicken enchiladas -although not super spicy, don’t be worrying about introducing a little spice to their palate.
This method of combining the two worked really well. Leo was always content, he got a wide range of different fruits, veggies and flavours and as a result is a very good eater. If I were to have another one this is definitely the approach I would take again. I have tried to round up the weaning process in a timeline below but please comment or pop me a message with any questions.
Baby Led Weaning
This approach became more and more popular since I had Leo and with a recommendation from my health visitor, I decided to give it a go with Riley. We started off with soft veg sticks when he had just turned 5 month old. I think the fact he had to be weaned slightly early may have meant this was not the most suitable way to do it, but hindsight gives you all the information too late.
Riley was a hungry baby which was why he needed weaning a little early, and unfortunately, he could not feed himself fast enough so it just got terribly frustrating for us all. Just before he turned one I had finally had enough and took a little step back and started mashing his food and feeding him with a spoon. It felt like a from of regression but we had to almost begin again to get it right for him. He was nowhere near as adept at feeding himself and using a spoon and fork, even though, like Leo, he had always been given them.
I am in no way ‘bashing’ baby-led weaning – I have friends who have done it very successfully – it just did not work for us! I also think it depends on your child, and what works best for them. This infographic shows you my top 5 purchases if you are going to attempt baby-led weaning to get you prepared!
I hope you have enjoyed my little round up. I can definitely go into more detail if anyone is interested, on either of the methods. Feel free to comment below or message me with any questions. I would also love to hear your success stories and how you coped with the weaning process? Let me know below!