User-agent: * Allow: /. Would Like To Be A Yummy Mummy: Weaning For Beginners

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Weaning For Beginners

Okay, I am no expert on this but a conversation I had on twitter recently about whether you should or shouldn't mash beans for a baby has really got me thinking. When you start out on this journey with your first, you are bombarded with information from friends, family, health visitors and the web. Everyone does it differently and will have their opinion on what you should and shouldn't do.

I have two daughters and did it slightly differently for each. All I can is my daughters both eat really well and I'm sure some of of that has to do with me and my relaxed attitude to it. I therefore wanted to share my experiences and some of my tips with you.

For Poppy we introduced food at 6 months. I was organised and had brought lots of the little baby food ice cube trays. As with everything else, I followed the Baby Whisperer's guide.

I introduced a teaspoon of puréed pear twice a day for a week, followed by butternut squash and sweet potato etc. gradually increasing the amount and introducing a new food each week.

It went well, she took to it straight away and we didn't have any trouble.

It was when she was 8 months old and we were on a road trip that we first introduced finger food. Being in a car for a long time meant I had to keep her interested when awake. Mini rice cakes came in very handy for this and led to us being more daring. For breakfast we then introduced blueberries/ melon and other small bits of fruit and she loved it. The bits gradually got bigger and by 10 months she was eating proper meals.

Rosie was slightly younger when we started. At five and a half months she began waking in the night. I knew she was ready for food. I discussed it with my health visitor who agreed it was time so we started. I planned to do the same for her as I did with Poppy but after two weeks of eating puree it was obvious she was much more interested in what was on her Sisters plate than her spoon, as she attempted to grab it at each meal.

I had heard a little bit about baby led weaning (BLW) so looked it up. Basically it means letting your little one feed themselves from the very beginning. After reading a few blog posts about it too including The Grumpinator  I decided to go for it. I started with cereal soaked in milk (shreddies/cherios and small bits of fruit like peach or berries and just went from there really.

It was amazing. I could not believe what a baby could eat with no teeth. I found she was happier if I sat back, so I would wash the dishes and potter around clearing the kitchen while the girls ate. Rosie would always check she had the same as her Sister and it wasn't long before they were eating exactly the same.

I was pretty relaxed and didn't worry too much about choking. I discovered that babies have a gagging reflux after noticing that sometimes Rosie would kind of cough, bringing the food to the front of her mouth and therefore preventing clever!

At eight months old, Rosie was eating family meals like pasta bake or pork chops, potatoes and peas with no teeth or trouble and continues to eat like this. She is not fussy at all, eating everything and anything. Husband jokes if we offered her marbles she would say "mm mm yummy, thank you".

8 months old and tucking into pasta and blueberries
I am not saying what is right or wrong, just what worked for us.

 Here are my Top tips:
  • Be as relaxed as you can and try not to panic. Babies can sense when you are anxious so become stressed too
  • Do a bit of research and speak to your health visitor in advance
  • Enjoy this whole new experience with your child, it should be fun not stressful
  • If you choose to puree it doesn't have to be really watery, leave it slightly lumpy and then gradually increase the lumps
  • Do try making your own. It is so cheap and easy and we really enjoyed doing it
  • If you chose BLW then just choose soft foods that dissolve easily at first and then just keep experimenting
  • If your baby wants to try something from your plate that you think is suitable, then let them

Products to buy:
  • If planning on going for the puree option then you will need a blender and some ice cube trays as well as little bowls and spoons
  • If trying BLW you will just need a few small plastic bowls and spoons
  • As your child gets bigger you will need plates and bowls. I personally have found the Tomme Tippee range invaluable as they have a little mat that they all stick too but there are lots of different ranges to choose from.
So there you go, my top tips for weaning. Hope it help you and eases some of the confusion. Good luck with it all and enjoy your baby entering this new phase.

Karen x