Wonderful Weaning

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Every first time mum will have gone through the same questions about weaning; why?, when?, what?, how?, where?, WTF?!!!!

I have read so many guides, leaflets and books on weaning it’s actually ridiculous. Personally, they’re only good for one thing; recipes and coupons! Here’s my quick and concise view on weaning, answering all the above questions.

Why would you start weaning your baby?
Well, it’s obvious isn’t it? No. It’s not. There are so many different reasons mums start weaning their babies. Some do it only because ”that book says so”, others ”because my friend’s baby is”. The truth is, you wean your baby because they’re ready to move on to the next stage of their food. It could be that milk just isn’t filling them up any more, or it could get to the stage where, in a health professional’s opinion, they should be started on solids.

When should you start doing it?
4 months, 5 months, 6 months? Quite honestly, it’s when YOU feel your baby is ready. Not when a guide says so, or your mum-in-law says you should. Look for the obvious signs of not feeling full up, chewing at their hands (although this could mean they’re teething too) and staring at your food. Other people suggest that your baby should be able to sit up unaided – in my opinion, that’s rubbish. My little boy can sit up in his highchair on his own, but not the floor, and he’s quite happy and able to sit there and eat his food! I’d also suggest doing it when they’re not grumpy, I started doing it about 20 minutes before he would have his bottle.

What the hell do you feed babies?
Food, of course. I started with baby rice, others start with baby porridge. There’s no right or wrong. I agree that it should be mixed with your baby’s usual milk though, just so there’s something familiar going in their mouth. Weaning guides are good for getting the “first taste” ideas. It’s also best to introduce new things one at at time.; one of the best reasons for doing this is to identify any allergies they may have to the food! Just mix some of their milk in, feed them what you think they want (start with small quantities) and then once they’re finished, feed them the rest of their bottle.

Toby tries bananas
Toby tries bananas

How do you feed your babies?
With a spoon, a huge cheesy grin on your face and lots of enthusiasm. Another method may be from a pouch, eliminating any need for cutlery really. I haven’t tried my baby with a pouch yet, although I’m a big believer of home-made food, as you know exactly what’s gone in there. You can get a kit from Fill ‘n’ Squeeze for all your home made meals to be mashed and squished into a pouch for you to either freeze, or take out and about with you or feed to your baby straight away. Don’t get me wrong, I still use jars, but home made is always best!

Where should you feed your baby?
I started with doing it at home, and in a highchair (see previous review post). The last thing you want is to try it for the first time round the in-laws where they’ll tell you to “do it this way” or “try that” (mine didn’t, thankfully) or out in public somewhere. Make sure the surroundings are familiar. As my little one isn’t too messy at the moment, I do feed him in our living room. However, as he gets older I’ll move it to the dining room. That way he knows it’s time for eating, and if it does get messy (it really will) I don’t have to scrub spaghetti hoops out of the carpet.

WTF?!!!!
Exactly. WTF?, indeed. Nobody knows what it’s really all about (maybe the Hokey Cokey). Just go with what you feel is comfortable for you both and wing it!

Final Tips

  • As baby gets older, give them a starter cup with a drink in it so they get used to having one with their meal.
  • Once they want to try feeding themselves, give them a spoon as well so they can help you do it.
  • If they want to play with their food, let them. It makes it fun, they get to explore food and get messy! Who really cares if it adds to the washing?

What are you top weaning tips?

J

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