Being pregnant is making look back at the baby days of my two girls and look forward to the birth and many ‘firsts’ of this little one. For me one of the most exciting time was when they got to the 6 month marker and we started weaning!
Here are my top tips when weaning for the first time…
Although, it can all seem a little daunting at first. I mean you’ve just got to grips with breastfeeding/bottle-feeding and now this! A whole new milestone to master.
Feeding just milk is so reassuring – you know your baby is getting everything they need but weaning really can be so much fun! Seeing their facial expressions with those first tastes is lovely and such a special ‘first’ moment.
Going the more traditional route of purees over baby led weaning is a way to be more in control – and for the first few weeks may help to relieve any anxiety you may have about them getting enough food.
First things first, get organised! There are so many books and websites full of recipes and meal planners. Do your homework and then do your shopping. Buying all that lovely fresh fruit and veg, having some time to prepare and batch cook is the ideal way to start.
The time you put in at the beginning can definitely make the whole process a lot easier. Planning menus, freezing batches in ice cube (or weaning) trays and labeling meals, means you are always one step ahead and no last minute panics.
My 10 secrets to simple and happy weaning…
• At first you need to get your little ones used to swallowing from a spoon and getting the hang of eating. So, choose a time when he/she isn’t too hungry or tired and in a relaxed surrounding.
• Keep trying – rejecting food is part of the process. And this can change from day to day. If baby rejects a certain food offer it again in a few days. It can take up to 8-10 goes before they love even a single vegetable puree.
• This may fill you with dread – but let them play with their food. Feeling the texture and playing with the spoon can all help established a relaxed feeling around food.
• Natural tastes are best – avoid adding salt, sugar and don’t offer any sugary foods (biscuits, rusks, jam).
• Don’t worry if they only eat small amounts at first – let them lead you with when they are full or had enough. From 6 months babies still need 500-600ml of milk daily so they are getting what they need.
• Use either fresh or frozen fruit and veg- both are full of nutrients. Encourage your baby to eat a wide variety – even ingredients you may not like yourself.
• Throw away any left over food if you have fed your baby from it directly (from a bowl or jar) as it may have bacteria from their saliva transferred from the spoon.
• Once they’ve mastered purees move onto lumpier and mashed textures to encourage chewing.
• When introducing meet and fish, choose good quality, lean cuts and trim off excess fat. Remove all bones and cook thoroughly. Mixing small amounts with vegetable flavours will interest their taste buds.
• By the time you’re at 3 meals a day. Try to establish your own routine – if your baby is hungrier at lunchtime give them their main meal then. Avoid overfeeding but offer fruit purees after meals if they are still hungry.
And, here are some products that can really help…
Beaba Baby Cook
It cooks, blends, de-frosts and re-heats with a simple water level process in less than 15 minutes. Genius!
Annabel Karmel New Complete Baby and Toddler Planner
The Queen of Wean. This ‘bible’ makes sense of it all and gives clear, honest advice – and the meal planners are great if you’re unsure about how and when to feed.
Bickipegs Diody Training Cup
The slanted rim of this cup is great for getting little sips of cooled boiled water in-between mouthfuls.
Brother Max Easy Hold Weaning Bowl Set
The design of this bowl makes them easy for you to hold – sounds silly – but believe me you’ll be grateful of the artist-palette wrap around handle when you are trying to spoon feed, wipe up spills and mop up the floor all at the same time. Comes with 2 heat sensitive weaning spoons, a sucker base, lid and divider bowl.
Munchkin Soft Tip Infant Spoons
Easy for parents to hold and control, soft tipped for babies mouths and gums, yet firm enough to scrape around the bowl and the longer handle means you can reach the bottom of a baby food jar too!
Tommy Tippee Closer to Nature Milk Feeding Bibs
These soft bibs with a dribble catcher rolled rim neckline kept many a bright coloured puree from staining our pretty baby grows.
Mothercare 3-Pack Flannels
You will start out using wet wipes to wipe sticky hand and faces – but a warm damp washcloth is so much better. Simple really – it’s much softer on the skin, cheaper in the long run and a whole lot easier to ensure a clean sweep in one go.
Hard to believe I’ll be going through all this again this time next year but it’s all fun and such a special time.
What are your top weaning tips?
Weaning is one of a child’s ‘first’ moments and Arla Big Milk understands the significance of these milestones. They are currently running a campaign to understand what your child’s favorite first was. Uploaded images onto Twitter and use #BigSteps and you can see other people’s cute firsts too.
I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have received a voucher as a token of thanks for this post.