Weaning – The Early Days

With Baby E reaching 7 months at the end of this week we are well underway with the early stages of weaning so thought it would be a good time to reflect on how we are getting on. Settle in, its a long one.

The signs…

Baby E had his first delicious taste of solid food (read: practically liquidised sweet potato) just before the 6 month mark. At this point he just seemed to be a little less satisfied with his usual milk feeds and his hand eye coordination was very good with everything he encountered ending up in his mouth. I was aware that around this time is the recommended stage to begin weaning and when he started staring longingly at our food disappearing into our faces I knew it was time. I have also quickly learned to read the signs that Baby E gives while feeding – an open mouth means ‘this is delicious, give me more and be speedy about it’, accepting the food in between blowing raspberries means ‘I’ll eat it but I am not impressed’, a consistently open mouth accompanied by drool and a high pitched squeak means ‘you sneaked that in there, this is a battle of wills’ and a closed mouth with a low feral growl means ‘this muck shall not pass my lips’.

The tools…

Some of the products I have found useful include the Munchkin Silicone Spoons, which Baby E seems to find more comfortable to gum as they are softer. The Tommee Tippee Explora Babyfood Blender, which is a compact little blender that I have found ideal for making purees in reasonably small batches and we got it on sale on Amazon for £10, bargain. A good number of baby weaning freezer pots from Tesco and Asda for storing and freezing purees – tip – try to get the pots that have the lids attached as I have spent a good deal of time counting and searching for those pesky little detachable lids. The Mothercare Valencia Highchair Summer, which is white and natural wood with a 5 point harness and a comfy wipe clean insert which is sold separately. It is reasonably priced compared to many highchairs we looked at, sturdy and so far it has been easy to clean. Mesh fresh food feeders, we have Munchkin ones and both Baby E and I love them. Baby E can get a good grip on them, seems to like the feel of it on his gums and enjoys its secondary use as a drumstick on his highchair. I love it as it minimises the risk of choking, I never did appreciate how slippy a mango slice is until I saw it slithering into Baby E’s mouth like that Lady and the Tramp spaghetti scene. Finally, as many large bibs as you can store!

The food…

I had long held the idyllic notion of making all of baby E’s food and watching him tuck in to it with enthusiasm. So with this in mind I set about purchasing Quick and Easy Weaning by Annabel Karmel and Finger Food for Babies & Toddlers by Jennie Maizels. As yet I have not delved too far into trying out the finger foods other than popping some fruit into Baby E’s mesh fruit and veg holder, favourites include banana, strawberry and plum. He has also tried rusks and seems to enjoy being in control of holding his own food and feeding himself on his terms but is still working on getting used to the texture and having something substantial to chew and swallow. In terms of purees we started off simple, he enjoyed sweet potato, apple made him gag and he just refused to entertain the idea of consuming carrot altogether…and still does. We then got adventurous and moved onto some of the more complex purees in Annabel Karmels book, lemon sole and spinach anyone? So far he is not a massive fan of anything beyond a single flavour and is highly suspicious of anything with texture. My hours spent lovingly chopping, cooking and pureeing seem to be going a little underappreciated thus far. One thing that is a huge hit is his flavoured porridge for breakfast which is lovingly made by Cow & Gate rather than me unfortunately.

The experience…

I approached weaning with the view that it was a fun activity for Baby E and I (a view which has been
tested as I sat wearing most of the delicious butternut squash and apricot I had prepared) and seeing Baby E devour something he clearly enjoys is a sight that makes me smile. My idyllic notion of preparing all of his meals by hand has been slightly modified to trying to ensure that at least one of his meals a day is made by yours truly. This is due to a few reasons which only became clear through actually starting the weaning process. The first is the realisation that the meals I can spend a whole afternoon preparing are likely to end up on the floor, various items of clothing and body parts and pretty much anywhere but that tiny little tummy I am trying to fill. It stings a little less if the food that now decorates my baby and me comes from a pouch and also means that I can spend more time playing with Baby E rather than being locked in the kitchen. The second is that after doing a comparison of cost the ingredients I bought for a particular weeks worth of handmade meals I found it was at least double that of what it would cost if I bought the pouches to cover the same timeframe. The third reason is convenience when venturing outside, the pouches option is simply easier.

Overall, weaning so far has been enjoyable and a learning curve for both Baby E and I. I am off to get covered in the butternut squash, tomato and red pepper delight I have prepared, pass me the wet wipes.

6 thoughts on “Weaning – The Early Days

  1. I remember weaning my little girl it was a enjoyable experience we did BLW. Definitely found a wipeable sheet to go under the highchair a life saver! #mummymonday

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  2. I’m weaning my little girl at the moment, we weaned early 3 months, due to medical reasons. I would definitely advise getting a messy mat. I use a cheap shower curtain that i brought from poundland, so much easier than paying out for a messy mat which is probably pretty much the same thing. We were not fans of BLW, I started spoon feeding just because of E’s age, and now we do a mixture of BLW and spoon feeding, I guess with weaning they’re is no right or wrong way. It is whatever you find best, but everyone seems to have a opinion haha. x
    Steph | http://www.raisingemily.net

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    • I agree, the right way is whatever is right for your baby and you. We have also started to do a mixture of purées and BLW it just depends how baby E is feeling that particular day, meal…mid meal!
      I took a quick look at your blog and will be looking out for more of your posts!

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  3. I don’t really remember doing weaning! I remember I was very hesitant on the letting him feed himself because I didn’t want the mess. He didn’t have chocolate until he was one which apparently is really late for a baby but I was scared of someone judging saying I was giving it too early!!

    thanks for joining in on #mummymonday 🙂 love, Gemma – host xo
    http://www.sunshineonacloudyday.co.uk

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