*I received products to review for this post*
Weaning both my babies was not a task I relished. While it is an exciting milestone I found it quite a difficult period of transition. Some mums absolutely love when their baby starts solid food, other mums like me approach it with trepidation. Whichever camp you fall into it’s national weaning week here in the U.K. (7th-13th May) so let’s talk all about weaning.
With my first baby I went straight for baby led weaning. I got the book and read it and re-read it in preparation. It seemed like an easy option to me and felt like quite a natural way to do things. I thought it would be a good way for her to be able to follow her own preferences by just grabbing what got her attention. In reality it just so happened my first baby had a slight problem swallowing things. I distinctly remember her silently choking on a spear of asparagus and it shooting out from the back of her throat. A very scary moment. We started on the day she turned 6 months old and to be honest she wasn’t interested at all but I had been anxious about starting weaning and so persevered. I started her on butternut squash purée and then let her grab the odd thing off my plate too. After the asparagus incident I began to batch cook purée and freeze it in ice cube trays but she just wasn’t interested in eating any of it. When I switched to jars of baby food she was quite happy. And so that’s what we did but to be honest I felt like such a bad mum at the time.
By the time my second baby got to the age to begin weaning he had been through such a lot (NICU baby, silent reflux) that I couldn’t have cared less what other people thought of my choices when it came to weaning! I don’t think it even crossed my mind. I knew he was getting all he needed through my breast-milk and food was just exploratory.
In a nutshell, I was a lot more confident second time around, however, now we were dealing with a dairy allergy. His doctor had actually advised early weaning which I didn’t feel too comfortable about. I had read a little bit about how the lining of the gut develops on my first baby and I wasn’t sure about introducing food early. He had come through a lot and surprised me so many times that I decided to follow his lead on it. So, a little under 6 months old (I think he was 18 weeks old) the first food he ate was a plum. I was eating one and he looked interested so I gave it to him and he loved it! As I mentioned earlier, I was not thinking about other people’s ideas on how to care for my baby this time around.
Thankfully unlike my first, he had absolutely no trouble swallowing at all and whereas she would gag and almost choke at nearly every meal right up until about one I can’t recall one instance of my son choking on his food. Which was a relief. So with him I did a mixture of baby led weaning and shop bought pouches and home cooked purees. I just didn’t pressure myself so much about it. In fact, during weaning I once forgot to offer him any food at all for a day and a half when we had family visiting! Haha, you’re getting all my secrets in this post! It was a busy weekend and I just forgot. He wolfed a pouch when I remembered – and he was still breastfed so he was getting what he needed.
I thought weaning only described getting baby transitioned onto solid foods but actually weaning is a long process. Once they’re happily eating food it’s all about introducing new flavours and textures. I personally found the Cow and Gate website really good. It just lays all the info out in a really easy to understand way.
My baby is two now so I always make sure there is a snack in my nappy bag wherever we go. Anything quick and in a bright packet is enough to keep him ticking over until our next meal. He currently loves Organix goodies bars. He had one on the plane on the way back from Spain and he really enjoyed it. They’re like oat bars and they come in different flavours including chocolate and raisin if you have a little chocolate fiend like I have. I love the Organix stuff because they have a ‘no junk promise’ so I don’t even have to think about it, I know they are full of great organic ingredients that are going to benefit him.
Organix kindly sent me some samples of their pea puffs which are recommended for 6 months+ to try and some cheese baby biscuits for 10months+. He is also living for the Organix carrot stix which are 12 months+. They are messy but he loves them! The carrot stix and pea puffs are both dairy free too which is great news for us dairy free mammas.