Weaning my fifth baby
Here I am weaning my fifth baby. Never did I think I would be doing all this again!
Honestly, weaning is my least favourite part of parenting. I dread it. When I have a baby, it looms in the back of my mind from the day I bring that baby home. I know I know, why you say?
I don’t know really why I’m so anxious about it I just am. I’ve had several situations in my life where either children around me or my own have had some scary choking sessions. Back blows have been given, ambulances have been called, Fortunately all has turned out well. But my nerves not so much!!
There are so many snippets of information out there now about weaning. How to’s, which styles, wrong, right, what is the perfect age, the list goes on.
There is no right or wrong way. Every child is so different. When my first child was born it was advised to start weaning first tastes around 4.5 months, he loved it. He took to it like a duck to water, lapping up new tastes each day and wanting for more.
Now here today I would never dream of starting weaning at that age! Guidelines also say wait until around 6 months now anyway.
Weaning my fifth baby you would think I knew what I was doing. Honestly I don’t, and I’m winging it most days!
Saying that, I have had some fabulous inspiration around me through social media and books and I’ve started our weaning journey not feeling as anxious as I do usually. Sharing our journey on my stories has also had great response from you guys and it really pleases me to hear our ideas are giving you Inspo too!
We aren’t doing any strict type of weaning, not all Baby led and not all puree. We are still breastfeeding so he is thriving from that alongside food. Food is not replacing his milk intake and I don’t think it will be until he is at least 12 months.
I’ll give you an idea of how we started and where we are today.
I started at 6 months 2 weeks of age. Some steamed veg like sweet potato, broccoli, carrots. Also raw cucumber he absolutely loved gumming. ( if you see them biting into it though then I wouldn’t give it )All the above veg were cut into finger sized strips, about 1/2 inch thick. Good to grab with little hands.
I also mashed these veg up and mixed with breastmilk to a smoother consistency and gave alongside on a spoon with the hand held veg on the tray. There was ALOT of gagging, and ALOT of food that didn’t even get to his mouth. It was all about touching, licking, and general getting a feel for food.
This went on for about a month before he would really eat any of it. We always sat up the table together, him in his highchair and us eating too so he can see what we do with food.
When he was around 7.5 months I would start to make him proper plates of food trying to add something he can grab as well as something I could feed him on a spoon or load it up and hand to him.
A sample menu would be:
Sweet potato mash with unsalted butter and cheese – full fat greek yoghurt with a squeeze of Ellas fruit pouch
Sliced or mashed avocado, banana pancakes (mashed banana + 1 egg), Steamed broccoli
Scrambled eggs (these are an allergen so watch out for a reaction) grated cheese on the side, cucumber batons
Eggy bread, Ellas fruit pouch with greek yoghurt
Day 5: Mashed avocado and banana, ellas melty sticks
Porridge fingers ( the @whatmummymakes recipe ) yogurt, orange segments
Puree sweet potato, carrot and red pepper soup, mash potato on side with yoghurt and mashed raspberries
I always have a Ellas pouch in the bag for when we are out and about as that works for us.
I would offer all of these week after week, mix them up. Don’t feel you need to get them onto three meals a day straight away. Bo is 8.5 months now and is only on two meals most days. I can tell you now that most of the above will be either thrown on the floor or smeared into the table/highchair!
And you know what? I’m ok with that. Its too easy to get caught up with how much food babies are taking in, a baby has the stomach size of their fist. So really with milk too, they aren’t going to be taking in loads if they don’t want to!
I have put together a small list of essentials to make weaning go a little smoother. After five children I’ve tried and tested a fair few things! I try and get plastic free items where I can.
We have the stokke and you and I well know you don’t need an expensive highchair to wean your baby. But for us I wanted something that can grow with him aswell as not taking up a huge amount of floor space.
The stokke takes up a space at the table like a chair would so he will be able to use this for his space into adulthood!
A few baby spoons
The CINK bamboo ones feel lovely in your hand and scoop food nicely into their mouths as opposed to the back of their mouths like some flatter baby spoons.
Also the Bamboo bamboo one is silicone and lovely and soft for them to have a loaded spoon to self feed.
The amount you go through when having a baby let alone weaning is insane so we use reusables which are much better on the environment as well as babies delicate skin.
These Close parent bamboo ones are fab. Great size and super soft.
Out and about you can either take some in a reusable wet bag or for convenience we use the Aqua wipes that are plastic free and biodegradable.
I’ve always used open Doidy cups for my kids from a young age. I think its a very important skill to learn and babies cope very well with it. I only have one other cup for use when out and about which again is free flowing, the tome tippee first cup.
Bibs + Bowls
We have some handkerchief style ones which we love for snacking, and on the go. They look beautiful with any outfit and are soft on little necks. These Little blue nest ones are perfect!
An all in one full cover is a must. The Ikea one is pretty good as its not too rigid.
Then a scoop one, I got a silicone one from dummy shop uk, and its so lovely! Need some more colours now!
A few bamboo plates and a bowl and you’re away. Take a look at blogs, Pinterest, books, and online resources to fill your head with as much ideas and you’ll be on your way to weaning success. We loved the Ellas kitchen page, Weanin15 run by Joe wicks on instagram, and SR nutrition is very good.