I haven’t done a post in agggeeeessss and this is one that quite a few people said I should write about!
We have had such an amazing experience with baby weaning so far, although not typical and I’m sure many health visitors would have my head, but I don’t care ha!
I’ve written about our battle with reflux before and it’s still ongoing in a big way, but at 4 months we made the decision to start Florence on some food to see if it would mechanically help her keep more stuff down. Even though you’d think we would be used to us, and our house, being absolutely covered in vomit on a daily basis, we wanted to see if it would make a difference and we believe it has!
Don’t get me wrong, we still have big vomits, we, and the house, are still covered on a daily basis but it seems to be less in volume and less upsetting for Florry. Plus she bloody loves her food! Just like her mummy and daddy ha!
Just before Florence was 4 months I purchased one of the bumbo type seats from mamas and papas that comes with a little activity tray for her to sit in. We put her in it for a couple of weeks before we introduced any food to see if we could build her up to staying in it for a little while and she did. She absolutely loves it now, always smacking away at the toys on top, and it gives her enough support to sit up.
Obviously we were hugely going against the grain of – 6 month baby led weaning ONLY if they can sit up, hold a spoon, chew food and interested in food, but we did have a 4 month old who was pretty good at sitting up with support and was actually really interested in food.
I was prepared to take it really slowly, go at Florry’s pace and even stop altogether if it seemed like she wasn’t up for it. We started with classic baby rice mixed with a little breast milk on a baby feeding spoon. She gobbled it right up, pushing quite a lot of it back out again but seemed eager to keep going. For the first couple of weeks we were giving 1-2 spoons and more and more of it was staying in. We then introduce carrot purée, just steamed carrots thinned out with breast milk and she went absolutely wild for them. By almost 5 months Florence had tried baby rice, carrot, pear, mango, banana and potato, really loving the whole process.
We tried to make it as fun as possible, singing and talking to her with the radio on and lots of toys around, and she always had milk afterwards so knew her old fav wasn’t far away. We built up from 1-2 spoonfuls once a daily fairly quickly and within about 6 weeks she was eating 2-3 meals/day.
We introduced mixed purées after a few weeks, so things like pear and apple, potato and carrot, butternut squash and broccoli, mango and baby rice, banana and a rusk and she is absolutely crazy about them. We have rarely had a time where she has refused anything, (apart from refusing some avocado once) and her appetite seems to be continually growing.
Now that Florence is 6 months next week and sprouting a little toothy (very emotional) she’s up for grabbing things, constantly trying to get a hold of anything near her to eat. We have had slobbery rusk, gummed up bananas and knawed on pieces of carrot and orange. There is nothing that she won’t try.
In the beginning we also bought weaning dummies that allow you to put a piece of fruit in them for babies to suck and get the flavour, especially things that are smaller and harder to hold, like strawberries, pineapple pieces and orange segments. These have been so much fun. We love seeing her face we she tries something new. Now she loves them so much she grabs it herself and sucks it dry in about 10seconds.
We’re really excited for the next stage of introducing a little bit of dairy and meat within a few weeks, certainly letting her hold and try as much as possible and then introducing lumpier and coarser textures as time goes on.
For all of my weaning queries I have used google (obviously) and 3 books – 2 by Annabelle Karmel and 1 by Ella
I find all of the purées really easy and quick to make. I’ll often spend an hour or so on a Sunday afternoon making them all up and freezing them so I can pop whatever she fancies out and defrost them quickly. Before starting I bought a hand blender which is a godsend and special ice cube trays which hold quite a big portion and can be split into two meals, as well as some smaller individual food pots. I tend to mix everything with breast milk if it needs thinning down, but you can use the cooking liquid or normal formula milk too I believe.
I’m so happy that we have done it the way we have! I believe that she will grow up loving her food and eating a really good variety, if she’s anything like Dean and I anyway!
Happy weaning everyone