Weaning is something I eagerly anticipated with my first son, it was new, exciting and another stage we could throw ourselves into. With Patrick though I was still excited when the time came, I didn't will it on any sooner as I had with Noah because I knew that it meant my baby was losing a little bit more of the baby phase with each new meal. We even held off with Patrick till he was six months old as guidelines have changed at the recommended age isn't four months anymore, which I was glad of as looking back four months old seems so tiny and fragile to begin it, but I know all babies are different. Patrick simply wouldn't have been ready at that stage, he almost wasn't quite ready at six months either but after giving ourselves a break of a few days after we initially started, he soon came around and got the hang of the weaning game.
Weaning can be a little overwhelming with so many people telling you different things; what the correct age is to being, how you should wean, what you should use and what food your baby should be eating. It's easy to get lost in the fog. Having now weaned two little ones into boys that will eat anything, I feel like I can pass on a few tips that I'm sure will set you in good stead to have the same with your babies.
- Always wean with vegetables first, two weeks should be enough for babies to gain a likening initially.
- At the beginning don't try multiple new foods in the same 24 hours, if your little one has a reaction you'll find it difficult to establish what caused it.
- Soft tips spoons are the best for purees as they're super flexible on delicate mouths.
- If your baby isn't willing at first, don't be afraid to take a few days off and start again.
- Any hesitations or worries, always ask your health visitor for their advice.
- Don't bother asking questions in FB 'support' groups for weaning. They're more like lynch mobs and will just fill you with additional worries.
- Try to avoid jars and pouches at the start, anything with a six month + use by date is rammed with salt and preservatives.
- Fruits being used as puddings are great to teach children that fruit is a treat not a chore
- Though weaning with fruit initially can lead to a baby partial to sweetness.
- Be sure to test with both warm and cold meals to test what your baby prefers.
- Disposable bibs are amazing for on the go and in your handbag
- Remember when a baby starts having lunches & dinners that they'll need a drink of water too.
- Babies pushing food out of their mouth is a natural reaction, don't be discouraged.
- If a child makes a noise when gagging, it's ok. Choking is silent.
- Find a child friendly anti-bac for their hands if you're eating on the go.
- If your little one wont use a beaker for water, try it in their bottle for a while first
So there is my top tips for weaning, don't get me wrong I am still learning every single day even though I've been through this all before. Weaning is something I think that is ever evolving and constantly changing, whether that is age limits, methods or what children should and shouldn't eat. If you're ever concerned, do ask your health visitor. Remember not everything is a 'one size fits all'.