Thursday, 18 July 2013

Adventures in Weaning

My Stepmum is a midwife, something I'm very thankful for as I've been able to call on her 20-odd years experience on many an occasion. When I first broached the subject of weaning with her, she told me that weaning was a very emotive subject and you could ask 20 different women their thoughts and easily come away with 20 different answers.
As with everything that's new, it is best to be prepared and to do your research. When it comes to weaning, most people recommend pureed foods (think runny and bland baby rice!) to begin your little one on but many new mums are going straight to finger foods, which is also known as baby led weaning.
The theory is that with pureed food your baby will eat what you give them, whereas offering finger foods allows them to decide what to eat and how much they want to eat.
So, how did we decide to progress with E? I read a lot of information about weaning, the first foods that everyone recommends and how to judge when they are ready to begin. This was something I found difficult to judge as official advice is to start at six months but a lot of people (and some of the baby food companies) say between four and six months. We decided to start at five months, when E was able to sit up steadily, was demanding more milk and had started waking several times during the night, where as she had been sleeping through for quite some time. 




We were in no rush to wean. We took it slow. We started by offering a spoonful of baby rice here and there, which she wasn't too keen on - have you tasted baby rice? I can't say I blame her! As we sat to eat our meals, E was showing more interest in our food - there is something very off-putting about a baby watching every mouthful, drooling as they do so! So, we started to offer her tastes of what we were eating, just a dab here and there and then offering more if she wanted it. Over time we gradually started to increase what we offered, adding baby porridge, fruit and yogurts and very small pieces of our food. In time, as E showed more interest in grabbing at the food, we started to put it in front of her to hold and she quickly learnt to pick it up and eat it. 
Our approach has been, and is, mixed. Some foods E will eat herself and others she really isn't fussed over. A lot of it just depends on how tired she is or if those pesky teeth are hurting. We've allowed ourselves to be led by her, which I think is the most important aspect of weaning. And so far, it appears to be working. Don't get me wrong, we have had some setbacks, for instance she had a chest infection and completely went off her food. We also had a period of tantrums when she just didn't want us to feed her at all.

So, my advice? Don't rush and let baby lead the way. 
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1 comment

  1. we are just getting to this point too! Nancy will pick up and eat bits of food if I offer it to her, she can sit up now and seems to be enjoying it! X

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