Baby led or spoon-fed, weaning is a complete mind field. You get to the 5/6 month mark when you’re just about getting to grips with being a mum, you might even have your baby sleeping through the night and then suddenly there’s a whole new set of challenges to face- introducing your baby to real food.
Axel had been consistently sleeping through from his dream feed at 11pm-6.30am at this point. I was sure that as soon as he was on solids, I’d be able to cut the dream feed and have him sleeping right through; this was true to a certain extent, but we all know that throwing teething and a few colds into the mix and it’s not quite as straightforward. Basically, sleeping through the night ws my motivation to make this weaning malarkey work!
I started Axel’s weaning journey on Christmas day (a little before he was six months, but he seemed ready) my lovely parents had bought him a snazzy I-candy high chair and the whole family was around. Axel is a HUGE show off, so I thought having an audience would be the perfect opportunity to introduce him to something new. We left the carrots from the Christmas dinner on for a little longer and pureed them down. With all eyes on Axel I presented him with a spoonful of pureed carrot….AND he didn’t hate it, but he didn’t waft it down either ,like I was expecting. This is where it all began…
Over the next few weeks I stuck with pureed carrots, pears, bananas etc… just giving Axel a couple of spoonfuls at either 12pm or 4pm every day. Gradually, he began to eat more and more and soon enough he was on three meals a day. It’s simple if you make it simple, and don’t put too my pressure on yourself or your baby.
I started with purees, and then once I started to introduce finger foods, we took more of a baby led approach. I will do a separate post on the next stage of weaning.
Below is a guide to kick starting the weaning process:
Build it up
Start with feeding once a day, when your baby is alert and not too hungry. The best time is usually around 4pm in the afternoon. A meal at this age is the equivalent of a couple of spoonfuls of puree.
Show them how to eat
Sounds ridiculous, but unless you show them what to do i.e opening your mouth really wide and say YUMMM! How are they supposed to know what to do with this alien spoon you’re directing at them.
Let them get messy
Someone once told me that feeding a baby with a spoon is like feeding an adult blindfolded, let them touch the food if they want to, even if it means green mush on the floor
If one day they don’t like avocado, wait a few days and reintroduce it. They’ve gone from only knowing the taste of milk for their whole life, it’s going to take some getting used to.
Mix it up
Ensure you mix up the purees so they don’t get used to one flavor
- Make sure you’re introducing savoury flavours too, you don’t want them to develop a sweet tooth
- A meal at this age is a couple of spoonfuls, so if you’re managing this you’re doing really well
What you need to begin with:
- Blender (I already had a Vitamix but any will do)
- Spoons (I loved the munchkin ones)
- High chair (Mine is I-candy and it’s beautiful)
Foods to start with (it’s quite important to mix between fruit and vegetables so they don’t develop a sweet tooth):
- Sweet potatoes
Some on the go snacks Axel loved: