Weaning a baby can be one of the most daunting stages of their development. Until now all they’re had is their milk, and once you’ve mastered them latching on and winding them it’s pretty straight forward. But then they grow and they need more to sustain them and we move onto weaning.
My husband was worse then me for hating this part. He once saw H choke on a piece of bread and that was it for him – he was out of there! Needless to say the rest of the weaning was left to me! Baby J didn’t gag much at all and was a lot easier to wean, but he does love his food so looking back that is no surprise!
For all those mums out there who are dreading this stage, I thought I would put together my top weaning tips for how to get through it without having a nervous breakdown!
1. When to start? This is the biggest question when it comes to weaning. At one stage we were told four months, now the experts recommend six months at the earliest. I started H at four months and Baby J at five. Personally I feel it is best to listen to your baby. If they are guzzling milk every two hours and draining and nine oz bottle and still demanding more, it is probably time to try something else. There are many different weaning guides that can be found online which are a great source of information. At the end of the day, you know your baby and you will know when the time is right.
2. What to give them? Baby nutrition is important, and I worried that I wouldn’t give my children all the different things they needed. Don’t forget, though, that they are still having milk at the early stages which will provide all the nutrients they need.
3. Where to start? My first steps with both my children were with baby rice. Similar to milk but with a thicker consistency, it felt like the natural step. I also purchased a Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder and found this a great way to introduce fruit to them.
4. Finger Foods. Once they had got to grips with the baby rice I introduced finger foods. These need to be soft foods that they can suck on more than anything, and get them used to different flavours and textures. Great foods for this are rice cakes, toast, bananas, chips and broccoli. I also used to chop up grapes, blueberries and strawberries into pieces small enough so that they couldn’t choke and they loved practicing their pincer grip trying to pick these up!
5. Baby Led Weaning. Many parents choose this way to wean their children. It means putting the spoons and purees away and letting the baby feed himself. Normally parents let the baby eat off their own plate so from an early stage they are eating a wide range of foods. It is messy – expect much of the food to end up on the floor. I was cautious of this kind of weaning, particularly with H, but from six months Baby J refused to let us feed him with a spoon so we really didn’t have much choice. Again I would say this is down to you and your baby and however you feel comfortable feeding.
6. Stay calm. At the end of the day this is a necessary step, but that does not mean it is an easy one. The best advice I can give would be to stay calm and do what works for you. You will get advice from everybody on how to do it, but don’t be pressured and go with your gut. Your baby, your way.
If the time is right to take the plunge and you are looking to stock up on lots of weaning products and foods, don’t forget the Tesco Baby Event which is on now, where you can also enter to be in with a chance of winning a 7 night holiday to Walt Disney World, Florida.
*This post was brought to you in association with Tesco Baby