I’m going to take a break from my challenge as this is a post I’ve been meaning to write for a while.
As you may know, we decided to wean Atty early due to him showing all signs he was ready for food (contentious I know!). I thought I’d share some tips and trick I’ve picked up on the way. We have done a combination of BLW and purees. Obviously it goes without saying that I am not a medical professional and any tips that I suggest don’t go above what a health visitor, doctor, nurse, etc. says.
- Wait until the baby is ready– I feel like this may be an obvious one, but I feel like as Mum’s we put so much pressure onto ourselves to move onto the next milestone that we can rush the process. The NHS states that a baby is ready when:
1. They can stay in a sitting position and hold their head steady.
2. They can co-ordinate their eyes, hands and mouth so they can look at the food, pick it up and put it in their mouth, all by themselves.
3. They can swallow food. Babies who are not ready will push their food back out with their tongue, so they get more round their face than they do in their mouths.
- Batch cook- my whole life I’ve always had good intentions of batch cooking things, when I was a student I used to cook a meal for three and then freeze two portions, and then they stayed in the freezer never to be touched again. However, with Atty it is different. We went to our local Sainsbury’s to get organic vegetables (other supermarkets are available, however we found Sainsbury’s had the best organic section) batch cooked it all and then whizzed it and froze it in ice-cube trays. Now for those who are more ‘in the know’ than me I’m sure that is probably a very obvious thing to do. However, when I found out about it my mind was BLOWN. Not only would it then be quick and easy to make Atty’s tea in the evenings but I could also experiment with flavour combinations by mixing the cubes, genius.
- Two-spoon technique- if you are a follower of my Instagram and watch my stories you may have seen the video of this in action. As Atty has got older and used to eating he has started grabbing the spoon. It then becomes a fighting match between me and him, often resulting in some kind of liquified vegetable being flung across my dining room onto the beige carpet (silly Mummy choosing such a light colour). This is where the second spoon comes into play, as he takes one from me I load the other one and simply ‘swap’ with him and he happily drops the one without the food on in favour for the one with the good stuff on it. TA DA! No more fighting!
- Watch the salt content- again probably a very obvious one but babies are only recommended to have less than 1g a day (up to 12 months) compared to an adults intake of a recomended 6g a day. This is more of a concern if you are going to try baby led weaning. I bought a packet of crumpets for Atty to try for breakfast only to find that it has nearly the full daily amount of salt Atty should have. Thankfully he doesn’t have anything else with salt in so he can have them as a special treat but I definitely don’t think they are an everyday food (especially if you’re putting salted butter on them!)
- Learn the difference between gagging and choking– again this is more for people who are going to try BLW, it can save you a lot of worry and distress if you know the difference between the two. If you are going to try Baby Led Weaning be prepared for some gagging and potentially a small bit of sick. Gagging is helping the baby NOT to choke by moving food from the back of their tongue to the front of their mouth if they have put too much in or haven’t chewed it effectively. I found this little picture very helpful when I first tried Atty on solids.
- Ikea highchairs- no fuss, brilliant to clean and cheap. What more is there to say?
- Enjoy it! This is a big step in your little one’s development and its so exciting watching them try new tastes and textures. Try not to get too hung up on how much they are/are not having as their milk is still their main source of nutrients until they’re one anyway.
I swear I had so many more points to put but it’s 21:39 on a Sunday evening and my brain has just about turned to mush! I hope that this post can help someone in some way. As I said before this is just my experience and as we all know every baby is different!