Weaning Ted was honestly such an enjoyable process, and although I’m no expert, in celebration of our weaning essentials giveaway I thought I’d share my journey with our readers.
We started weaning just before Ted turned 6 months. Ted definitely had the odd taste of flavours here and there before then, but early weaning isn’t recommended for a number of reasons, so be sure to do your research if that’s something your considering. Roughly 24 weeks is when a baby’s gut is ready for solids, but if you’re breastfeeding and your little one isn’t showing signs of interest in food then wait until they are ready.
Below are the individual steps we took:
1) We started with baby rice mixed with expressed milk, and purely did this to see how Ted got on with chewing and swallowing. Baby rice has no nutritional value but it was a good way to see if Ted was ready.
2) After a few weeks we started to mix pureed vegetables and expressed milk. We fed Ted this at dinner time and it was fun seeing him trying the new flavours. We are lucky that he’s not been fussy with food at all. I’d recommend starting with vegetables before you progress to fruit, otherwise you baby may prefer sweet food over other tastes and this doesn’t bode well for the further stages!
3) Once Ted was enjoying pureed fruit and veg every evening we decided to introduce another meal each day. He was almost 7 months by this point.
4) As Ted started to enjoy 2 meals a day at 7 months, we introduced finger foods and also bread, pasta and rice. I really wanted to mix traditional weaning and baby led weaning, as I wanted Ted to get used to swallowing before introducing the chewing element! I gave him steamed vegetables and would mix with cous cous or over done pasta. Boots do a great range of their own branded gluten free products that we started with before progressing onto normal pasta.
5) If there is one thing that terrified me, it was giving Ted meat! By 7 and half months he was eating well, and now with the introduction of his third meal I knew it was time. We started with fish as it breaks apart really nicely and we eat salmon or white fish every week. Then we introduced chicken, then mince at 8 and half months and Ted will eat beek in small chunks also.
6) One really important thing I would say, is don’t be scared to introduce spice and flavourings. Ted loves eating chilli and curries and has a diverse palette as I give him a nice variety of foods.
7) We can now give him pretty much anything that we eat, which is so easy and simple. There’s just zero point in making multiple meals everyday. Breastfeeding wise, he will only feed twice a day, morning and evening. From 9 months he has also been having 2 snacks a day in between meals.
8) In terms of a sippy cup, we started using one from 6 months with expressed milk in and have now moved onto water. Ted loves the ones with the plastic straw! Our next stage is whole milk in a cup for breakfast to wean off of his morning breastfeed, but we will wait a month or so for that.
My biggest tip would be introducing one new thing a weeks, not everything all at once or too soon.
We make everything from scratch but ocasionally if we stick a pizza in the oven Ted will have some. Weaning him has really made me think about what I eat and how I can eat better, which is great too! There are things we won’t allow him to eat, simply because he is so young. Anything artifical, crisps, fast food, saturated fat or high salt content are a no go. He’s tried bits of chocolate here but it’ll be a long time before we let him have a Maccies!
Whether you opt for baby led or traditional or a mix of both, just do what you are comfortable with. Trust your instincts and do what suits your child and when they are ready. Good luck!