I thought I’d do a little reflective post on our first week of weaning. Turns out I had to refresh my memory of what to do so fingers crossed there’ll be some helpful tips in here. I offer weaning home visits at work, it’s crazy how much I’ve forgotten whilst on maternity leave. God help me when maternity leave is up!!
We waited until Reggie was 26 weeks before giving him anything he could actually consume, before then he’d chewed on a raw carrot stick a few times which really helped before his first tooth cut through.
When to feed your baby?
We started with evening meal but I ended up having a wiggly windy baby during the night so we switched to lunch on day three and he’s slept better. Although he hasn’t consumed much, there will still be changes happening in his digestive system. Lunch time meant his little body has chance to digest the food whilst he was awake. This worked so much better. Don’t wait until your baby is due a feed or starving, they’ll only get frustrated. Carry on demand feeding, just add in one meal.
How much to give them?
If you’ve read Purées vs BLW you’ll know how stressy I was about weaning my first. I’m so much more relaxed now. At this stage it really doesn’t matter if anything goes down. It’s all about textures and tastes. To start with it isn’t really a meal, just a taste of something we’ve had on our plates. I’d guess Reggie swallowed only pea sized amounts on his first few goes. I remember with Evie there was a clear change once she’d got the hang of what she was doing, she went from mushing the food about and spitting bits out to wolfing the whole lot down.
Like breastfeeding and bottle feeding on demand, give your baby as much or as little as they want. Watch for cues that they still want more like reaching, grabbing and chewing and for when they’re done like getting grumpy, turning their head away and no longer reaching for food.
The advice is to add new foods one by one, I will try to do this with foods which can cause allergies like cows’ milk, eggs, wheat, gluten, nuts, peanuts, peanut products, seeds, fish and shellfish. However, if Reggie is ever going to have a proper dinner with the rest of us I won’t be cooking onions and garlic separately for him to try.
This was a question for the Health Visitor because I really couldn’t remember. Her answer was, week one – one meal, week two – two meals then onto three meals at week three. I’m not going to be strict about this though.
What to avoid?
If you’ve waited until 6 months there is very little that needs to be avoided. Honey seems to be the only thing, until your baby is one.
Cows’ milk is fine to use in cooking or on cereal but shouldn’t be offered as a drink until your baby is one. To begin with your baby won’t need to drink much water but it’s handy for them to get used to having a beaker with meals. Tap water is fine to use from 6 months. It’s tempting to use cups with valves to avoid spillages, but it’s best to stick to free flow cups as using cups with valves can lead to speech problems later on.
All in all week one of weaning has gone pretty well. The girls have found the faces Reggie pulls at trying new things hilarious. It’s been really nice to be sat at the table as a family of five!