After a whole lot of research, weeks of putting it off, and an inevitable ‘help me’ text to Paige – I’ve finally got my head around where to start with weaning. I use Holly Willoughby’s ‘Truly Scrumptious Baby’ book, and Ella’s Kitchen’s weaning wall charts for guidance. If you sign up to be a friend of Ella’s Kitchen, you will receive these charts for free through the post.
Those of you who know me will know how stressed I’ve been about weaning. I wanted Amelie to be 6 months old, sat up, able to hold a sippy cup, walk, talk, cook her own meals etc. etc. etc. But sometimes it’s ok to do what works for you. Amelie has been eyeing up my food for quite some time now; so I gave in to baby rice when she was just under 6 months old.
What Foods First?
Before I ramble on, I best mention that I plan on doing a combination of spoon feeding purees and baby led weaning.
For purees, I started off with carrot. I’ve read before that babies naturally have quite a sweet tooth, so I was adamant on introducing savoury foods before sweet. Carrots are a sweet savoury food, so I felt that it worked perfectly. I simply peeled the carrots and boiled them until they were soft. I then bunged them straight into the Tommee Tippee Baby Food Blender and added a few tablespoons of Amelie’s usual formula milk. Then we moved onto other veggies such as broccoli and parsnip, and repeated the same steps.
We introduced fruits towards the end of week three. Amelie’s first fruit was avocado. I tried cutting it into slices but it all went a bit higgelty piggelty when it was much more slippery than anticipated. Lesson learnt – leave the skin on for grip. So, I mixed it with a bit of formula milk and mashed it with a fork. We then went on to apple and banana (mixed together), which has proven to be a firm favourite.
What Do I Need?
You don’t need to spend extortionate amounts on weaning products, just keep an eye out for the Asda and Aldi ‘Baby and Toddler’ events. I bought the food blender (linked above) from Asda for just £10, and a pack of 2 bowls with lids for just £1. Bargain! I did invest in the Bamboo Bamboo suction bowl because I’m sold on anything that prevents a messy floor. And, let’s face it – I’m all for buying baby bits and bobs if they look pretty. For spoons, we use the Munchkin Soft Tip spoons which are the perfect size for Amelie’s teeny hands to grip on to. These spoons are also super soft, and therefore kind to your baby’s gums.
If you’re planning on making your own baby food, it’s worth purchasing a few bits to store your batches in. A simple ice cub tray would do, but we picked up some silicone jelly moulds from Poundland which seem to do the trick. We then let the purees cool down, distribute them into the tray and pop them in the freezer overnight. Then I can chuck them in the microwave to defrost when needed.
When it came to sippy cups, or beakers, I couldn’t decide whether to go for ‘spill proof’ or ‘free flow’. I decided that I wanted something that I could travel around with, so I opted for the Munchkin Miracle 360 Degree Trainer Cup. This cup is such a great little invention as it’s so similar to drinking from an actual cup (without the added spillages). Amelie kinda gets how to use this, kinda doesn’t. And then lastly, you’ll need to purchase a highchair. We went for the cheaper option with the Ikea Antilop Higchair, and popped the Klammig Cushion Cover in it. Grab yourself a plastic bib and a life time supply of wet wipes, and then you’re good to go!
I started off with giving Amelie baby rice every morning for a week because she was crying for more food after her 7oz of milk. For someone so tiny, she sure knows how to eat. We’re now on week 4 of weaning, and Amelie has Weetabix for breakfast, and a purée and yoghurt for lunch (all alongside her usual formula milk). She guzzles this down like a dream, so I’m thinking of introducing finger foods and an extra meal pretty soon.