First tastes

I didn’t start weaning in what I would call a traditional way. I desperately wanted to follow guidelines (I’m a stickler for rules) and wait until 6 months but she had other ideas. Eating daddy’s banana, then a week later stealing his pear and weaning onto solid food began.

I was was adamant I didn’t want to purée. All that faff, when there’s an alternative that lets you eat as a family meant I didn’t even consider it. I like the idea of baby led weaning, but didn’t quite buy into the whole ‘don’t help them, only eat with their hands’ thinking. I decided to combine a mix of the two. Some spoon fed, mainly letting her eat what she wants but help given where needed. After all, what are parents for if not to guide and assist the development of their babies and children?

At 19 weeks we started sitting her in her high chair at the table with us. I planned to give her a chopped carrot stick (hard, so she couldn’t eat it) to practice with, get the idea but not actually eat then migrate onto some cooked veg. I felt it was important to have that family time, all sat at the table watching and learning from each other. In the future we’ll all be eating together so why not start that way? We carried on with this for four weeks, giving her food to eat herself but not worrying if she didn’t. She liked banana, pear, carrots, sweet potato, cucumber, broccoli and strawberries in this time. I loved watching her explore the food. As for getting started, I literally sat her in her high chair, gave her I think a cooked carrot and just let her work it out. She did really quickly- I was lucky. Her hand eye coordination was great, she eat a little, most went on the floor for the dog.

After only putting on 20g in two weeks, my health visitor suggested I just start with proper food as she was doing so well with cooked veg sticks and fruit. Finally I could begin, make things a bit more exciting for her than just seeing what fruit or veg she could mush up and throw for the dog today. She definitely ate bits, that was evident in her nappies (banana worms and all!) but not a lot really and I was secretly quite excited.

Her first proper food was avocado on toast. Safe to say I think she loved it. 3/4 of a slice of bread was demolished, leaving just the crusts. She sucked on it almost viciously, munching off the avocado then gumming the bread. She was already strong and fast- wave a finger in front of her and it was in her mouth before you could stop her and it was the same with food. Little Miss Explorer was off.

Parents often say they’re worried about their baby choking. It’s a worry of mine too, but I’m not going to let that affect her and food. I see food as enjoyment, and I don’t want her being scared or nervous around it because I am. I made sure I watched the excellent St John Ambulance video ‘the Chokeables’ again, and was happy with what I would do.

Its so hard to find recipes for a CMPI baby that also can’t eat egg. I probably gave her a bit too much toast that first week along with ready brek as she ended up with really solid poo. Not constipation as she was still going, it was just so hard and painful for her to pass that she’d scream. I did lots of tummy massage, and gave fruit and veg again as well as plenty of feeds in between meals and it seems to be easier for her.

We started with evening meal first, it just fitted with our routine and daddy was home to help but most of all share the experience. Then I’ve added in breakfast, keeping to her normal milk feeds in between. I’m looking forward to undertaking (and documenting the highs, lows and mess of the next few months.

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So it begins….

This seems to be a phrase I’ve heard a lot since becoming a mum 6 months ago and before. Announcing I’m pregnant and can’t drink- so it begins. Complaining of sleepless nights in late pregnancy- so it begins. Baby crawling- so it begins…,.,I’m sure I could go on but I won’t bore you.

However, one beginning I’ve loved and hated in equal measure is that of weaning. Naughty me, I started two weeks before she was six months. Some parents would have a panic attack at that-  the current recommendations are six months. There isn’t a magic switch the day that babies are six months that means they’re suddenly ready. Mine was early. She was making chewing motions with her mouth, sitting well in her high chair, and since about four and a half months old grabbing food off us. I was shouted into the front room one day from the kitchen by my husband. He’d been eating a banana with our daughter sat on his lap. She’d lunged forward and was quite happily sucking on the banana. We’d already started sitting her in her high chair with us at the table by then. Now the natural progression was towards food to play with, then foods she could eat but mainly vegetables and some fruit. At 23 weeks she started on proper food.

I did have other reasons for starting early. Since birth, we’ve discovered she is Cows Milk Protein Intolerant (CMPI) and think she is egg intolerant too. I cut all dairy, eggs and soya out of my diet as I was breastfeeding. She still has poor weight gain though so I was encouraged to start just that little bit early to try and bump up her weight. She’s a happy, healthy little thing, hitting all her milestones well, just tiny.

What I found was lots of help (mainly from the formula companies) on starting purée, loads on baby led weaning, lots of debates between the two but nothing truthful about weaning. No real experience, especially for weaning an intolerant baby. There’s a few good recipe sites – I found allergybub particularly helpful but I wanted a spill all account, mess and all.

Here it is. The trials and tribulations of weaning. The highs, lows, what worked (and what didn’t) and more importantly sharing the fun

So it begins