With my baby about to start school, I have been getting sentimental and looking back over the past few years. The birth, baby days, weaning, toilet training, development milestones, you name it, I’ve reminisced about it recently! So today I want to talk more about their weaning days, as I did things differently for each child, and then I’ll share a few tips…
I had my Annabel Karmel cookbook, I made batches of food in copious amounts of tupperware and we also had jars of Hipp Organic for when we were out and about or in a rush.
We followed the government advice and started weaning at 6 months old. We started with smooth, bland flavours to get Boo used to food other than milk and then moved onto more textures and flavours gradually. It’s recommended that babies should be introduced to soft lumps from seven months as this helps encourage healthy feeding patterns later in life. I found the jars handy for encouraging her to try different textures and tastes, along with her favourite homemade fish pie. Little ones need the lumpy food as it promotes good oral motor function, preventing problems later on.
Boo loved weaning, always keen to try new flavours. I remember the one in this shot particularly well as this was her first taste of chocolate, and yes, she finished the whole pot!
For Little Man
I went down the baby-led weaning route. Both of my children suffered with reflux, though I’d say Little Man’s was worse. It meant that milk always flew back out so I was keen to wean him with solid foods that he’d be better able to keep down. He started with things like toast fingers, which he adored, and we then moved onto various baby snacks, cereals, fruit and vegetables. I distinctly remember him going through a phase of adoring bananas (or ‘babas’) and peas! Solid food definitely made his reflux more manageable along with the fact that he was of course growing out of it over time. As such, he had less jars and purees than Boo did, and he was joining in with family meals, sampling foods from us a lot sooner than she was.
I think for the second child, when I didn’t have lots of time to prepare purees as I was also chasing a toddler around, baby led weaning was easier, and for my Little Man, it was definitely the right choice with his reflux. It also meant he was very adept at feeding himself from quite a young age.
I can see the pros and cons of both methods and I am happy that each one worked well for each of my children. The latter method was definitely messier, but then handily we had a dog back then who cleaned up the floor for me!
My Top Weaning Tips
1. Be prepared. Read up on whichever method you’re planning to go for so that you feel happy you know what you’re doing, and if the more traditional method, make sure you have various bowls, spoons and containers in ready.
2. It will get messy! Pop a mat on the floor if you want to, get them comfortably seated in their high chairs and get that bib on. Carry spare outfits, food gets everywhere!
3. Always stay with little ones whilst they eat. This is crucial for their own safety, but it also makes it sociable and more enjoyable for them. Ideally, have them eating with the rest of the family as soon as is practical, making family mealtimes the norm. They will learn from watching others at the table and be more inclined to try new foods when they can see others eating them.
4. Babies have only had breast or bottle up until this point, everything else is strange to them. Do try new flavours several times to give them time to get used to them. They will gag, especially with baby led weaning. This is not the same as choking, don’t panic, they do need to find how to comfortably eat.
5. Relax. I remember how huge this is all seemed to be with my firstborn, by the second time around I was much more relaxed and looking back now, it was such a small stage of their life. I think if you’re prepared, you have the homemade food or jars in, you’re good to go. Do stick to the advice about when to wean and ensure you move onto the lumpy food when advised as this will ensure baby’s developing at the right pace, and then enjoy it. It’s lovely to see their little faces when they love a new taste, and hilarious to see them react when they are not so keen!
I’m bringing you this post in partnership with the team over at HiPP Organic, sharing those Moments That Matter. The new jars from HiPP Organic have a wider opening to make feeding easier. The jar itself is 100% recyclable and the new HiPP Organic savoury jars have no hidden fruit, making them perfect for every stage of weaning. For more information on the new recipes and products from HiPP Organic, as well as weaning advice, head to the HiPP UK website.
What were your experiences of weaning?
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post