Weaning is a huge subject for discussion within the mummy blogging community. With millions of articles, infographics and books available to every new mother, it’s easy to get confused by what is really best to do.
Some say the way to go is spoonfed purees. Making it easy to allow your child to taste and eat, without having to worry about too much mess or choking hazards, many tend to go this route.
Others will say Baby Led weaning is the best and more modern way to go. Allowing your child to practice chewing, removing the need for a parent to sit and feed a child and allowing the child to dictate when they are done.
For us, a mixture of the two was much more appropriate.
At 10 months old, R is now usually on 3 meals a day, with snacks and breastmilk in between, but we have been breastfeeding on demand since birth, so some days he will barely drink any milk, others he will only have milk.
(At this point I’m just gonna mention that R doesn’t have any teeth yet, but he will happily chew away on baby biscuits, fruit and veg – cooked or uncooked. Teeth are not necessary for BLW)
On a day where he eats food and drinks milk this is our usual routine:
Begin to wake at 8am – Milk in bed.
10am – Breakfast. Usually Cow & Gate 10m+ Fruity Crunch Cereal, mixed with breastmilk.
1130am – Snack. Rusk biscuit / Fruit and a few crisps (Organix Carrot Stix)
1230pm – Breastmilk and Nap.
2pm – Lunch. Depends on what we have in the house but e.g Cooked chicken breast cut into chunks, slices of cucumber and breadsticks or toast.
4pm – Fruit chunks. Of late it’s been strawberries as they seem to go down a treat.
430pm – Milk and short nap (30-40 mins)
530pm – Dinner. Whatever we are eating. This can depend on what were eating as to whether i mash it and feed him or if he can eat it himself.
8pm – Milk and bed.
130am – Milk.
430am – Milk.
It seems like a lot when it’s all written down like that but before anyone jumps to conclusions he’s not a fat or overfed baby. He’s actually quite small, but then so are we and he is also very active, he’s only still if he’s sleeping.
This mixture of Purees and Baby Led also works for us because it gives him a good range of textures, tastes and feels. It teaches him how to hold food, but also table manners. He understands the spoon goes in the bowl, not his hands, but if I place it on his high chair tray, he can pick it up with his hands.
We have never held back on what he can try either. If he looks like he wants to taste something, we will let him. I’m not here to decide what he likes and dislikes. If he wants to try a new fruit, let him, he wants to try some hot sauce, let him taste a little. I grew up with a very limited range of tastes, my dad liked bland, boring food, and so that’s what we ate. It wasn’t until my parents split up that I started to try new things, and really, it wasn’t until I met my partner that my view on food really expanded but even now im still very fussy. I always said that I wouldn’t let that be the way for my kids.
This is obviously not a “you should be doing this” list. This is what works for us and our baby. But as I said above it doesn’t always work out like that, some days he will eat store bought pouches, some days he’ll refuse to eat dinner and just pull his hair. It’s hit and miss.
But that’s why it’s called weaning. This isn’t supposed to be a strict set of rules for you to adhere to, it’s a guide, it’s a process. And I feel like too much these days you see so much pressure on new mums to get their kid on solids as soon as possible, when actually that’s not always what’s best for anyone.
Just because someone else’s kid was ready at 5 months, doesn’t mean yours has to be. Just because someone thinks milk is only good for the first 6 months, doesn’t mean they’re right.
Read and research, of course. Make sure you have a head full of knowledge when it comes to this stuff, cause it’s best to be prepared, but don’t fret if your child still wants more milk than solids at 9 months old, or if they don’t want to eat with a spoon and would rather stuff their fingers in the bowl.
This process is malleable to what you need it to be, and you’ll figure it out together along the way.
(Please remember that breastmilk or formula milk is recommended as a sole source of nutrition for your baby until 6 months. And that it should continue as part of their diet until at least a year. Also consult your Dr or Peadiatrician before beginning your baby on any solid foods or cereals and be sure to stay away from allergy groups until after 1 year old)