Harley’s almost one now (I’m not even going to start on how ridiculously quickly the past year has gone) and he’s been on solids for nearly seven months. It’s been a while since I’ve written about weaning, you can see my last post here, but I’m not going to lie I’ve found it stressful.
For me weaning, especially at the beginning, was a balancing act between worry and self-doubt. Am I doing it too early? Is he going to choke on this puree that I’ve blended smoother than a glass of water? Am I giving him the right foods? Am I starting with the right mealtime? Etc. Etc. Etc. I was one of the lucky ones too as my sister had been weaning my niece for a month or so when we started so I had somebody to text constantly to ask questions.
In all honesty I hadn’t even given weaning a thought until the Health Visitor recommended we started at 17 weeks due to Harley’s huge appetite (he was demolishing 9oz bottles every three hours, sometimes even needing more). Seven months in it’s everyday life, Harley has three meals, snacks and whatever he can grab off our plates before zooming off across the room. As I’m feeling much more confident I thought I’d share some of the things that have helped us on our weaning journey – please note I’m no expert and still have days when Harley pulls a face and throws food back in my direction.
- First thing first, mother’s instinct is always to be trusted. You know your baby better than anybody so if you don’t feel confident trying them with a certain food or think they need to have finger foods cut into smaller pieces, do it.
- Do your research. There are so many different pieces of advice out there about techniques – the most popular being puree-led and baby-led. We opted for puree-led and went in search of Annabel Karmel and tried lots of her recipes. Thankfully Harley took really well to the purees but I wanted to ensure he tried finger foods too so I guess we went for a mixture once he was a few weeks in.
- Ella’s Kitchen rock my world. Only a few weeks after we started weaning Harls we went abroad for two weeks (you can read my holiday tips here) so we decided to take some Ella’s Kitchen pouches with us (tip from my sister). He was only having purees at lunchtime at the time so I opted for the 4 month+ pouches that offer fruit and veg combinations. Everything in the pouches is 100% organic so you’re not compromising quality and there are no hidden ingredients. We still use the pouches today (we’re on the 10 month+ pouches) when we’re out and about.
- If at first you don’t succeed. I found that Harley had to try foods (especially fruit) several times before he’d fully commit to them. The way that worked best for us was to try him with something and give it a couple of days until trying again. Because of this method he’ll now eat banana.
- Don’t get bogged down with complex recipes. I was guilty of this when we first started weaning. I’d find recipes that contained about 25 different ingredients and spend ages cooking meals only for them not to be eaten so I decided to strip it back. For instance I started cooking a pasta sauce with about eight different ingredients, which didn’t go down too well so I stripped it back to just canned tomatoes and onions. Once Harley seemed to enjoy that I gradually started introducing the other ingredients one at a time, e.g. garlic, peppers, mixed herbs. It’s now one of his favourite meals.
- Oh and don’t take anything for granted. Babies love to change their minds. Couldn’t get enough of strawberries yesterday? So what, they hate them today.
- The general rule is the longer it takes to cook, the quicker it ends up on the floor. Don’t be disheartened. I try and make enough for a couple of servings so we can try again a few days later.
- Planning. As you may be aware the day flies by and before you know it it’s time for lunch and you’re scratching your head as to what to give baby. I try to plan Harley’s meals throughout the week as I do with ours. It’s also a massive help when planning the weekly shop.
- But don’t forget the reliable basics. Cans of pasta shapes and baked beans are a lifesaver when you’re short on time.
- Chill out. Weaning can be so much fun, especially seeing baby get their first real tastes so sit back and enjoy!
- Highchair. We’ve got the ANTILOP Highchair from Ikea. Super cheap, sturdy and easy to clean.
- A ridiculous amount of spoons. We’re forever losing spoons (I like Tommee Tippee) and now Harley likes to feed himself and hold as many as he can all at once.
- Muslins. Most handy and most needed item ever (well after baby wipes). Useful for using as a bib (covering the shoulders too), mopping up and scooping up random bits of food off the floor.
- Kiddylicious Wafers. Super handy snacks for the pram as they make minimal mess.
Aspiring Yummy Mummy. X