Things I wish I’d known about weaning
After weaning three babies, I can say that I’ve had my fair share of being batted with spoons and smattered with purée.
Let’s be honest, weaning can be really frustrating – when you’ve prepared something delicious and your baby decides it’s not for them, it’s pretty disheartening.
But weaning can also be fun and very rewarding. When your baby discovers they like a new flavour, it’s a great day at the office! It’s also really interesting to watch a baby slowly develop an interest in food – hopefully for life.
At first, I fed my little one’s meals on my lap while we both got used to the experience but eventually progressed to the high chair (obligatory mat on the floor.)
I also introduced finger food from about seven months to give my babies a feel for what it felt like to feed themselves. But I don’t think that my babies ate very well like that until about eight months plus. It was really just a few nibbles at first, and that’s fine.
Here’s what I wish I knew then:
Start your baby off on veggie flavours
I started each of my babies off with baby rice for the first meal, and then baby rice mixed with pear purée for the second meal. But times have changed. Now it’s suggested that you start your baby on veggies rather than sweet fruit or baby rice, to help them encourage a love of veg. Wonder if that would have made a difference to my fussy little boy?
Try not to pass your first baby’s likes and dislikes onto your second child
If your first baby didn’t like something, so you didn’t serve it often, it’s easy to forget about that food the next time you wean. For me, spinach falls into this category – my first baby didn’t really like it so I sort of forgot about it somehow. It just dropped off my radar in terms of baby food. And today, with my kids all at primary school, a green soup will emit yells of ‘Yerch!’. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that each baby is different.
A grimace doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t like that food
It just means that it’s a new texture or taste, for example a more bitter-tasting veg like broccoli, that your baby needs to try a few more times before accepting – so give it another go a different day. There are foods that I think I abandoned too soon (spinach comes to mind…)
Let them play with their food
Sometimes a meal can get so messy and take so long that you just want to clear up and move onto another activity – and yes, I’ve been definitely guilty of this. We don’t always have time to linger over meals when there are naps, meet-ups, buggy-fit etc to get to. But when a baby plays with their food, they’re actually learning.
Organix children’s food expert Lucy Thomas suggests trying:
Letting them squish and squash their food
This will help your baby gather sensory information so they start learning how to pick up different foods with their fingers
It’s like finger painting! When they lick off the raspberries from their fingers afterwards, it strengthens your baby’s tongue, which helps them to move food around their mouth
Remember to give yourself a pat on the back!
You’re doing this day after day after day, and, looking back, I can see it’s easy to lose sight of that. So if your baby is trying different foods, enjoying their meals and you’re still standing, you know, you’re doing alright. Best of luck!
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post but all views are my own.
I’m an Organix No Junk Mum. Follow our #NoJunkJourney
For more tips and advice, download the Organix My Little Book of Weaning.