Weaning can be a pain, in fact I was really not looking forward to having the additional stress of one more thing to think about and worry about and cook! But eventually you will figure out your babies rhythm, just remember for the first few weeks milk is still their staple feed and the food is just about introducing new flavours to them.
You can wean between 4-6months and this is true for across the board including having a premature baby. You don’t go according to their corrected age but actual age.
Don’t waste money on an expensive supply of beakers, bowls and spoons. All you need to start off is:
- Tommee Tippee First Cup – It is easy for your baby to drink out of because a little bit of water comes dripping out to teach them to swallow.
- Tommee Tippee Explora Spoons – They are soft, flexible and fits enough food for babies to eat on the spoon.
- Any plastic bowl
- Phillips Avent Steamer – Perfect to make your own baby food at home. Steams and blends in one smooth movement.
- Bib – Plastic or washable, both are great.
Making food at home:
This is the cheapest option and I would make food and freeze it into cubes (use within 1month). That way you can be prepared by taking out food from the night before, two cubes of different varieties per meal just to mix it up. For example Carrot and Pea, or Broccoli and Parsnip. Try putting one sweet veg with each meal and use ideas from ready made pouches for mixes. Don’t be disheartened if they don’t like it, just try again in a few days. Remember to always serve food warm or at room temperature (test by putting a spot on the inside of your wrist) and discard anything they don’t eat to avoid bacteria.
Stages of Weaning:
The following are food options you can mix and match for breakfast/lunch/dinner as your baby reaches different stages in weaning.
STEP 1 : FIRST TASTES
If you find that your baby doesn’t like any of the below, try mixing their usual milk with foods so they have a taste they recognise but don’t worry if they only eat little amounts at first. Also be aware that your baby may poo during/after every feed.
First try one veg or fruit at a time to see if they have an allergy to it. There is a 4 day rule whereby you wait 4 days to introduce a new food, I personally waited just two but you are the parent and use your instincts.
- Baby rice/porridge with baby’s usual milk
- Carrot/Sweet Potato/Parsnip Puree (Sweet veg)
- Broccoli/Cauliflower/Pea Puree
- Ripe Apple/Pear Puree
- Ripe mashed banana with water (Banana will constipate your baby)
STEP 2 : TEXTURED TASTES & FINGER FOODS
Do not blend the food as smooth, allow for a little texture because by 6 months they can manage a few lumps.I personally gave porridge every morning to my little one and discovered that if he didn’t like a taste, if I added one raspberry to it, all of a sudden he would have the whole thing. Broccoli and raspberry, carrot and raspberry, you name it he has had it!
- Butternut squash/Swede Puree (Sweet veg)
- Spinach/Avocado/Tomato Puree
- Melon/Mango/Peach/Strawberry Puree
- Stick toast crusts
- Soft fruit/veg sticks
- Cooked pasta
- AVOID: Rusk because they contain wheat which can lead to allergies
STEP 3: MEALS
Babies supply of iron has diminished by this point from the womb so it is important to give them a variety of the following daily:
Avoid high fibre foods because they will fill your baby up quicker, and they need full fat dairy products in their diet. Try giving them meals as close to your mealtimes to start establishing a routine. I found it easy to feed the baby first so that I could eat in peace after. Start off by puree-ing the below meals and gradually start making them lumpier until they can manage to eat normally. You can even give them what you are eating but ensure there is a good balance of the above 4 food groups. Remember to avoid salt, sugar and spices to the food.
- Cauliflour Cheese
- Lamb and sweet potato
- Carrot and Chicken
- Beef and Tomato
- Sweet Potato and Bean
- Fish and Pea
- Chicken, broccoli, spinach
- Salmon, butternut squash
- Scrambled egg and toast