Weaning! Where did the past few months go!? You are at that point where milk alone just aint gonna cut it! Your little pup is huuuuuuuungry!!! It is such an exciting time, but for many, like myself it is SO daunting!!! I guess there are so many different ways but all I know is the way I went about it.. so this is what I shall talk about! I started Joseph at about 5ish months. The health squad advise for 6months but I went with what I thought was best. Joseph was 2 weeks overdue so I have always seem him as being a bit more advanced.
Equipment I have used throughout
- Bowls – They all do the same thing don’t they and there are so many different ones to chose from. I used – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tommee-Tippee-Shatterproof-Feeding-Colours/dp/B005ZZOW6I/ref=sr_1_12?s=baby&ie=UTF8&qid=1473932934&sr=1-12
- Bibs – . At the first stage of weaning, I would say just your normal bib would suffice because to begin with its just primarily wiping around their mouth. When the weaning progressed and it all started to get a bit messy I used https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hippychick-Bumkins-Sleeved-Bib-Owl/dp/B004V5WCJM/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?s=baby&ie=UTF8&qid=1473933005&sr=1-2-fkmr0&keywords=hippychick+apron I LOVE this one – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hippychick-Bumkins-Sleeved-Bib-Chevron/dp/B00NEHWTM8/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=baby&ie=UTF8&qid=1473933087&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=hippychick+apron I also use a ‘Food catcher’ bib
- Food processor / Blender
- A high chair or something similar. Joseph has never used a high chair. Instead we decided to opt for a ‘Baby Bud’as recommended by one of my good friends. Again, personal preference but it has worked wonderfully for us, especially when weaning. It allowed me to sit really close to him when feeding and since then, as it straps to a chair, he sits directly at the table with us and eats. Eating dinner together is one of my favourite things to do and he mimics what we do too which I think gives his development a helping hand. http://www.preciouslittleone.com/product-information/61/49094/mamas-papas-baby-bud-navy/?gclid=CN6IhP_9kM8CFQoW0wod0iEF8w
I started with baby porridge mixed with his normal milk. What I would do is I would give him his morning bottle, which at the time was 7am and then around 8am I would make up a 4oz bottle..used as much milk that was needed for the porridge and then gave him the rest in the bottle. This and baby rice are great to start off with as it gets the bub used to the consistency and isn’t so alien as mixed with the usual milk they are used too. I guess if breastfeeding you would mix it with breast milk although I had stopped by this point so I’m not entirely sure. http://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/?id=262426625&gclid=CNTy8fH2kM8CFQoW0wod4_MElA&gclsrc=aw.ds http://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/?id=262412722
After a week or so of Joseph being used to the porridge and the baby rice, I then moved on to ‘First Tastes’. I found this Cow & Gate guide brilliant. It is free to order, and when trying each different taste I would write the date on those he tried it and whether he liked it or not & the ones that he didn’t so much (pea puree for sure) I would leave a couple of days and then try again. https://www.cowandgate.co.uk/five-step-weaning-plan
Be sure to get some pictures – the face they pull of something they don’t like is priceless.
You will need a blender in order to make the purees. There are a few ‘baby specialised’ blenders/food processors to chose from as shown on Mothercare. http://www.mothercare.com/feeding/weaning/ but again, I am sure your average blender will do the trick! I personally don’t think they are very cost effective as you may only get use out of it for a few months. For a while I had been wanting to buy a ‘Nutri Bullet’ to make juices (and oreo milkshakes 😉 ) , so for us, it made sense to get this as we could use it for ourselves and Joseph!
After a few weeks of trying him with different tastes, I decided it was time to step it up a gear. I decided that I wanted to make his food as it was something that I had always wanted to do. Again guys, there is no right or wrong. I don’t think I am ‘Mum of the year’ because of doing so, however I love cooking and I had the time so this is something that I wanted to do – each to their own X
Again, I found myself a bit stumped on where to go from here, until I was told about the ‘Annabel Karmel’ recipe book. This book is everything! It made it all a little less overwhelming and provides you with a meal planner for the week too. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Annabel-Karmels-Complete-Toddler-anniversary/dp/0091924855/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473937114&sr=8-1&keywords=annabel+karmel I was so confused on what times I should be giving him food, whether I had to drop milk feeds etc.. but this tells you all! Some of the recipe’s are a bit long winded and fancy so there are a few that that I didn’t do but there are so many options to chose from. Even now I hate the thought of Josephs food being repetitive but there is so much variety. I was quite a fussy eater growing up, so I want to try and veer Joseph away from that if I can by starting him early. Be brave and experiment. I found the key to making Joseph’s food was batch cooking and freezing. I think they last for upto 3 months, but at their best within the first. You can either freeze them in ice cube trays, or I used these as they were relativley cheap and I needed lots. Only thing I will say is that you get the odd one where the lid isn’t that secure and pops off – very annoying. http://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/?id=275929379&sc_cmp=ppc*sh*msh*bg*px_%7c_shopping_gsc_%7c_all_products_+_brand*275929379&gclid=CLry2pWBkc8CFTIo0wodG30L7Q&gclsrc=aw.ds
Annabel Karmel also has a range too: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=annabel+karmel+food+pots
When defrosting, I almost ALWAYS forget to put it in the fridge to defrost the night before so I either defrost in warm water or in the microwave (defrost setting) dependent on how I am for time.
The great thing about the Annabel Karmel book, is that now Joseph is 1 and can pretty much eat ‘anything’ there are recipes in the book fit for the family which is ideal!
– A healthy adaptation of ‘Chicken Pot Noodle’ as taken from the ‘Annabel Karmel’ recipe book –
If I was inbetween cooking, or simply wanted a break I would give Joseph ‘Ellas Kitchen’ products. They are so flavoursome and go down a treat. I really recommend them. So easy for on the go too as they are in squeezable pouches
Finger foods & snacks
Joseph loves his snacks and finger foods and it gives me a bit of extra time so that I can clean the kitchen. Listed below are age dependant
- Steamed brocolli and cauliflower florets
- Steamed carrott sticks
- Sliced cucumber and tomatoes – soothing for when they are teething too
- Wafers http://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/?id=286671562
- Rice cakes – either your standard rice cakes or flavoured ‘Organix’ http://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/?id=255125099
- Cubes of cheese or shaped animal cheeses http://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/?id=285174962
- Pitta bread and humous
- Petit filous
- Full fat yogurt with fresh fruit
- Blueberries (I squash them flat with my fingers)
- Peas and sweetcorn ( I always keep them in my freezer )
- Dry cheerios
- Fruit pouchers – Ellas Kitchen
- Fruit pots – Cow & Gate / Organix
- Organix snack products – Carrott puffs are a personal fave of Josephs.
- Crackers with butter
* I am not a health expert and every baby is different with their development, this is just the route that I took when I felt it was right for my baby*