Parenting

Our weaning journey

June 26, 2017
weaning

When the time came to start thinking about weaning Evie I was a little nervous. The process hadn’t been particularly easy with Amelie and she’s still quite challenging with her food. However, I had learnt a few tricks and I think as a second time mama you feel a little more confident so part of me was secretly looking forward to her trying food.

Evie showed all the signs she was ready for food a lot earlier than Amelie. Around five and a half months she was:
  • Sitting up well and in a high chair
  • Watching me eat
  • Looking like she was starting to try and pick things up and was developing her pincer grip
  • Tried to take food from our plates

I think a lot of this was having an older sibling to watch and learn from, they do say second children learn and do things a lot quicker and this has certainly been the case with Evie.

 

When we noticed we signs we decided we’d start to introduce some solids slowly and see how she got on.
What meal to start with?
I think there is lots of conflicting advice on this one and we have done it differently both times. With Amelie we started with breakfast but I knew that this would never work with Evie as we’re always flying out of the door for pre-school and the last thing you want to do is rush a learning baby. I decided to start with dinner time. It meant she could eat with Amelie and would (hopefully) be well rested from her afternoon nap and in a good mood!
My advice would be to pick a meal time you know your little one will be at their happiest, you have time to spend with them and ideally they should be well rested.
I tried to leave her milk until after food, but on occasions when she really wanted milk I would give her half a bottle and then the other half afterwards, again its trial and error, see what works for your baby.
family breakfast weaning
Baby led vs. spoon led
There are two main ways that we wean our little ones at the moment, baby led and spoon led. Spoon led weaning is where you spoon feed purees which are very smooth and progress to lumpier textures and baby-led weaning is where you give your baby pieces of food that they pick up without the need for a spoon.
This is an individual choice and for me something that has been led by the girls. Amelie very much wanted to feed herself and was therefore almost entirely baby led whereas with Evie we have been trying to do a mixture so she is used to a spoon but can also learn how to feed herself.
My advice would be to see what your baby prefers and what you feel comfortable with and whichever route you take there’ll be lots of recipes to follow!
We’re onto month three of weaning our little one so we’ve settled into a good routine with her, however I know when I started I loved reading what others did in which weeks so here is a summary of our weaning journey with Evie so far.
Weeks 1 and 2
We started very slowly and because we were slightly before 6 months and we tried easy dinner meals like baby rice and a first taste. Some of the first tastes we tried were:
Carrot, spinach, peas, apple, broccoli, cauliflower, blueberry, sweet potato and avocado.
After she accepted these we moved onto blending these tastes and also started to add some of Amelie’s vegetables (like broccoli) so she started to feel the texture of foods and develop her pincer grip further. The blends that Evie liked the best were, cauliflower and sweet potato, broccoli potato and pea, avocado and banana and finally broccoli leak and potato.
Weeks 3 and 4
We started to introduce breakfast, which meant a lot more organisation from me to make sure we all sat down and had time to eat before Amelie went to pre-school. However once we had settled into a rhythm it was fairly easy to fit it in.
I started her with baby porridge and added a fruit purée to taste. We loved (and still do) pureeing things like blueberries, strawberries and mango and then adding them to the porridge.
I also offered fresh fruit afterwards and quickly realised she was a bit of a strawberry monster!
Month 2
It was in month 2 that we started to introduce three meals a day. We also went on holiday so I had the added complication of taking purees away with us!
We were kindly sent some Babease pouches to try and these were brilliant for the holiday. I love Babease as they are vegetable led purees which for me was really important. I wanted Evie to try and have more savoury tastes as we all know how much babies and toddlers love the sweet things! Evie absolutely loves them – her favourite blends were the brown rice and chicken and the sweet potato and cauliflower.
weaning on holiday
We mixed the Babease pouches with some vegetables and fruit on holiday and when we got home I decided to mix home made meals with some of the pouches for ease and because she liked them so much!
It makes it a lot easier if little ones like these pouches as they can be popped in a changing bag and used when out and about.
Month 3
We are now 3 months into our weaning journey and I can’t quite believe where the time has gone!
I’m now trying to introduce more baby led recipes so that Amelie and Evie can eat together, however I have noticed that when Evie is teething she just wants purees so I have been mixing a Babease pouch with some of Amelie’s lunch or dinner and letting her decide!
weaning with toddler and a baby
I’ve found the Annabel Karmel baby led weaning book really handy for this and have found some recipes which both girls really enjoy.
 
Here are some of our example lunches and dinners.
Lunches
Avocado, chicken and brown rolls – this is a really easy quick lunch and if we’re in a rush from pre-school pick up I can pull together quickly. I let Amelie make up her own sandwich which seems to encourage her to eat and give Evie thin slices of food.
Sweet corn fritters – this is one of the recipes from Annabel Karmel and they both love it! The halloumi gives it a wonderful taste.
Scrambled eggs – this is such an easy lunch and is something they can both enjoy. If you were spoon feeding this could also be used really easily.
Cheese muffins and cucumber – another easy lunch and the muffins are something you could make with your toddler.
Dinners
Macaroni cheese – this is something both of the girls love. It’s great for Evie to feed herself and gets the thumbs up from a fussy toddler!
Homemade chicken nuggets – another Annabel Karmel one with nuggets made with Rice Krispies, we even make a batch big enough for us!
Sausage and mash – or a BBQ! Both girls love this – Evie mostly loves the mash and Amelie the sausages!
Lasagne – one of the staples in this house. I hide lots of vegetables inside and make one big enough to freeze for days when I need to grab something from the freezer!
weaning babease
 We love mixing Babease pouches with baby led foods.
Top tips for weaning
  • Get a good highchair, I am convinced one of the reasons Amelie didn’t eat well was because she didn’t sit well in her chair.
  • Don’t be afraid to give your child foods because they might choke! I was petrified of this with Amelie but have been much more relaxed with Evie. Follow sensible precautions, like the way you cut foods, never leaving them, doing a first aid course but give them the room to explore foods.
  • If you’re worried about when they’ve finished look for signs from them like: turning their head away, starting to drop food, if they’re doing this they’ve probably finished.
  • Don’t be worried about using some of the pouches. I made everything for Amelie but physically didn’t have the time this time around so I have mixed pouches and home made foods and it’s worked really well. It’s all about balance.
  • Don’t feel like you need to buy a steamer / puree machine, I did with Amelie and used it once – it is still in the cupboard. I have found either mashing or using a hand blender work just as well or even better than specific weaning equipment – save your money and put it towards a high chair or loads of fruit and veg!

How did you find the weaning journey with your little one? If you have two did you find it differently second time around?

Sarah xx

*Thanks to Babease for sending us some pouches to try as part of our weaning journey, all thoughts and opinions are 100% our own.

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