Weaning. It’s not for the faint of heart. Alright, it’s really not so bad, but it’s a whole new level of organisation I was a little unprepared for when I started. I plan to share my experience over the coming months weaning Freddy, which will undoubtedly differ from other mothers and the books because if I’ve learned anything since becoming a mother, it’s that all babies are totally different and one size does not fit all.
I started to wean Freddy when he was just shy of five months (20 weeks old) kind of on a whim. Maybe not the best way to start, but, oh well. He had become much more interested in what I was eating, is a pretty healthy little boy in terms of his height and weight, and has good head and neck control, so it felt right once I got started. The day he had his first solid, he was acting up quite a bit – I think teething – and I thought, perhaps a little cold carrot puree would feel good on his gums and distract him a little. I put a little bit on my pinky finger and he eagerly ate it up. Then I gave him a taste of banana and same reaction.
The first week was mostly just little tastes of carrots and banana – no spoons, no bibs – when he was in a happy mood around his second feed of the day.
The following week I gave him some sweet potato puree, followed by squash, apple, pear, broccoli, avocado, papaya, mango, spinach, and some baby rice mixed in at various meals over about 10 days. He didn’t reject anything, although spinach wasn’t a favourite.
To start, I only gave him solids once a day. By week three, I moved to two because he seemed hungry enough and was willing to try new things. We’re now on a twice a day solid feed (small), and he is still getting five 7oz bottles, although he has a little less of his bottle after his solid feeds.
And some days he doesn’t want two solid feeds, so I don’t force it. Brekkie is his favourite, because he loves fruit, but his lunch time meal is a mixed bag. I tried courgette with avocado the other day and he was having none of it.
Official guidance from the NHS is that weaning should start around six months, but it’s not a hard and fast rule like NOT giving your babies any solids before 17 weeks. There is also more emphasis in the UK on ‘baby-led weaning’, which is letting your child feed himself by hand, and generally not giving purees. I plan to do a bit of both.
Anyway, this is all evolving and I’m pretty sure I’m going to get a good talking down to from the Health Visitor this coming week for not waiting until Freddy is six months! Sigh.