Another milestone is about to reach us, we'll soon start weaning Cecily onto food. It's really exciting as she's been a guzzler when it comes to milk and I feel like she's a baby that will really enjoy trying new foods.
We starting all over again from scratch with Cecily. When Lily grew out of her highchair I sold as I had nowhere to store it, I gave away my weaning books to others who needed them and the food pots have slowly been used for different things (pain pots, science experiments and sauce holders). Luckily, our smaller Hegen bottles can now be used as food storage pots with the lid option. As we've found with milk, they keep the content hot and safe when travelling so will be perfect when we visit family or head out for the day.
Like I did with Lily, I'm planning on making Cecily's food myself and base it around what we're having for dinner. I'm quite stubborn in the fact that as a family, we all eat the same meal. I don't want to be one of those parents that cooks four different meals every night. For example if we have a roast dinner, I'll mash up a selection of the vegetables for Cecily to have.
Should I be worried about weaning my baby?
Don't be worried about weaning your baby. I think a lot of parents, especially first time parents worry about possible food allergies their child may develop but when you start weaning, you start by adding fruits and vegetables one at a time. I like this approach for a few reasons:
1 - You'll learn quickly what flavours you baby likes
2 - If any reaction does happen, you'll be more able to identify what caused it.
3 - Your baby can get to know a variety of textures
When it came to weaning Lily, I found a guide online which really helped me plan out meals and feel more confident in what I was doing.
Don't be worried about weaning would be my first piece of advice. With Lily, I found it really exciting. There's something brilliant about your child starting to eat 'real' food and moving on from the days where they rely on milk 100%. Their milk is still a huge part of their diet in the early days of weaning so don't cut it out immediately. In the early days, your baby will still need the same amount of feeds alongside the food you're introducing to them. With Lily, I'd give her half the bottle first, then try a small portion of puree, then give her the rest of the bottle. You'll see the signs your baby is giving when they're ready to start reducing their formula such as not finishing a bottle or becoming increasingly distracted. One positive thing is that the night feed is commonly the first one to go as their dinner will fill them nicely for the night. The key thing to remember is that by the time your baby comfortably has three meals a day, the milk feeds should start dropping off at a steady pace.
When you start weaning (NHS recommends starting at 6 months old), make sure your baby is still having between 500ml - 600ml of milk (either breast of formula) a day alongside food. If you're ever questioning yourself in the early days of weaning, visit your local health visitor clinic. They'll be able to answer your questions or point you in the right direction.
When's the best time to try food?
You know your baby's routine so pick a time of the day when they're normally awake and really active. A sleepy, grumpy baby just wont be in the mood to try and will make the whole process seem like a battle which will put your baby off trying the food and make the whole thing a tiring challenge for you. It's also a good idea to wait until any bugs or illness has passed. This is because they may not be interested but also if anything happened, it would be hard to tell if it was from the food or the illness.
What will I need?
I think they key items you'll need are:
Some type of blender
You don't need to spend a lot of money. With Lily we had a really expensive high chair and I bought all these gadgets like baby blenders that I just didn't need. It was ridiculous!
This time, we're going to be using the Ikea Antilop high chair. It's made of plastic (I know we're meant to be using less and I do try) which means it is really easy to clean! Baby's make a mess when weaning. What am I saying? CHILDREN make a mess while eating! Lily still has days where she gets food everywhere. Being able to wipe a highchair clean will save you so much washing time compared to a fabric covered one. I'd also purchase a couple of cheap shower curtains from your local pound shop to go under the highchair. Our home has carpet throughout and having the shower curtain underneath with Lily really saved it from many stains as we could also wipe that clean or if it was bad enough, give it a really good clean in the bath.
You also need some cutlery for your child. To start with you only really need spoons. You can get them in your local supermarket, Boots, Mothercare, poundland literally anywhere! You'll also need bowls, cups/beaker for food and drink. When we weaned with Lily, I just went to Ikea (yes that shop again) and bought the plates, bowls, cutlery and cups from their children's department. I was on a random trip, saw them and just grabbed them. I'm still using some of the cups 5 years later.
If you plan on making your own food, you'll need some sort of storage for it. We'll be using the small Hegen pots we used for bottle feeding Cecily and I'm also trying to find some sort of freezable storage. I like to bulk prepare baby food (food in general) especially when Matt is working away as it makes life so much easier.
Well, that's it for now then. Don't forget to follow us on Instagram for more updates, especially as we start our weaning journey. You'll find us at @youngmumsurvival