The month leading up to weaning Miss Marnie I was panicking. I’m not sure why – it just seemed that I had just got to grips with breastfeeding and then I had this whole new thing to master.
Feeding just milk was very reassuring – I knew Miss M was getting everything she needed and I guess it was easy. Why I was stressed about a few purees – when I love to cook – I’ll never understand now.
What I discovered was weaning was so much fun! Seeing Miss Marnie’s face and expressions with those first tastes was lovely and I have to admit I couldn’t of done it without the Queen of Wean Annabel Karmel.
I decided to go the traditional route rather than baby led weaning (I wanted to be in control – I guess to relieve my anxiety in the first place.) I followed her plan to the letter – for the first 6-8 weeks at least.
I did my shopping list, brought a load of lovely fruit and veg and made enough ice-cube packed trays to last the course. I chopped, cooked, steamed, pureed, mashed and froze – and was very proud of myself for whizzing up all this fresh food.
This time put in at the beginning definitely made the whole process a calmer one. These are the products that we used – and I would highly recommend:
Beaba Baby Cook
This little gadget is worth every penny (yes, you can do everything without it – but I found it really helpful). It cooks, blends, de-frosts and re-heats with a simple water level process in less than 15 minutes. £89.99 Mothercare
Annabel Karmel New Complete Baby and Toddler Planner
The weaning bible. Makes sense of it all and gives clear, honest advice and tips and the meal planners are great if you are unsure – as I was – on how and when to feed best.
Bickipegs Diody Training Cup
I didn’t use this straight away – as she preferred her sippy cup but this slanted rim cup is great for getting little sips of water in between mouthfuls. Miss Marnie loves it now – especially when she tips it over her head!
£3.70 John Lewis
Brother Max Easy Hold Weaning Bowl Set
The design of this bowl makes them easy for you to hold – sounds silly – but believe me you will be grateful of the artist-palette wrap around handle when you are trying to spoon fed/wipe up spills/mop up the floor all at the same time. Comes with 2 heat sensitive weaning spoons, a sucker base, lid and divider bowl.
£5.99 Brother Max
Munchkin Soft Tip Infant Spoons
I tried many different spoons – and these are the best. Easy for parents to hold and control, soft tipped for babies mouths and gums yet, firm enough to scrape around the bowl and they reach the bottom of a baby food jar too! Suitable from 3 months.
£2.99 for 6 Amazon
Tommy Tippee Closer to Nature Milk Feeding Bibs
Even though now we need a full on coverall (as Miss Marnie is now self feeding!) – these soft bibs with a dribble catcher rolled rim neckline kept many a bright coloured puree from staining her baby grows. These are ideal for teething too.
£8.99 for 4 Mothercare
The Body Shop Buriti Baby Soft Washcloth
I started out using wet wipes to wipe sticky hand and faces – but my Childminder sister-in-law suggested a warm damp washcloth. Simple really – it’s much softer on the skin, cheaper in the long run and a whole lot easier to ensure a clean sweep in one go. I also invested in this multipack from Mothercare so there was always one to hand.
My 10 Secrets to simple and happy weaning – that I learned along the way:
1) At first you need to get baby used to swallowing from a spoon and getting the hang of eating. So, choose a time when baby isn’t too hungry or tired and in a relaxed surrounding.
2) Keep trying – rejecting food is part of the process. And this can change from day to day. If baby rejects a certain food offer it again in a few days.
3) It can take up to 8-10 goes before they love even a single vegetable puree.
4) This may feel you with dread – but let them play with their food. Feeling the texture, playing with the spoon can all help established a relaxed feeling around food. And, allows them a little control too.
5) Natural tastes are best – avoid adding salt, sugar and don’t offer any sugary foods (biscuits, rusks, jam.)
6) Don’t worry if they only eat small amounts at first – let them lead you with when they are full or had enough. From 6mths babies still need 500-600ml of milk daily so they are getting what they need.
7) Use either fresh or frozen fruit and veg – both are full of nutrients. Encourage them to eat a wide variety – even ones you may not like yourself.
8) Throw away any left over food if you have feed your baby from it directly (from a bowl or jar) as it may have bacteria from their saliva transferred from the spoon.
9) Once they have mastered purees move onto lumpier and mashed textures to encourage chewing.When introducing meet and fish choose good quality, lean cuts and trim off excess fat. Remove all bones and cook thoroughly. Mixing small amounts with vegetable flavours will interest their
10) By the time your baby is at 3 meals a day. Try to establish your own routine – if baby is hungrier at lunchtime give them their main meal then. Avoid overfeeding but offer fruit purees after meals if they are still hungry.