Weaning Your Baby

Weaning Your Baby

Guest Post Sponsored by Mother Tongue

About seven weeks after giving birth to my baby boy Spencer, I remember discussing with a more experienced mummy friend the difficulties I was facing with breastfeeding. At the time, it was a constant conversation with my other mummy friends who had children of a similar age, and we were all feeling the relentless pressure. She responded by reassuring me that I was doing a good job and not to put too much pressure on myself, as within no time all the mums will want to move on to a new focus…Weaning, oh how right she was!

So what is weaning you may ask?… It’s simply introducing your baby to solid foods. It was a process I was particularly excited about starting; I couldn’t wait to see my baby’s reactions to all the new foods he would taste for the first time.

Often you start weaning your baby around the 6-month mark; however, I was recommended by my pediatrician to start introducing food to my baby at five months old. Some parents even begin weaning as early as four months old. All babies are different, but I found that my baby started to show an interest in food, so as well as being encouraged to start it also felt like it happened organically.

I realised I had a lot of questions when I started weaning, how much should I be feeding my baby? How often? What foods? What if my baby chokes? Some of the advice came from family and friends, but I also found two books particularly useful ‘Joe Wicks, Wean in 15’ and ‘Annabel Karmel, Feeding your Baby & Toddler…and of course, the internet became my best friend.

A big topic regarding weaning with other mums was whether you were spoon-feeding your baby, doing baby-led weaning, or a combination of both, who knew this was even a thing?… I didn’t! I found that ‘baby-led weaning’ is when babies are encouraged to feed themselves, without the use of mashed foods or a spoon. For me, I prefer to ‘combination feed’, but at the beginning, I mainly spoon-fed, I felt more confident feeding him purees as the thought of him choking was massive fear for me. As time went on, I developed more knowledge and experience, which built my confidence. I also found it was important to start trusting your motherly instincts when it comes to your baby’s capabilities.

I started my weaning journey with taste tests of new foods each day. The first-ever food I gave to Spencer was pear; however, after doing some research, I learned it’s recommended to start your baby with vegetables rather than fruit. I found that this helps to stop them from developing a sweet tooth early and refuse vegetables, later on, luckily it turns out my baby enjoys both. Also, it’s recommended to persevere with foods that your baby may appear to dislike at first. It can take several tries for your baby to finally decide whether they like something or not. What they dislike one day they may love the next.

One thing I was surprised to read when I started weaning was that babies have a store of iron from the mother during pregnancy that starts to dwindle at six months old, which is one of the many reasons to start weaning your baby.

And one last thing…baby food pouches are your friend, not your enemy. Although it’s great to make home-cooked food for your baby, and I do a lot, I don’t think it’s possible all of the time. Sometimes you need a helping hand, especially when you’re out and about, they also help with rehydration. There are some great products on the market. Check out Yalla Baby’s options https://app.yallababy.com/products/baby-essentials/Nutrition

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