And so the weaning begins! I know that a lot of parents get a bit confused on the best way to go about weaning onto solids, so I wanted to share my recipes and suggestions as I take this very seriously in order to get it right for their little tummies to adjust well.
Below is the routine I’ve been following with Vida, using simple foods like root vegetables, banana and avocado (which don’t need recipes). I don’t use other fruit yet as I don’t want her to get a taste for sweet right now. Equally, the vegetables I use are sweet vegetables, because it still has to be palatable.
What about the question of baby led weaning vs purees I hear you ask. I am a big fan of doing both together. Committed BLWers will tell you this isn’t good, but it’s what works for me. I agree with the concepts in baby led weaning about giving babies the opportunity to learn how to hold, chew and digest food. Equally, they don’t eat much when doing it this way and I have babies that hate sleep (!) so the more food that gets in them the better (on their terms). I also breastfeed on demand which is another reason for wanting her to get more food at actual mealtimes, and wanting to establish routine now we’re hitting the 6-month mark. Lastly, pre-prepared purees are easier and tidier when you’re out or travelling, though BLW is easier once eating is fully established as you can give whatever you’re having, home or out, without having to pre-prepare. So there are pros and cons with both and I found, for the beginning anyway, that a mixture of both makes it a lot easier until you can assess the baby’s preferences. If you have a baby that loves grabbing food, you’ll want to encourage that and continue with baby led weaning. If you have a baby like my first, who never ever grabbed food from his or anyone else’s plate, you’ll need to be organised in order to get food into them, which is why I discovered doing it this way.
Lastly, it’s important to make sure that baby has had a milk feed within an hour-ish of giving solids. They shouldn’t be hungry because they won’t yet associate solid food with hunger and won’t take enough in to satiate them, but they shouldn’t be too full that they don’t want the food. They should also be not too tired, but give at least 20 minutes after waking up from a nap. Oh yes, it’s an art form in itself!!
Here has been our routine so far:
Day 1: swede with breastmilk at 11am
Day 2: Sweet potato with breastmilk at 1pm
Day 3: nothing
Day 4: sweet potato and swede blended together with breastmilk at midday
Day 5: Banana at 11am
Day 6: nothing
Day 7: Sweet potato and butternut squash blended with breastmilk at 10am, banana at 2pm
Day 9: Nothing, but cucumber cut into sticks with the skin off to chew on
Day 10: Banana and avocado at 8am, butternut squash with breastmilk at 2pm, cucumber sticks
Day 11: Sweet potato and parsnip at 10am, broccoli, sweet potato and pea blend at 4pm, cucumber sticks
And so on… I start very slowly, having days with no solids in between to let the gut rest and adjust.
On that note, here is the recipe for the next stage after first tastes have been accepted
Steam all ingredients together then blend to a puree. You can add some breast milk or formula if you like.
Love & health & baby dust!