The thought of weaning was incredibly overwhelming with my first baby – as if raising a child wasn’t daunting enough.
Between all the books, recipes and advice my head was spinning. Should I do baby-led weaning or opt for purées?
I just couldn’t figure out how to fit it all in. The milk feeds, the naps and the solid food. How could I even start? Do you withhold milk? Do you have to sacrifice going out to fit the meals in? This book says she needs to be on three meals a day by month seven but she hardly has one bite of food!
She’s two now, and guess what? She eats like any other toddler. It was a good lesson to learn that no matter how many bad weeks you have where they barely eat a thing or how much food you throw in the bin, eventually all kids start eating properly eventually.
With Bubba Two I am way more relaxed, even though she’s still not sleeping through the night and I am going slightly mad through sleep deprivation, more on that here.
I’m well into month two of weaning and she’s pretty much on three solid meals a day. There has been a bit of a hiccup due to teething over the last fortnight. When she refuses food I just throw in the towel and try again at the next meal.
A mantra that has really stuck in my head is:
“Food is for fun until they’re one.”
It really helps to remind myself that babies continue to get most of their vitamins and calories from milk up until they turn one. Babies change so much from six months to one year. They’re saying a few words. They may be walking, or at least crawling round like mad. All these changes mean their hunger has increased plus their skills at feeding themselves have developed.
As with all things baby there’s a million books on weaning and they all promise to give you the “right” way. Hopefully after six months you now know there is no “right” way.
I have preferred to wean with purées for both my kids. It’s nothing against baby-led weaning. It’s just not for me, I hate the thought of the mess. Weaning is absolutely going to be a messy process, but baby-led weaning for a six-month-old is a whole other level of mess. I added finger foods for my toddler when she was about one year and this worked fine for me. I certainly don’t see anything different between her and other kids her age whose parents did choose baby-led weaning. What I’m trying to say is, don’t let anyone push you down one path or the other. Whatever works for you is great. Neither choice is wrong.
So in case you’re looking to stock up ahead of embarking on the weaning adventure, here are the very best baby products I found invaluable when weaning my two:
Kenwood mini chopper
This little gadget is great for quickly blending up a portion of food. You can’t fit a big batch cook all in one go, but you can get a good few ladles in there. It’s enough to do four or five portions if you’re just blending some food from your family meal. It’s quick and easy to use with just one button and you can chuck it in the dishwasher when you’re done. It’s also small to store so a friend to tiny kitchens!
Baby weaning ice cube trays
An absolute must-have. You can get specific ones targeted at baby weaning like the Oxo Tot tray or Beaba, which I have written about before in my baby must-haves here.
Vital Baby weaning spoons
Go for bright colours as it encourages your baby to reach out to grab the spoon and give it a go for herself.
Vital Baby bowls
These bowls have been so versatile for me. I have used them to store portions of food in the fridge or freezer, and for when we’re out and about to keep fruit, breadsticks or whatever else I need fresh. I also have some of the John Lewis own brand weaning bowls with lids and they’re great too. Anything microwave friendly is good.
These Tommee Tippee bibs with the padded neck are for newborn but they still fit my daughter at seven months. They’re good for soaking up all the water she still dribbles out her mouth when trying to drink from her cup. Some people swear by the bibs with a big pocket to catch all the feed that drops out of their mouths. I never found one that I liked, so any recommendations are welcome!
Oxo Tot cup
This cup has brilliant handles that my kids have found so easy to grab and hang on to. They come off easily when your child is ready to hold the cup without them. It comes with a valve to stop spills but I’ve popped it out for both of mine as I want them to have a free-flowing cup. I think it makes it easier for them to learn to sip from a cup eventually.
What are your favourite weaning products? Do you have any tips? I would love to hear from you.