As I've shared Edith's breastfeeding story I thought that I should share the next step. Weaning. Medical guidelines say that a baby doesn't need to have any food until 6 months. Ooops. We started just after Edith turned 4 months. She was desperate for it. She showed a lot of the signs of being ready but we decided to take it really slowly, just a few spoonfuls at a time. Puree was the way forward for us as we started early. Edith definitely wasn't ready for the baby lead weaning approach.
Baby lead weaning is a funny one for us. There are some elements of it that I think are great but at the same time it's not something we would follow strictly. Baby lead weaning, for those of you that don't know, is exactly what it says. Letting the baby take the lead. That means no spoons or putting food in your babies mouth. It just doesn't sit comfortably with us and although I know Edith is still having breastmilk for all her nutrients but I do like to know that she is taking in some food. So we are using a combination of both and so far it is going really well.
We began by giving Edith just one vegetable or fruit at a time to get her used to the whole experience of eating. To begin with she didn't quite understand how to use the spoon but after a couple of weeks it clicked and she just got it. We started her off on mashed up banana that was mixed with a little bit of expressed milk which she enjoyed. We gave her that for a couple of days and then just gave her mashed banana. She took that well after a couple of days after she had adjusted to the taste.
We then moved on to sweet potato. This is where I feel I made a bit of a mistake. I didn't puree it with any water so it was just roasted sweet potato. It was too thick for her and for a few days she wouldn't even finish two spoonfuls. I decided that we wouldn't force it and maybe we had started her too early. We gave her a couple of days without food and then tried broccoli. This time I pureed it with the boiled water it was cooked in. She took it really well and after that food just clicked.
I was a bit lazy for a while as I was too busy with wedding plans so she just had one vegetable/fruit at a time. She ate; butternut squash, cabbage, mango and avocado. After the wedding was over it was time to move things on. I picked up the Ella's Kitchen First Foods book. If you join the Boots Parenting Club you can get it for free. It's a great book! I've made loads of recipes out of there and definitely worth picking up.
So far Edith has; eaten leek, potato and cheese. Butter beans, parsnips and carrots. Courgette, chickpea, corriander and carrot. She's loved every single one of them. This carried on up until a week or so ago.
We now have a baby who is refusing purees. It's funny how we've gone from Edith having no interest in feeding herself, to now, where she has to be in control. I guess that it's because she has become more independent and wants to do things herself. It's a great milestone and it means that food I give her can become a lot more interesting.
So we have had to adopt a finger foods/BLW style. I do still put food in her mouth if I think she's not eating enough. Now a whole new chapter starts. I have to think carefully about what and where I'm eating so there will be fresh food available for Edith or pack something in the changing bag. Packets of baby "crisps" are ideal for handy snacks but don't cut it for a lunch. Any advice would be great.
I am going to carry on with updates with Edith's food journey as it's a subject that interests me and will hopefully help other mamas out there. I've found the whole weaning process really interesting and making most of her food from scratch is great fun. I can't wait for the next milestone.