Rufus hit the 6 month mark last weekend. Weaning has been in the back of my mind for a while, but I didn’t want to start properly until I’d had a little refresher session using my usual books and websites. I probably sound slightly crazy.
The truth is – I hate weaning for two reasons. Firstly, it is so messy, unbelievably messy (particularly when they start to self feed) and secondly because now I have to take extra clobber with me when I leave the house. It is great having the only food your baby needs on your body – it’s one less thing to think about. Now I have to think about bibs, spoons, bowls, jars, snacks…the list goes on.
We were so excited for Winston to start on solids when the time came – Jared and I decided the date and made sure we were set up to video the whole event. We were bursting with excitement and fully expected him to wolf the whole lot down. It was the biggest anticlimax ever. He started gagging, doing a strange quivery dance and he didn’t swallow a thing. On the video all you can hear is me saying: “I think we’re about to kill our child on camera”, “Do you think he’s ok?”, “Stop filming!”…over and over. Hardly ideal. Then a few hours later we could not stop laughing at how ridiculous our expectations had been. Why would a baby suddenly know how to swallow when all they had ever known was milk? I look back on that moment of naivety with great fondness.
Over the past week or so Rufus has tried bits and bobs such as strawberries, blueberries, nectarines, corn on the cob, sweet potato, avocado and banana. I started him properly a few days ago and he seems to be enjoying himself. He’s eaten everything he’s tried so far and he’s much better than Winston was at swallowing (sorry W).
I don’t subscribe to stage feeding or baby lead weaning. It comes down to confidence and practicality, so I do a bit of both. I have mixed feelings about Gina Ford, but I do follow her timings for when to introduce meals to encourage them to sleep through the night, which means breakfast is not introduced until later. Winston slept through from 7 months once he was established on a couple of meals a day. Is eight hours sleep too much to ask? I have high hopes if you’re reading Ru.
I make a huge batch of pureed veg to put in the freezer (so I know he’s getting some nourishment) but then let him munch on bits of fruit and veg here and there. I keep the veg slightly lumpy, add herbs and then add some olive oil for a bit of healthy fat. They look very unappealing I know. And even less appealing when you’re cleaning it from the floor. I might have overdone it with the cabbage greens, but they were on offer so it was rude not to.
1. Sweet potato, cabbage greens, carrot, mint, olive oil and black pepper.
2. Sweet potato, courgette, cabbage greens, mangetout, coriander and black pepper.
3. Carrot, peas, cabbage greens, spinach, olive oil and rosemary.
4. Swede, carrot, parsnip, olive oil, rosemary and black pepper.
I’m going to leave it a while before introducing any wheat based products and a couple more weeks to introduce protein. This is my plan for now anyway. I feel so out of practice, so it could be all change.
How exciting must it be to discover so many new tastes and textures?