Weaning the Wean
Updated: Apr 17, 2021
I had debate over the title of this post; wean, wain, wane, wee'un, wee yin... the baby!
Just over a week ago I decided to begin baby's weaning journey. Baby is now around 6 months and I suddenly felt it was the right time. I had been asked about when I was planning to start weaning for the previous couple of months, but I just did not feel baby was ready. When I tried to research on the perfect time, all the articles said the key signs, but that ultimately you will just know when your baby is ready. This seemed a real cliché and a bizarre concept. So I was actually quite shocked to find this was true - I suddenly felt it was time to get going!
Me and my husband discussed our own childhood experiences which revealed that we were both incredibly fussy eaters. I personally was a fussy eater along with my brother until our teenage years. There was an extremely small range of food we would eat. I vividly remember my mum saying "just try some pizza, it is good for you". I can't believe that from where I am now, being a bit too keen on pizza!
One of the best things I did before starting weaning was to send off for a free Ella's Kitchen weaning pack. This had information on the signs of when your baby is ready, how to start weaning, and how to do it safely. I myself have several allergies, and it was a concern whether baby would have any allergies to any food. Before starting weaning, I bought some soft spoons on Amazon. They actually look like toothbrush handles with a more silicone type spoon on the end. The other purchase I made in advance was a Tommee Tippee blender which is smaller than a full-scale blender, with the intention of blending vegetables for baby. However, I have yet to use this. Once again I took the lazy route. I suddenly found online that Ella's Kitchen make little sachets of various fruit and veg blended to the age range of baby. I found they had a 4 month, super smooth selection. This was perfect for an over anxious mum like me who was terrified of baby choking. Knowing that this was suitable for younger babies than my own put my mind at ease.
I bought a selection of these small sachets, mostly being of a single fruit or vegetable, although combinations are available. The Ella's Kitchen weaning pack suggested that you start with individual fruit and vegetables, rather than combinations together. However when it came to starting weaning for the very first time, my tired mummy brain completely forgot this fact, and baby's first ever food was a sachet of broccoli, sweetcorn, and sweet potato. So the bib went on, the spoon was loaded and we were ready to go. I had read about baby turning their head away, spitting it back out, and the perseverance required with each new taste to make baby consume any of the food. I was prepared for the worst. As my husband held baby, I tentatively moved the spoon towards baby's mouth. A gentle touch of the lips and and this little mouth opened and chomped on the spoon. A face was pulled, what was this strange new stuff? But next thing the lips started smacking together. I got another spoonful ready and held it towards baby and woof - chomped away again and down it went. As this was baby's first ever food I quit while I was ahead after a few spoonful's.
That went very well, it must taste quite nice. It's here I made the huge error of trying a bit myself. No offence to Ella's Kitchen, but that was blooming disgusting! How on earth did baby want more of that stuff? At least it shows that Ella's Kitchen certainly aren't lying when they say its pure vegetables in there! The Ella's Kitchen weaning pack advised that you start with more vegetables so the baby isn't purely used to the sweet taste of fruit. So we have done just that and although baby has had about three fruits now, it is the vegetables that we routinely give everyday.
In the days that have followed, baby has had sweetcorn, carrots, sweet potato, parsnips, peas, bananas, pears, and apples. I am frankly gobsmacked to say that every single thing that has been offered has been woofed down. Baby has actually cried when there is no more, but I have been careful to try not to cause a system overload. Going from pure milk, I want to introduce it slightly more gradually. Will this last? Who knows. I may be writing this post now and next time I'll be telling you that baby refuses everything. But if I was feeling brave, I would dare to say that this looks like a promising start. I will keep this blog updated with our weaning journey, and I would love to hear from you. Have you weaned your little ones recently? Or have you got any tips for a learner mum like me? Let me know in the comments below.