So as my lovely boy approaches 6 months I am starting the process of weaning. The 2 different types of weaning is baby led weaning or spoon fed weaning. There is no right or wrong way to wean. You can try baby led weaning and spoon feed.
I know ‘what age do you wean your baby?’ is a frequently asked question. Baby led weaning (BLW) is recommended to start at 6 months the same as spoon feeding. Although you can start introducing solid foods to you baby as young as 4 months. If you feel like your baby is ready to start weaning earlier than the recommended 6 months I would have a little chat to your health visitor and see what they advise.
Weaning – Spoon feeding your baby
With my first child Meme, everyone would say to me ‘oh weaning is so much fun’, but quite frankly I was terrified. Meme was a terrible eater and I never felt ready for the weaning stage. I honestly felt a little lost when starting to wean Meme so I decided to start by pureeing food and feeding her with a spoon. I started to spoon feed wean Meme at around 4 months starting with baby rice mixed with some of her formula. This is mainly to get Meme used to eating from a spoon. Once we established this I mushed up a banana for her and tried this. She loved bananas and they are a great weaning food to try.
Our next step in our weaning journey I began pureeing vegetables. Sweet potato, butternut squash, carrots etc. Allowing Meme to experience different tastes. I would then freeze them in ice cube trays and use a cube each day.
Weaning Meme took quite some time. I was a nervous first time mum. Feeling clueless about how to go about making that move from milk to food. My worries and anxieties probably were picked up by Meme. This no doubt made the job even harder.
Baby Led Weaning with Baby Number 2
Weaning Harriet I was a lot more confident. I decided to try baby-led weaning a little more. Instead of pureeing everything I let her feed herself with finger food starting with bananas, broccoli and cauliflower.
Moving onto bread sticks and cheese as she got a little older. It was very messy and I’m not sure how much she actually managed to eat (she was still waking for a bottle in the night for a lot longer than Meme was). However baby led weaning worked really well for Harri. Weaning was a lot more enjoyable. Harri is also a much better healthier eater than Meme. Obviously that could have nothing to do with the weaning techniques but I think I definitely felt more confident with Harri to experiment and try different methods than I was with Meme.
Weaning Baby Number 3
Now it’s Alfie’s turn and I am determined to be relaxed about it and for us both to enjoy the experience. Introducing different flavours when I feel he is ready. Not worrying too much about how much he is actually eating. Food is actually for fun until they turn one.
I think sometimes you can worry that as soon as your baby turns 6 months they should be eating 3 meals a day. They honestly don’t. It takes a little time for your little one to actually understand how to eat. Starting with a little bit of baby rice is always quite a good way for them to start to learn the technique.
I also find that when weaning your baby timing is really important. With Alfie I find that if he is too hungry he wont entertain eating, he just wants a bottle. He usually has a bottle around 5am so before he is due another one around 8 am I try to feed him a little bit of porridge about 7am and he seems to respond a little better. My tip would be to not wait until he would usually have a bottle. Start weaning about a hour earlier.
I plan to do a similar route of baby led weaning like I did with Harri when possible. I need to be realistic that I am a Mum of three. Unlike Meme whose routine was a lot more rigid, with Alfie everything including weaning needs to be a little more relaxed.
Baby Led Weaning V Spoon Fed
There is always a big debate about weaning. Baby led weaning v spoon fed weaning. How to start with baby led weaning. What food to give your baby when weaning. Can you baby led wean at 4 months? The list goes on and everyone will have their own opinion. It can be really overwhelming. My advice is try both spoon fed weaning and baby led weaning. See what your baby responds to best. Take your time don’t rush it. The more you stress the more your baby will stress (As I found out with Meme)
There are so many baby led weaning recipes and spoon fed recipes out there to try so just relax and enjoy this new milestone.