Overcoming The Anxiety Of Baby Weaning
Having already been through the Baby Weaning grind with my first child Gabriel. I came into motherhood the second time round feeling a little smug. I had already done it, I am a pro. Surely this time around would be a breeze? However to my surprise things didn’t come as naturally as I had thought. And despite Gabriel only being 3, I found myself stumped. How did we do it? I had almost no recollection of Gabriels routines and rituals which at the time saved my sanity. It was like I was a new mum again stumbling my way through while reaching for numerous baby books to help give me the answers I craved.
The biggest and most annoying of such milestones that had me eating my smug little words was Baby weaning. Though seemingly something very simple in theory, it was a nightmare in practice. What does he eat? Can he eat what I am eating? How smooth does it have to be? What about his milk feeds? Do stock cubes have too much salt? OMG is he choking? Ahhhh yes, the joys of baby weaning. We all just want the best for our children so they grow healthy and strong. So here are my take homes from a mum who has done it twice.
PLANNING AND BABY RECIPES
Organisation for me was the biggest challenge. Too often it was dinner time and I found myself running around looking for something suitable to give my baby. More often then not I started relying on Ella’s Kitchen pouches and then would feel an immense amount of guilt for feeding him ready meals instead of home cooked food. So I decided it was time I got organised and I started planning his meals the same time as I planned our family meals and grocery lists. Often I found he could eat what we were and I would just add some water or stock, blitz it and pop it in a container.
Once I started actually thinking ahead, it become so simple and didn’t feel like so much extra work to do. Steaming and pureeing a huge batch of fruit and vegetables at the weekends and then adding some lentils or protein while I cooked our family meal became second nature. On top of that I always had something in the freezer for him if one night I had run out of time. Top Tip: Baby Weaning Recipes don’t have to be hard or complicated. A good rule of thumb is to add 1 starch, veggies and 1 protein. I often steam or boil broccoli, carrot and sweet potato and then add some lentils and blitz. It is a home favourite! If you are looking for some easy fruit recipes check out my Homemade Ella’s Kitchen Dupe Recipes.
DO I NEED SPECIAL BABY WEANING EQUIPMENT?
You do not need to fall trap to those claims that you need to invest in a special weaning puree maker just for your baby. I use my hand held blender as well as my mini food processor sometimes and they are both more than adequate. No need to clutter your kitchen up with more baby things when your normal blender is just as good. However blender aside, I did spend some money on some nice freezable glass pots as well as some bamboo plates and bowls for my little ones. This was a personal choice mainly because I don’t like the idea of them eating off cheap plastic when my husband and I eat and drink from ceramic plates and glass cups. I use Kilner Glass baby pots and a mixture of different bamboo plates and bowl brands.
PUREE vs BABY LED WEANING & ALL THE OTHER BITS OF ADVICE
Once the initial excitement of seeing my little cherub taste food for the first time dissipated. That heavy feeling in my gut of having no clue where to begin started in emerge. Every baby book and web article I could find strongly recommended starting baby on vegetable and not fruit. “Baby needs to grow accustomed to eating vegetables, if you give them fruit they will prefer that and then they will either become morbidly obese or disintegrate into a cave man like existence with little to no intelligence or self control over sweet sugary things”. Whoops! I probably should have read these BEFORE starting to wean. I guess I got carried away by wanting to see his cute face eat pear for the first time #mumfail.
Even though I tried my best to do the baby led weaning thing, Fabien would only willingly eat pureed pear and apple for the first three weeks despite my best efforts. This made me very anxious. I felt like I had screwed up after reading all the advice and worried I would now have a picky eater who wouldn’t eat his vegetables and would only ever be spoon fed. He eventually started to explore other foods and now at 8 months will gobble up just about anything I give him pureed or finger foods.
So my advice on this is don’t sweat it if baby prefers the taste of fruit and sweeter things over broccoli and other vegetables. Don’t sweat it if baby only likes puree and not finger foods or the other way around. They are learning and will eventually get used to all different types of tastes and textures as long as you are offering them. Trust your instincts and don’t get sucked down the rabbit hole of google and its contradictory never win advice.
DON’T FORGET TO HAVE FUN
With all of this talk of organisation and cooking, don’t forget to have some fun. This is an exciting and beautiful time with your baby as they explore new foods and textures. It really does not last very long, so try to enjoy the moment as a family and don’t sweat the small stuff. As long as baby is eating a variety of foods and is drinking their milk, they will be fine!