Before the birth of my son, all I knew about feeding was that babies need milk. The concept of weaning (introducing solids) was a mystery.
We were advised by the midwife and NHS guidelines to start this process ‘no earlier than 6 months old’. But by 5 months old, my son was already showing the signs of being interested in food. So what would happen if we weaned earlier? Would he choke? Would it upset his tummy?
We decided to give it a go. Stage 1 was thickening his milk with Rusk or rice milk, but this was met with objection. Luca wanted what the big people were eating.
So one day, without the pressure or thoughts of how and when, I just gave him some of my banana. The texture was obviously very strange to him but, despite the frowns, he kept returning hand to mouth. This became stage 2 (experimenting). Stage 3 was freezing batches of ‘weaning pots’ that contained mashed sweet potato and parsnip (one of my son’s favourites) along with mashed apple & pears.
Soon after we were trying everything and there wasn’t much he refused. By the time he reached six months, the recommended starting point for weaning, he was already well on the way to his love affair with food (which hasn’t diminished since).
Once again, the pressure to be the ‘organic earth mother’ may well scratch away at your conscience, that you must prepare everything for your weaning baby yourself, but we found that the shop-bought sachets were also ideal for when we were on the move. Mums lead hectic lives and these certainly helped make my life easier.
Finger food is a fun stage, (anything that they can feed themselves with), which means you can (finally) sit down with a cuppa and watch on. I would personally recommend cooked meats, cheeses and vegetable/fruit sticks, rice cakes (which my son adored), cereal and dried fruits. You will need to stay vigilant around younger weaning babies but my advice would be, you know your child better than anyone, don’t be afraid to experiment – they learn very quickly!
Mealtimes are a fun time to bond with your child, so enjoy 🙂