Weaning

If there was one thing I was terrified of, after getting over the initial shock of dealing with a new baby, it was weaning. It just seemed such a scary thing. But very few kids get to 4 years old  witCIMG0800hout being able to eat a McDonalds Happy meal (some will only eat these which is a whole different issue!) so it can’t be that difficult!

Babies are individuals and develop at different rates and so won’t all be ready for weaning at the same age. Experts agree that babies should not be weaned before 4 months of age. Somewhere between 4 and 6 months, babies may start to show an interest in your food. They may be less satisfied with milk, demanding more feeds or waking up hungry instead of sleeping through. These signs may mean they are ready for weaning. It may take a few weeks to get your baby used to having food regularly, so it’s best not to delay starting weaning beyond 6 months of age. Otherwise it doesn’t give your baby time to get used to the new sensation of eating, before they really need the food to provide extra nourishment.   

As with most things I started by buying a good book. I would recommend any by Annabel Karmel They all seem good but pick one that has information on how to make the first purees and examples of weaning charts in them. The other place I found helpful was the heinz website www.heinzbaby.co.uk. It has some great information and I particularly found the plans on how to gradually increase the amounts and introduce extra meals really helpful. Even though they promote their own products they do have great recipes for home made.

I found a braun hand processor invaluable for making purees  and later for chopping vegetables finally. You need something that washes up easily. I also saved any jars or plastic containers from any shop baby food I used to freeze my own homemade food in. I used to sterilize them in my steam sterilizer.

Weaning can also bring challenging behaviour too! Once my kids were big enough I moved from an infant seat to a highchair and always used the straps. That way they got used to it from the beginning and I never had to deal with a toddler climbing out half way through the meal. Get them used to a bib from the start too and they are less likely to rip them off later leading to stained clothes. Any grabbing at bowls or spoons was met with me holding their hands firmly and adding a firm no.  I wish it was that simple now they are 5 and 8………..

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    I find that weaning is forced far too soon. It is ok for babies to nurse for 12 or 18 months or more. It is a lovely comforting sense for them and and a great bonding for the mother and baby. There is such a push for mothers to bottle feed and then get them on to solids asap………………It is wrong and extra and unnesessary pressure on the mother. Enjoy the baby while they are a baby and dont force them to grow up. I have never seen a 15 year old breast feeding, they will eat, and toilet train when they are ready. It is not a competiion and not a race. Anyway that is my opion.

    • 2

      Amanda said,

      I certainly agree Deslie that nothing should be a race. It’s so easy for us as mums to get caught up in the fear that our kids should be doing certain things at a certain age and compare them with friends or siblings. I certainly made that mistake with toilet training my first child! We do have a tendency to push our kids to mature far to fast in lots of ways.Every child is unique and different and will need solid food at different stages. I know there is some data out there that delaying weaning too long can effect speech. I think this is to do with certain muscles in the mouth needing to be devloped but I am by no means an expert! Thanks so much for your comments


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