Monday, 26 June 2017

Baby Steps: Introducing Solids

We waited until she was almost six months old to start weaning, she went from pretty uninterested to watching us eat as like a Wimbledon umpire within two weeks. I wasn't too excited at the prospect to be honest, friends excitedly asked me if she was weaning from four months onwards. It's so much fun, they said. I couldn't see it myself, cleaning rejected broccoli from the floor is not my idea of a good night. Plus, a few mums that I'd spoken to were following such a strict regime that it all just seemed like a lot of clock-watching hard work. But, the umpire had spoken, she couldn't live on milk alone (although her rolls of fat would suggest otherwise). 

I popped to see the infant feeding team to find out exactly how to get nutrition into her belly and the advice seemed to be insert the food however you feel comfortable and keep breastfeeding. Or however you normally get the milky stuff in. Yes, baby led (letting her feed herself sticks of food) is good for her development but if spoon feeding mush makes you far less anxious (yes! It does!) then it's fine to start that way. I actually braved it and tried the sticks of softened veg to start with, she didn't get on with them, barely got them past her lips, looked disgusted and threw them on the floor. It was messy, exhausting and neither of us got much joy out of those first 'feeds'. 
I changed tack, bought some baby porridge from Aldi which you make into a paste with boiled water. Success at last! She gobbled it up. I wasn't sure when to stop, she ate the whole bowl. Buoyed from the breakfast experience I tried some dinner in the afternoon. Nailed it. We had some pouches to try, a great idea for first flavours, these worked well to learn the kind of things that she likes so that I don't waste my time filling the freezer with batches of things that she's going to turn her nose up at. There's time for a varied diet, sure but I feel like getting something past the lips is the best way to start! The Babease Sweet Potato and Pear was her favourite, by which I mean more ended up in her mouth than down her chin (and in her belly button and between her toes...), so I bought some sweet potato to make our own, she loved it, which made me feel like a proper housewife (as long as you don't look at the sweet potato splatter up the wall). We're still using the Babease pouches for taking food out with us, they're sealed and fresh out of the fridge until they're opened so there's no risk of mouldy puree. The same may not be said for Mama's sweet potato. 

I've been giving her some fruit too, my auntie bought us a little silicone feeder which looks like a giant dummy with holes in and she merrily sucks on strawberries and peach in that. I have tried giving her the whole fruit to suck on but it's not good for my heart! She'll learn to chew but I know when she has it in the giant dummy that she can't get it lodged in her throat. She sits in her Bumbo to eat as we've not quite got around to getting a high chair and it's fine for now, she bangs on the tray excited for her food to come  and it keeps her upright and comfortable to eat. The first few *read twenty* solid food experiences ended with an obligatory bath but I've learnt how to prep properly (i.e. Actually put a bib on her) and  we're managing to keep the mess contained. It's obviously added a bit more faff to the schedule, but now that she's enjoying her food, after a few weeks, I sort of understand what people were talking about when they insisted 'weaning is fun!'.
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