Weaning: the good, the bad and the messy!

Weaning has been both a daunting and exciting time for George and I; with this being the first time going through it, I had no idea what to expect. I’ve learnt so much about different styles, recipes, equipment that I wanted to share. If you’re a new or expecting mum then this might give you a bit of an insight into what you have in store.

Baby-led VS Spoon-led

Here’s the thing, you don’t have to choose one side! When I was doing research into weaning online, I found that Baby Led Weaning (BLW) was heavily encouraged and all the benefits of doing it from day 1. I really wanted to go down the BLW route but I was so terrified of George choking and ended up starting with purées. I followed the Ella’s Kitchen First Tastes method of introducing vegetables first and this went really well, with a new veg every day for 2 weeks after his lunch time milk. As I’d already made quite a few batches of each purée and frozen them, we kept cycling through eventually turning them into combinations like broccoli and carrot. Some days were easier than others but generally George enjoyed a good few spoonfuls each time.

We built up to having some breakfast after a month or so which was baby porridge with some added fruit purée that I’d made. Pretty soon after this I knew I wanted to start introducing some finger foods into the mix and began with the Ella’s Kitchen melty puffs – what little gems! George loves every single flavour and I can’t rate this brand enough. We’ve enjoyed their purées and snacks and they’re a staple on my shopping list!

In the last couple of weeks we’ve started giving George some dinner with us also. Nothing huge, just half a pouch and some form of snack, mostly EK melty sticks. It was at this point I knew that I needed to start adding in more finger foods to make actual meals otherwise George was having a lot of purée and I want him to be able to get to grips with feeding himself. Breakfast and lunch are now consisting of BLW foods and dinner is spoon-led for now just until he gets used to the 3 meals. In terms of how I’ve gone about it, I think I’ve done what’s been best for George and me; he gets the best of both worlds in terms of weaning methods and it’s given us both time to gain a bit of confidence with solid food rather than jumping in at the deep end. Once you start, you’ll know what’s best for your bubba and there’s nothing wrong with a pouch of purée!

Recipes

As I’ve mentioned before, the Ella’s Kitchen First Tastes book is what I followed in the beginning. This book is a god send and gave me great ideas of what to give George that I wouldn’t normally think of. Not only that, it’s full of really handy advice on introducing foods and what you can and can’t give babies (did you know they can’t have honey until they’ve turned one?!)

For BLW recipes, Instagram and Pinterest have been my best friends. I follow some amazing mums who share their recipes so check out my weaning highlight for my recommendations on who to follow and I’ve also got a Pinterest board with some ideas on too.

Equipment

Some things I’ve bought have made this journey so much easier and other things have just been a bit of a waste. It may not be the same for you and your baby but here are my best and worst of the products I’ve bought.

Tommee Tippee Small Portions Blender (WORST) – This is great for all of about a month. I found myself using it for my initial purées and after that it just wasn’t big enough for what I needed. In hindsight, I would have just got a normal blender or hand blender.

Plastic Bibs (WORST) – George loves anything crinkly so as soon as he’s got one of those plastic all over bibs on, all he wants to do is play with it. I’ve got some traditional cloth bibs, almost like tea towel material and they do a bit to stop the mess but generally there’s just a lot of outfit changes and a lot of washing.

Tommee Tippee Spoons (BEST) – I’m a big fan of Tommee Tippee anything and so these spoons were obviously the ones I needed. They hold the perfect amount for George and are soft enough to not irritate his gums when he’s teething. The pack we’ve got included some lovely colours too.

ASDA Ice cube trays (BEST) – If you’re planning to batch cook and freeze some purées for your little one then ice cube trays are an essential. The silicone trays from ASDA have given me the perfect portion sizes for George and, as a bonus, they’re super easy to clean too.

So that’s been our weaning journey so far! George’s portions are slowly increasing and I try and introduce new flavours and textures as much as I can. We’ve also started brushing his little teeth now too after his dinner to get him into the routine of doing it and associating it with food.

Have you started weaning your baby? Is it something you’ve not even thought about yet? Leave me a comment and let me know.

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