Wednesday 15 January 2014

Weaning Wednesday - an update

When Ethan began weaning at the age of six months, I shared the first few weeks of our adventures in solid food and now he's been eating for over two months, I thought an update would be useful to any other mums about to embark on the same journey.

We've been very lucky in that Ethan doesn't seem to have a dislike for any particular food, yet. He's had around 20 different types of fruit and vegetables, he likes pasta and rice dishes and he seems to enjoy different meat and fish too. I have a lot of vegetable pots in the freezer ready to go but have been a little more relaxed of late as we travelled a lot over the Christmas period and having jars and pouches of food ready to hand has been a lifesaver.

I want to cook a bit more again for Ethan so that his tastes continue to develop and we can involve him in our own mealtimes. At first, all his food would be puréed smooth but he's now happy with small lumps in his food. I don't mash fruit or vegetables up too much now but meat or fish has to be quite smooth, otherwise he pushes the lumpy bit out his mouth again with his tongue.

We tried to do a bit of baby led weaning for a while but he didn't seem to be that bothered, except for when we gave him a biscuit to try, which he really enjoyed but made a complete mess of. He's getting more interested in grabbing the spoon for himself so I think we'll need to let him have a go alone soon, but I'm hoping being at nursery will help him develop his feeding skills further.

At nursery, he's been eating all of his meals, although the snack foods he's still not sure of, and importantly, he's enjoying it. He sips quite a lot of water now from a cup if we hold it for him and we are seeing his need for a small bottle of milk after a meal diminish as his appetite gets stronger. He has two milk feeds of 210ml each and three meals a day now - here's an example day, when he's at home (times vary depending on what time he wakes up, but he feeds every three hours with five feeds in total a day at the moment):

  • 8am - breakfast, porridge and mashed banana, followed by up to 90ml milk
  • 11am - 210ml milk
  • 2pm - lunch, small baby bowl sweet vegetable pasta, followed by up to 90ml milk
  • 5pm - dinner, up to a small baby bowl of chicken casserole, followed by a pudding like fruit puree or custard, then maybe up to 90ml milk if he needs it
  • 8pm - final feed of 210ml milk, makes him sleepy and ready for bed

As with a lot of things baby related, there's so much advice out there that it can be hard to know who to listen to and what method to follow. Real advice from real mums has been invaluable to me and the best thing I can suggest to you is to go at your own pace, be led by your baby and what they do and do not want to try and just enjoy it. If you have more time to let them play with their food then great, get the splash mat out and let them have some fun! If you're busy and on the go, ready-made foods are convenient and won't do any harm at all. If you're cooking something for your own dinner, then why not share it with your little one too, as long as it's not too salty or fatty.

Weaning can be a bit up and down for some babies but we've been lucky as we've followed Ethan and to date, he has a healthy feeding schedule that works for him.

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