Reuben is now 11 months old and he has been weaned since 17 weeks old, so here’s our weaning tips & what worked for us…
I made the decision to wean Reuben from 17 weeks old as I felt that milk was starting to become unsubstantial for him. He was constantly crying for milk and he was on 7/8oz bottles and wanting them more and more often. He also suffered with really bad reflux and was sick a lot so I thought adding in food of a thicker consistency might help him – and it did. We are now 7 months on from weaning and Reuben has pretty much mastered eating proper foods now so I’m going to share our journey, what we did & what we loved.
So I started introducing the tiniest mouthfuls of puree to Reuben a couple of weeks before he turned 17 weeks. I was basically just giving him tastes of food and he pulled some right faces! I think I let him try the tiniest bit of banana and he pulled the most hilarious face. Weaning is a very controversial topic and most people advise you to wait until the 6 month mark to start, but I read online it was okay to start from 17 weeks minimum, so that’s what I did. We started off with baby porridge and fruit puree’s which was kind of a mistake on my behalf because I should have started him off with veggies and treated him to fruits. Thankfully, having lots of fruits didn’t put him off veggies and he was a very good eater (not anymore – more on that later) and he had a mix of the two. Porridge used to be one of his favourite meals, he ate the biggest bowl of it on a morning! Our favourite brands for puree’s have been Asda’s Little Angels, Aldi’s Mamia’s Range, Ella’s Kitchen & Boots own. To be honest, we’ve never really been fussy with what brands we use, they’re all basically the same thing aren’t they?! Ru’s favourite porridge was the fruity apple one from Boots, the only thing that annoyed me with it was that the boxes are so small and we got through them so fast due to him having a big appetite.
So anyway, I started off with just introducing breakfast to Reuben and he had bottles the rest of the day, and after a few weeks I then made it two meals which was usually breakfast and dinner or breakfast and lunch. We gradually reduced the amount of bottles he was having by replacing it with a larger, more substantial meal. I didn’t start with any BLW for a long time and always fed him his meals which were purees most of the time. Whilst I did stock the cupboards with pouches and jars, I liked to make my own most of the time. I didn’t buy any fancy equipment, just a blender and containers to freeze batches in. I started off just whizzing up easy things like bags of chopped carrot & swede from Asda, and mixed veggies but then it got a bit boring so I started copying the flavours you could buy from the likes of Ella’s Kitchen and mixing it up a bit. One of Reuben’s favourite combo’s was pear & sweet potato, which are still two of his favourite foods now! I heard lots of mums say it was a faff to do but I didn’t find it to be at all, in fact it was much easier to do that than it is feeding him these days. All I used to do was peel and chop up vegetables or fruits, chuck them in a pan of boiling water until they were soft and then throw them in the blender and whizz it up. Honestly a piece of cake… without the need to spend hundreds on any fancy equipment! I then just used to pour it into several containers, pop some in the fridge and some in the freezer so I had a nice stash going.
I was very scared to start BLW and left it until as late as possible just because I cannot stand mess with food. I began to realise this was quite selfish of me and Reuben needed to learn to eat properly, so I started off by introducing him to snacky foods like bags of puffs from Aldi and other similar bits. A favourite of his that he still has now are the Organix baby biscuits, we’ve had them in vanilla, banana & strawberry and he loves them all! Snacks are all he had for a long time, whilst I still fed him his main meals. The reason for this is because Reuben really struggled to chew, and gagged on a lot of foods. It was so hard for me to try and introduce main foods to him at meal times because he gagged on everything and you can imagine how scary it is thinking that your baby is going to choke every 2 minutes. I left him to get used to all the snacky soft foods alongside having puree’s for months until he eventually learnt to eat and swallow a lot better. It’s over the past three or so months that we’ve really turned a corner, as soon as he got teeth everything got a lot easier. He started having crackers and crunchy things for his lunch, his two favourites are tucs and breadsticks. I started spreading philadelphia on them which he can’t get enough of, to the point where he stopped eating breadsticks altogether and just licked all the cheese off the monkey! Anyway I was still a bit scared to introduce chewier foods to him but bit my tongue and just did it, I made him things with mince and chicken, fish, pasta and rice, amongst other foods and he loves it all. He struggled with even tiny bits of mince at one point but he’s absolutely fine with everything now. At first he was still having quite a few bottles of milk alongside his food but I have gradually weaned him off them so he now only has two a day, he has one when he wakes up on a morning, his three main meals and then one when I put him down for bed at night. I think he could easily be without them now but I think he’s supposed to still have 18oz of milk a day at this age, and he loves his bottles so I won’t take them away from him anytime soon. Some of his fave foods include anything that involves tomato, pasta, cheese on toast, bananas, pears, yogurt & white choc buttons (he’s obsessed!)
Current Favourite Brands:
I still keep a large stock of puree’s in the cupboard, not only are they super handy for when I don’t have time to cook but they’re also useful for when Reuben won’t eat a meal I make him. He used to eat anything and everything but now he’s super fussy which isn’t great when I’ve spent ages cooking him a nice dinner! Half the time I have to distract him with fireman sam just to make him sit there and eat his food whilst watching it. We love the Cow & Gate jars because on Asda they always have a deal on where you can buy 12 for £6 which I think is sooooo good – only 50p each! They have such a choice to pick from too, there’s every meal you could think of plus plenty of fruit and pudding type jars which I feed Ru after he’s eaten his dinner most days. Buying ready made puree’s can get expensive so these are really affordable if you want to stock up. HiPP Organic is another fave brand of ours too, they have such a wide variety of flavours and are all made from organic ingredients which is really good for your little one. The ones we use at the moment are the 7+ & 10+ jars which are full of texture and aren’t a solid puree which is great for babes who are on solids and are learning to chew. When I don’t have time to cook or have left it too late to make Ru dinner, I like to reach for these so that I know he’s getting lots of goodness in him and it isn’t crap! They’re super filling too which is great for hungry babies like my Ru.
Things I Recommend:
LOTS OF BABY WIPES. Oh my Jesus, if you ever wean a child you will go through so. many. wipes. I use the Asda’s Little Angels Sensitive ones that I just add to my online order. You can order them in boxes of 12 for £6 which makes them 50p each and each pack lasts us at least a few days which is great value for money. I did used to use water wipes when Ru was a newborn, and would recommend them for little bums but when they reach a few months old and for weaning you will use far too many to even justify the cost of a pack of water wipes. Not only do the dirty nappies get worse, but they get food in their hair, all over their hands, just basically all over their entire body and you can’t bath them after every single meal as much as you’d like to…
If you’re only just starting out with weaning, I’d really recommend getting a Bumbo. I only got one when Ru was like 6 months old and wished I’d bought one sooner as he grew out of it really fast. They’re just so easy to pop on the table or a work top to quickly feed your little one whilst keeping them sat up in one place. I also recommend a blender, but not one you have to fork out for. I bought an expensive one made for baby food and it just broke so I ended up getting a £30 one from Amazon and I still use it now!
So there we have it; our weaning journey. It’s been one hell of a ride and still isn’t over yet, he may be on solid foods but he still needs to learn to use a knife and fork and not make a mess. After every single meal there is food everywhere – even when I feed him for times when we’re in a rush or to avoid a massive mess, he still manages to get it in his hair. The joys of kids eh? 😉
~ This post contains gifted products but all opinions are my own. ~