W seemed to be ready to wean from about 4 months old. He would stare longingly at my food and had begun to start waking in the night, something he, mercifully, had not done often from about 8 weeks. So he was ready. But was I? Seems strange looking back but I remember being absolutely terrified.
There appeared to be 2 main weaning strategies. Either beginning with puréed food or baby led weaning (BLW). BLW basically means allowing your child to feed themselves right from the very beginning. Appropriate sized chunks of finger food are offered and if baby likes it it gets eaten, if he doesn't it won't. Sounds easy enough but at 4 months W's co-ordination was not quite good enough for this and babies probably need to be around 6 months old to have much success.
So it was the purée route for us. Did I mention I was TERRIFIED. However, not for the first time since W's arrival, the fabulous mummy-next-door came to my rescue. She lent me her copy of Gina Ford's Contented Little Baby Book of Weaning. It literally takes you by the hand and leads you step by step through each phase of weaning. Instructions are specific to the teaspoonful so for the nervous new mum it really takes away some of the fear! Not only does she tell you how much to give but when and how often to give it. You basically start with baby rice and puréed pears and then gradually introduce a new puréed fruit or veg every few days. W LOVED it and so far has not refused anything he has been offered. He also began sleeping through the night again, HURRAH.
There are a few things you will need before you start though.....
Firstly something for your little one to sit in. W was still too small to sit unaided so we opted for the Bumbo and this was just fantastic. I could pop him up on the table in front of me in it and away we went. Again, also WIPE CLEAN, so fabulous for my ever increasing OCD.
Secondly feeding kit basically consisting of:
- Bib....pelican bibs are good for catching dribbles or you can get some plastic ones that look like raincoats.....when you hit stage 2 of weaning you will be praying someone made an adult version of these!
- Weaning spoons
- Storage pots
There are several weaning-kits available which will include everything you need to get started. I opted for a boys blue one from Tommee Tippee.
And then you are all set!
My final weaning purchase was a bit of an extravagance but, as am sure other working Mums will agree, sometimes you just can't put a price on convenience. My Philip's combined food steamer and blender was one of these. At around 50 quid it's not cheap but saved me so much time when making seemingly endless amounts of purée. You simply peel and chop your fruit or veg, pop in the jug, hit button and it will steam them, turn same jug upside down, hit button and it blends them. GENIUS! Of course you can get exactly the same result with a saucepan, sieve and masher but trust me, this way is much quicker!
So for any new Mums that are nervous about beginning this phase I would say, if your baby looks ready GO FOR IT. It is sooooooo much fun once you get going!