When Adam was still a little one, and breastfeeding was not going so well I began dreaming about the day I could wean him onto grown up food and stop breastfeeding. Gradually breastfeeding got much easier and my excitement about weaning turned into full blown anxiety. I began dreading the day my baby stopped needing me as his only source of nutrition and started eating proper food. I had visions of him refusing the breast and not needing his mummy anymore once he knew he could get his food from pretty much anywhere and anyone. I envisioned him having his first taste of fruit and never looking back, leaving me in a heap of misery behind him. Thankfully I learnt that this wasn’t exactly how things were going to go, and I wanted to share some of my weaning tips especially if like me you are suffering from weaning anxiety.
Now I’m not saying you need to go out and buy hundreds of expensive weaning books in order to prepare yourself for weaning your little one. I was lucky enough to be given some books from other mothers who had weaned but actually what was more beneficial was going on the weaning course run by our local children’s centre. They taught us how to safely prepare, store and reheat food and how to safely begin the weaning process. They showed us that weaning would not be an overnight process and, much to my delight, reassured us that until Adam hit the one year mark milk would still be his main source of nutrition. They also taught us what allergen foods were and how to introduce them slowly. What was also very informative was being taught how to patch test allergen foods on baby’s upper lip when introducing them for the first time.
This doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy a tonne of expensive baby weaning products but there are a few things that I’ve found really useful:
- Ice cube trays – If you’re planning on making your own purees and batch cooking them then you need some silicone ice cube trays. these are the ones I picked up from Amazon and I’ve loved them! They’re perfect for portioning food as when we first started weaning Adam he would struggle to eat one cube of puree but now he will happily have 2-3 cubes of vegetables at every meal with 1-2 cubes of fruit for desert.
- Reusable food pouches – Again from Amazon I found this great reusable food pouches for when we’re out and about. I just fill them up and freeze them and they’re ready for those days when we’re busy out of the house and it means I don’t have to buy him ready made pouches and he still doesn’t miss a meal.
- Ice lolly moulds – I first picked these up way before I started weaning Adam when the we were in the thick of a heat wave and I was struggling to get some extra fluids into Adam. I’d express some breast milk and pour it into the moulds overnight and by morning there would be a fresh batch of Breast milk lollies ready for him when he got a bit too hot bothered and didn’t want to be attached to me while feeding. It was a quick and easy way of getting and extra ounce or two of milk into him without him overheating from my body heat while feeding. Now that he’s eating and drinking I can make him some smoothie lollies with some blended berries and yoghurt or even with bananas and avocados if you want to get some extra healthy fats into your little one.
Be ready for a lot of mess
To be honest this has been one of my favourite things about weaning Adam. I’ve loved giving him different textured food and just letting him explore but be warned, no matter how clean you try and keep your little ones, there will be mess. You’ll find food in their hair and up their nose, they’ll somehow manage to get it into every little crevice of their high chair or Snug Seat and all over their toys but baby’s that are left to get a little bit messy when weaning tend to be less fussier with their foods and it’s also a great way to keep them occupied while you’re trying to eat your own lunch/dinner.
Be kind to yourself
Although I have prided myself on preparing and batch cooking all of Adam’s meals from scratch myself, there are the odd days when I feel like life is busy enough and for those days I’ve found Ella’s Kitchen pouches to be a life saver. I love their Veg range which means I can still give Adam his veg and I can rest assured knowing they’re all 100% organic and don’t contain any added sugars/salts or any other nasty ingredients. Just be sure to check the ingredients of any pre made baby pouches as sometimes there’s just a lot more fruit in them than veg giving them a sweeter taste. My biggest piece of advice is to go at your’s and your baby’s pace and to have fun with it as much as possible. Remember if you’re breastfeeding like me and suddenly feel like this is the end of your breastfeeding chapter I can assure it wont be, you’ll just be starting a whole new chapter with your little one full of mess and fun!