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The eternal question of weaning...

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by Wylfie, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. Wylfie

    Wylfie New commenter

    Ok, I admit it, I am totally baffled with this weaning thing. I've read the books, the blogs, had advice from god knows where and I still don't know what to do for the best!
    My LO is 7 and a bit months and is not completely enamoured with the puree thing. I've been using the Annabel Karmel book but the recipes are all so fussy I need something better! I was all for BLW but got talked out of it but think now we should go for a few finger foods - for ease if nothing else.
    Basically what can I give her? Which fruits/veg need to be cooked first? Bread? cheese? cereal? Pasta? i think she would get much more out of it by doing BLW.
    Also what should I be sterilising now?
    She is on the stage 2 (hungry) Aptamil milk, is it worth changing to follow on milk as she still seems fully satisfied with 4 bottles even though she is a big girl?
    So many questions so just a little guidance would be handy :)

    Thanks xxxx
     
  2. Wylfie

    Wylfie New commenter

    Ok, I admit it, I am totally baffled with this weaning thing. I've read the books, the blogs, had advice from god knows where and I still don't know what to do for the best!
    My LO is 7 and a bit months and is not completely enamoured with the puree thing. I've been using the Annabel Karmel book but the recipes are all so fussy I need something better! I was all for BLW but got talked out of it but think now we should go for a few finger foods - for ease if nothing else.
    Basically what can I give her? Which fruits/veg need to be cooked first? Bread? cheese? cereal? Pasta? i think she would get much more out of it by doing BLW.
    Also what should I be sterilising now?
    She is on the stage 2 (hungry) Aptamil milk, is it worth changing to follow on milk as she still seems fully satisfied with 4 bottles even though she is a big girl?
    So many questions so just a little guidance would be handy :)

    Thanks xxxx
     
  3. Ok so as ever there will be people along soon who know a lot more than me about this...or claim to at least (!!) ...but here is what worked for us...

    We just did what we fancied, some purees...some from Annabel Karmel (but yes they are fussy), others just food that I made then pureed i.e. fish pie, vegetable bake, soup, mashed banana etc. Also when we felt like it she had some finger food, so if I was having toast she had some too, Organix carrot wotsits are a hit with every baby I know, bits of pear are good early cos it is quite soft as is penne pasta.
    From the experience of my friends I would say it depends how quickly she gets her teeth, my LO had two top and two bottom by the time she was eight months so she was ready for chewing and biting a bit more but other babies I know were not so up for it.
    As with everything I have experienced in motherhood a middle way seems to be the best for us, sometimes it's useful to get some food in using a spoon and some puree, other times to let her explore!
    I would say go with your instincts and have fun :)
     
  4. If you're doing BLW then she just has what you have - you might need to make adjustments to your diet if you have a lot of salt but bar the obvious allergens (nuts and honey are the main ones I think before a year) just feed her from your plate. Fruit can be offered as is, apple can be tricky and grapes should be cut in half but otherwise just chop things into sticks that are easy to hold. Veg can be steamed or roasted in sticks. I found the BLW cookbook really helpful in he early stages.
     
  5. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    Honey is one to avoid because it can be contaminated with bacteria. Nuts- whole nuts are a choking hazard, but you can give nut butters. Remember in China and south-east Asia, they use sesame and peanut oils for cooking everything and nut allergies are almost unheard of. New advice says that gradual introduction after 6 months is the way forward as the best way to avoid allergies. I did a bit of reading on it because we have coeliac syndrome in the family.
    We started Chiquita on purees and then some of the Ella's Kitchen pouches, but she now has what we are having unless we have spicy curry or something like that. We cut things up or crush them, but don't puree any more- she likes a few spoonfuls or forkfuls, but when the edge has gone from her hunger she likes to feed herself!
    She has all meat, fish, all veg (broccoli is a favourite- steam until it's quite soft, then break up into florets and remove tough stems), fruit- grated apple or I hold the apple and she scrapes bits off with her teeth- make sure she can't beak off big lumps, though- pear, banana, everything. Toast with butter or peanut butter. Humous. Rice cakes with various spreads. Bread with olive oil. Tomatoes- she enjoyed a tomato, mozzarella and basil salad!- cheese made with pasteurised milk... pasta... rice... just keep an eye on salt intake, they shouldn't have more than a gram a day and a whole slice of bread has about half a gram. So very processed foods are a no-no, like baked beans, ham, sausages, smoked fish and things like those cook-in-the-bag seasoning mixes etc
     
  6. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    We don't bottle feed and have got rid of the steriliser now. She drinks from a cup- boiled water until they're one, although occasionally she's had water from the tap (or the bath, or the swimming pool!) and it's been absolutely fine.
    She also only has milk twice a day and has done since 7 months. She gets plenty of dairy in her diet and eats a balanced diet, so it's not a problem. She's also a big girl and is sticking to her centile line [​IMG]
    I have heard that the follow-on milk is a marketing thing- they're not allowed to advertise first-stage milk because of the advice that 'breast is best', but they can advertise second or third stage milk, so they do!
     
  7. Sterilising once baby is mobile is useless imo, simply because they pick up everything and put it in their mouths ;).
    As for BLW - I've done it with my two youngest and it's easy! You just give them what you eat, at first they will appear to waste alot, play with it and not taste very much but over time this will change. My two eat everything, without fuss.
    Follow On Milk is nutritionally different to first milk because it has added iron etc, but I have limited experience because my youngest is still bfing and will be 2 in January.
     
  8. You can give tap water from 6 months
     
  9. Wylfie

    Wylfie New commenter

    ok, so today we've tried weetabix, pieces of banana (which she bit and swallowed and we both panicked, I thought the gag reflex would send it up not down?!) and same again with some sweet potato - should it be soft enough for them to mush or hard enough for them not to bite in the first place? (very scared now)...
     
  10. kittenjames

    kittenjames New commenter

    my LO had weetabix from about 6 months and loved it but it made him rather 'bunged up'! now he has bran flakes and cow milk in the morning (leave them a few mins till they're mushy). if your LO can't manage what they've got in their mouth, chances are they'll gag and it'll pop out again. when we first started weaning (around 5 months) LO would do huge gags and i'd panic but the food always slid out again! i think the food ought to be soft enough to bite and 'chew' my LO somehow managed to chew when he had no teeth and now he still only has two. the texture of something like pear is perfect, just cut it into sticks your LO can pick up. we do a mixture of baby-led and spoon-feeding. as someone else said, we spoon feed at the start when he's really hungry then he prefers to help himself, make a mess and explore the food. i don't think hard food is a good idea at this stage. a lot of the time LO just has a bit of what we're eating providing it's not too fatty/sugary/salty. the best advice i've been given and can give is to relax, try loads of different flavours and textures and sometimes just back off i.e. put some bits on LO's tray and le them explore whilst you busy yourself nearby!
     
  11. We did BLW and my LO who has just turned 1 is as picky as anything. He is a big boy (off the centile for height and 99th for weight) but seems to get by on thin air and whatever fluff covered thing he can root out from under the sofa. I think that if children are going to be picky eaters or 'good' eaters then they will be and the method you use is immaterial. 6 months on from starting weaning my advice and observations are:
    - snacks are lifesavers, never leave home without them (if only for yourself...)
    - as far as possible give LO what you have and make meals social rather than stressful
    - if LO doesn't want/like/care about the meal that you have lovingly prepared, don't take offence, simply make it again another day and the little <strike>bu**er</strike> sweetheart will probably wolf it down
    - LO will always, always, always show you up in front of your mother or mother-in-law (preferably both) where food is concerned, generally by raspberrying it in your face, throwing it on floor/walls/ceiling/photo of dearest great aunt Edith, or providing themselves with a free cutting-edge hairstyle with each meal
    - eating accompanied by a baby/toddler is like eating with a small but loud lunatic.
    It's good fun though [​IMG]
    Good luck x x x
     
  12. We did purees from about 20 weeks and added finger food from 6 months. Now at 14 months we still do a bit of both. I used loads of Annabel Karmel, and I agree they are a faff but my LO loved them. What I tend to do is spend a morning maybe once a month (while LO goes out with her Dad) cooking up loads of different things and freezing them. She also eats loads of our leftovers. If it's something like a roast, i'll deliberately makes loads extra so I can freeze a few baby portions. With a combination of our meals and one big cook up a month I can feed her relatively healthily, easily and cheaply.
    Popular finger food here are....sweet potato wedges, any type of bread or sandwich, little things like sweetcorn, raisins, peas (but your LO is prob too young), bread sticks and dips, strips of leftover roast chicked, pasta twists, any type of cheese, rice cakes.
    Good luck!
     
  13. I remember being really worried about weaning and kept changing my mind.
    I tried purees but she totally refused any- we tried so many flavours but she gagged so we moved onto pure BLW- It is really not limiting on what you can give them, anything can be made into a BLW meal so don't worry about limiting flavours- tonight we're having a thai fish curry. I found it easier as she ate what we ate- it did mean our diet improved as well!
    The only problem I have found, she isn't great at vegetables- she tends to ignore them. I think next time I would try a mixed aproach.

    I think most people combine BLW and purees really- the river cottage baby and toddler cookbook is quite good - some good recipes and a bit of advice. It talks and advises on both puree weaning and BLW.

    Even if you start on purees, it isn't long before you are fingerfooding anyway, both methods work fine so try not to worry too much.
    You could start- one meal puree, and one of BLW and see which you both enjoy most. My friend does BLW for breakfast and lunch then purees for dinner so she can guarantee he eats more- works for her!
     
  14. I never knew this until I had a baby, but apparently giving babies chewable food as opposed of purees helps their teeth come through. It's something to do with their jaws exercising and the brain getting the signal that teeth are needed now.
    Most of the people I know including me just plain ignored the current advice of starting weaning at 6 months. Most of us started slowly at 4 months with purees and avoiding foods that may cause allergies and other problems until babies are at least over one year old, although they say 2 years is best.
    By one year my baby and most other babies I know were eating normal food, of course whithin reason, little or no salt, healthy food no pizza or burgers, lol! By 6 months one of her meals of the day was just a puree, and little by little I introduced more solids. She was breastfeeding on demand, so I just followed her instincts for milk. By 8 months she started childminder and she had her soups with chuncks that we prepared at home. Just the same soups that we made for us. From then on she only ate chunky food.
    In my area she is not the exception, even most of the other mums did the "baby led weaning" and their babies were eating "chunks" on demand from a very early age.
    You have to go with what you are confortable, but it is also true that it is positive to introduce normal food as early as possible and not to linger to much on pureed food.
     

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