Tuesday, 26 April 2016

THE WEANING DIARIES - WEEK 1

I used to be one of those mums who was adamant that nothing but milk would pass my baby's lips before she hit 6 months old. I didn't want to damage her delicate digestive system and I suppose I didn't want her to be grown up enough to be eating anything other than milk. I was desperate to do my best to stick to the guidelines surrounding weaning. Freya was steadily gaining weight and seemed more than satisfied when she finished her bottles.

But then this happened. 

And then this happened, too.

Completely on her own, with no encouragement whatsoever, (and on TWO separate occasions!) Freya picked up a piece of food and started sucking on it. She even gummed her piece of cucumber so hard that it snapped it in half! 
It was then that we decided to start reading up on weaning. Freya had been showing signs of being ready for a few weeks before this. You know, the usual watching people eat, putting anything and everything in her mouth etc.  

I joined the Cow & Gate Baby Club online (for no particular reason other than it's the brand of formula milk we use) and ordered a free copy of their Five Step Weaning Plan. Although we haven't followed the steps entirely, I actually found this guide incredibly helpful. It gives you advice on when to introduce single flavours before offering mixed flavours and meals and it even includes recipes and starter shopping lists to help you get started. 
I started out with the best intentions, I really did. I bought a load of veg and then chopped, steamed and blended up a storm before portioning the purée into ice cube trays and freezing. I'm a bit ashamed to admit that these frozen purée cubes are still in my freezer, unused. They just haven't fitted into our plan yet, but I do have a plan for introducing them so they won't go to waste. 
We gave Freya her first taste of baby porridge when she was 19 weeks old. Now I know that's young compared to the most recent guidelines of waiting until 6 months, but she was so ready for it. We've been weaning Freya for just over a week now and not once has she gagged or spat any food back out.
We give Freya her breakfast after her first nap of the day, so around 3 hours after she first wakes up and 2-2.5 hours after her first bottle of the day. She's learnt that breakfast is coming soon once she's been strapped into her high chair and gets herself so excited before she's even seen it. We started her off on one spoonful of porridge made up with three spoonfuls of her formula but she hasn't now moved up to having two servings of fully made up porridge with 1/4 of a fruit pot mixed in. 
We've also been practicing with a free flowing Tommee Tippee cup, as per the advice of our health visitor and Freya absolutely loves this too. She gets herself frustrated when she can't hold her bottle and feed herself because her hands aren't big enough, so the handles on this cup are perfect for her to do it all by herself. Or so she thinks, anyway. I can still hold the bottom of the cup and control the aim of the cup and when to take a break. We are currently offering a small amount of water in her cup during meal times only, and Freya is still drinking the same amount of milk as before. 
I'll be doing these diaries weekly while we're completing the weaning process, and I hope they help at least one of you! 

Thanks for reading, 

Grace x