Violet is now on the cusp of 6 months so we’ve decided it’s time to start the weaning process onto solid foods and honestly I couldn’t be more excited! I’ve been really looking forward to this stage in her development as it’s been so fun to try new foods with her and watch her reactions. She seems so grown up sitting at her highchair and eating proper foods now – where did my newborn go? As I’m really enjoying this stage, I thought I’d write a little post about our preparation to wean and what we’ve been up to so far as I wanted to document our journey all the way – plus if you are thinking about weaning maybe you’ll find this helpful too!
PREPARING TO WEAN
One of the fun parts to weaning has got to be getting everything prepared – you need so many new things, from a highchair to bowls, cups, spoons, bibs, the list goes on! Being self-confessed baby product addict I’ve loved shopping about for a few bits, they don’t have to be expensive either, don’t worry.
Here are a few bits from our kit so far:
HIGHCHAIR: I knew before Violet was even born which highchair I’d be wanting to get…. and we got it! You guessed it, it’s the BEAUTIFUL Magical Unicorns Noodle Supa from one of my favourite baby brands, Cosatto. Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s so comfy looking too, Violet loves sitting in her chair and will happily play with toys on the tray as I prepare her food. Did I also mention, it has a pink glittery tray? Honestly, this highchair is everything and more! I want one in my size. I’m so over the moon with it I’ll be doing a full review on it in the next few weeks, so do look out for that one.
BOWLS: We’ve got two different bowls, the first are the Munchkin White Hot Bowls, which are really handy if you are serving warm food as the heat strip down the middle will turn white if the food is too hot for your baby. If I’m serving Violet porridge or warmed vegetable puree this is really reassuring that it’s the right temperature for her. The other bowl we use a lot is the Oxo Tot Divided Plate if I’m giving Violet different fruit or veg to keep all the bits in their own section. It has a removable ring to keep the food on the plate even if tipped slightly which can be taken off later down the line when she masters self-feeding.
SPOONS: Violet seems to have really taken to using a spoon and even tries to feed herself already! We love the Oxo Tot Feeding Spoons as the handles are nice and easy to hold (for us both!) and the spoon soft silicone, perfect for little mouths, she likes to chew on the it as a teether too!
BIBS: We’ve only been weaning a few weeks and I’ve already learned a LOT about bibs. I didn’t realise there was so much to think about with this. At first we tried just a couple of plastic bibs from Asda (the ones with the pocket at the bottom). These didn’t work for us as Violet hated the hard plastic around her neck and the food would just go between the gap of the bib and the highchair tray. Fail. We’ve had a little more luck with the Roll Up Bib as the top part is fabric so comfier around the neck, however the real star of the show is the Ikea ‘Kladdig’ bib which is like a full little jacket they can wear – it catches everything and totally protects all of her clothes, a real winner for us!
SIPPY CUP: Like all of her bottles, we’ve stuck with MAM, I love the MAM range the designs are so pretty. The Starter Cup is 4 months+ and is great for her to practice holding as you can tip it without any spills! She’s getting the hang of it but will occasionally try and drink from the bottom 🙂
POTS/STORAGE: As soon as we started to wean I realised we needed lots of pots and things to store puree in as she only ate a little bit at a time. This Baby Food Freezer Tray has been a lifesaver as you can freeze food in individual portions, meaning we could keep it for longer and there wasn’t as much waste! I have a post coming up about making/storing puree where I’ll talk about this in more detail, so keep an eye out for that.
BABY LED OR PUREE FEEDING?
This is the bit that really surprised me, before I started weaning I was firmly in the ‘Baby Led Weaning’ camp. For those that aren’t sure, Baby Led Weaning is where you offer your baby hand-held foods they can feed themselves and the other route of weaning is where you give mashed or pureed baby food (the traditional method). I’d been on a Baby Led course as was determined to go down this route as I thought this would be best for Violet, on the course they talked about their development and how they experience new tastes and I was sold. However – as soon as Violet started weaning I realised it wasn’t actually best for her at all, she didn’t really take to it as she doesn’t know what to do with big lumps of food, she’ll just spit them out – plus it’s so scary it is to give them actual pieces of food so early. They have absolutely no idea what to do with it and it just disappears into their mouths, only for them to gag on it and spit it out minutes later. It really wasn’t working for us, so now we are doing a mix of baby led and traditional.
I mainly give Violet puree now, but I do offer her pieces of food too, like watermelon or banana to build up those skills and explore how to eat. I like this approach as she’s learning different tastes with purees (as she can actually eat them rather than just spit the bits out) and to hold food with finger foods too. Violet actually really loves purees and gets excited when she see’s me getting her bowls out so she seems happy with this mix of the two. As she builds up her skills I’ll move on from purees onto more finger foods and be guided by Violet as to how she’d like to do it.
I joined a few ‘Baby Led Weaning’ groups and feel sad there is a stigma around purees, one lady even said to me ‘if you’ve given your baby even a spoonful of puree you can’t be in our group as thats not proper baby led weaning’ – honestly, it’s like the whole breast/bottle debate all over again. This time I’m not taking any stick from others, I’m just doing my own thing, following my instinct and will be guided by what Violet enjoys (surely thats more ‘baby led’ isn’t it??!). Anyway – moving on!
FOODS SO FAR
The easiest way to experiment with different tastes has been to use ready-made pouches. They are really quick and easy and Violet loves them. As we get into more of a routine and figure out her likes/dislikes I’ll start to make some puree’s from scratch but this has been a great starting point. We have tried various brands – but the resounding favourite every time is always Piccolo! She just can’t get enough of their flavours, especially the Banana and Coconut Baby Rice, she could eat that every day without fail. I have been trying everything I’ve given her (well, I wouldn’t expect her to eat something I wouldn’t eat myself!) and I have to say the Piccolo pouches most definitely have a little more flavour than others which can be quite bland.
We have also kindly been sent these pouches from Babease to try – so far so good with these too, although she did take a while to get used to a couple of the flavours. I tried them and they were quite ‘grown up’ flavours – We will keep going with these ones as I like how different they are which will expand her palette to new tastes.
As for actual food – she’s enjoyed pieces of fruit as finger foods, banana (although it’s difficult to hold), strawberries (the MESS!), watermelon, peach. She also loves rusks which I know are a bit controversial, but I was brought up as a rusk baby and turned out ok! Lastly, she’s developed a bit of a love for ice cream – we didn’t give her this intentionally, don’t worry. She actually swiped a magnum out of my hand and jammed it into her mouth before I could say a word. It was clear from the smile and the ring of chocolate round her mouth she was a fan! Oops, wonder where she gets that from!
So, thats our weaning journey so far. I’m pleased with our progress so far, we seem to be getting into a lovely little routine and Violet is getting used to some new tastes and I can see she really enjoys eating too. My next stages are to get my Tommee Tippee Steamer Blender into action (it only arrived yesterday) and make some puree’s at home. I’ll let you know how we got on with that!
I’d love to hear your stories about weaning your little ones or some tips, so please leave your tales in the comments below!
Post contains PR samples – all words and opinions are my own
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