The Woes of Weaning

Quite Frankly She Said Sunday Best

 

Missuswolf woes of weaning

Image credit: Pexels

Yesterday I hit a brick wall in the ever-growing milestones of mammy-hood; weaning.

That magic six month mark (already?) approaches this weekend and all I’ve dabbled in is baby porridge and baby rice.

To be honest, I’ve been pushing it to the back of my mind. I’m so settled with our bottle and sleep routine now that it seems cruel to change things.

Six months of winging it and I finally feel like I’ve found my feet when bam! Let’s change things.

I suppose I need to get used to it.

This is just another obstacle thrown into the crystal maze of  parenthood.

And I had a Major Monday Meltdown.

Let’s start with the fact that the Health Visitor comes to visit you around the twelve week mark, armed with an enticing purple folder. Said folder contains books to read (blog post plug opportunity – Little Gems: What Ella is Reading) info and handy teeth brushing equipment (why didn’t I just type toothbrush and toothpaste?) as well as leaflets on Baby-led weaning and introducing solid foods.

Followed by the obligatory weighing of the baby. (Bad mam here left it three months until I weighed her again. Without someone coming to my house to do it, I’m rubbish at trying to get to the health centre. Ooops. Well Ella you outgrow your clothes so I presume you are growing).

Don’t get me wrong, the talk from the Health Visitor about weaning was really good and positive. I was filled with confidence; I can do this, I can cut veg up and crack this baby-led weaning lark.

Well, it went in one ear and out the other. I just remember the guidance, no earlier than twenty weeks. But then I heard somewhere you could do it from seventeen. Argh mind-fuck!

I was putting it off.  Yes she was paying attention to us when we were eating (scowling across the room as she’d been strapped in her swingy chair so we could scoff pizza). Yes she was drooling and shoving her hands in her mouth. But was it teething or was she ready to be weaned??

After speaking to a few people, baby rice was dropped in the equation.

Just shy of five months old I started giving her some baby rice after her lunchtime bottle (when I remembered!)

I use Cow and Gate Infant milk so it seemed only natural to use their baby rice. I must have signed up for something somewhere in my mammy haze as I’ve received their 5 step weaning plan book in the post too.

This ticks over nicely, the odd bowl of baby rice here and there, getting Ella used to different ‘textures’.

Then I throw in the mix a bit of Banana Baby Porridge at about the five and a half month mark. Again, when I remembered. I was still stuck in my old bottle routine so I kept forgetting to add this at breakfast.

Aside from January, September always feels like a month for new beginnings. It’s that old back-to-school feeling from (many many) years ago now. With my Facebook feed filled with first-day-of-school pics and teacher friends going back to work, it kick-started my ‘right, let’s learn how to feed this child – part two’.

It’s meant changing my routine. Sitting Ella in a high chair at breakfast for a start as a reminder to myself to give her porridge. This is as opposed to lounging in bed or on the settee bottle feeding while I flick through Facey and Insta.

Growing Family Bounty PackI’d had a trial run over the weekend of feeding her her first pouch meal. I’d received one of those free Bounty Packs you get over the course of your pregnancy and maternity leave (preggers ladies if you haven’t already, sign up to Bounty to get these. You get handy little samples in like nappies, creams and eventually weaning stuff. I got more toothpaste too, all else fails at least she’ll have sparkling bright teeth. When they eventually come in).

Inside this pack was a couple of samples of the HIPP pouches. Lunch for Ella this weekend was the pureed carrots, cauliflower and peas. The packs can be kept in the fridge for twenty-four hours after they’ve been opened. Brill. Lunch sorted for the weekend.

And, although dubious of the flavour at first, she seemed to take to this. Hurrah!Inside of Growing Family Bounty Pack

Confidence boosted, Monday was the day.

I’d ordered by usual Asda online shop for Sunday night (still not ventured into doing a big food shop with a baby in tow. Online shopping is my way forward. Shop in pj’s with wine and it’s delivered to your door. You don’t have to get ready, juggle a baby or speak to people – apart from the delivery driver. Bonus). In this shop I’d included frozen broccoli, cauliflower and peas – ready to puree and cut up to do a mix of puree and soft finger foods.

Monday lunchtime came.

I’d done my morning buggy bootcamp – yey me. I didn’t have time to get changed but find pottering around in my gym wear makes me feel more productive.

Feeling all purposeful, I got the magic bullet my sister lent to me and all the various contraptions that go with it. I opened the weaning book to ‘Step One: Recipes’. I looked at the pathetic bit of broccoli that I’d taken out of the freezer that morning to defrost …

Wait – what??

Broccoli doesn’t need defrosting!

I can steam it from frozen!

Argh I’m going back to (for those who know me) my microwaving-carrots and turnip-boiling days! I thought I was getting better with age. Clearly not.

So rather than steam one piece of broccoli, I decide to get some more out of the freezer as well as the cauliflower florets. I’ll be healthy and eat some too and hopefully Ella will see how much mammy loves it(!) and she will love it to.

Veg steamed, broccoli placed in blender and mixed with baby milk.

Which has spilled all over the bench and the kitchen floor.

Messy Kitchen from weaning

Yep that’s the morning breakfast crap next to the magic bullet paraphernalia. And the how to use a magic bullet and wean books. Help me.

By this point the kitchen is upside down and Ella is wailing as she’s starving.

I go to feed her only for her to continue wailing. She’s got her bottle what’s her beef?

Oh – bad mammy has done a rush job of cleaning the teat and there’s a tiny bit of blockage.

Teat replaced with properly cleaned one a-la-blue-peter-here’s-one-I-made-earlier.

Round two.

Bottle drank successfully. Thank-the-lord.

Random tiny bits of broccoli scattered on her highchair tray ready for her to lead her lovely self into the world of weaning.

 

 

 

But first let’s try this pureed-mush-attempt.

 

 

Ella begrudgingly took a mouthful of my home-made goop.

Ella weaning

Mammy’s sorry for sharing this Ella but a picture paints a thousand words.

Maybe it wasn’t pureed enough??

Possibly, as after the next mouthful she choked (I panicked – major fear of choking) then promptly threw up the bastard broccoli puree along with nearly all her milk.

As sick seeped down her highchair, onto my leggings and all over the floor I put my head down and full on sobbed into her tray.

God who am I? I’ve worked in stressful and pressurised environments for years yet I crack when I try to feed a child. Get a grip!

The only saving grace was that when I lifted my head (and I said I was sorry for being a rubbish mam and making her choke) there she was – smiling right back at me.

She was laughing at me.

After my futile hour and a half which ended in my child vomiting, she still championed me. She thought I was silly for getting upset.

Cue whatsapp messages to sisters and fellow mammy friends for immediate advice.

And a well-timed visit from my sister-in-law and nephew.

Their wise words (from the sisters, sis-in-law and friends and not one year old nephew obvs) made me pull myself together.

No it’s not plain sailing, yes they choke but get used to it they have really good gag reflexes and most of all – don’t put pressure on it.

And do you know what? My instincts had been telling me to stick with the baby rice, porridge and pouch routine. It had worked at the weekend so why make life harder than it had to be?

Messy Weaning Kitchen

Ah my life summarised in one photo: Blender, Baby Formula, Bottle, Vanish, a messy sink, an overused slow cooker, and a pint glass that I now drink water out of instead of beer. #nofilter #nofilterneeded

I can practice perfecting my puree but in the meantime I’ll tootle on down to Aldi and grab some of their pouches.

Needless to say she hadn’t touched the ‘soft finger food’ of broccoli on her tray.

Sis-in-law had some great tips on this as she’s six months ahead of me. Cutting up bits of, say, my toast into little pieces at breakfast. Scatter this on baba’s tray and let her play with it while I eat. If she eats it – bonus! Likewise with other bits of veg.

Baby-led weaning takes time and patience (ha! My downfall).

So I added this in yesterday morning. Toast on the tray after her milk and porridge. She wasn’t the least bit interested but hey-ho. Maybe she was full.

No worries. I’ll keep doing what feels right for us both.

And that seems to be what I’ve learnt so many times in the last six months in this new crazy life of mine.

Plus – I’ve gone back over my Health Visitor leaflets and read them. Properly, not skimming.

Yep.

Your baby is ready if they can:

Stay in a sitting position and hold their heads steady (Ella can’t sit up properly just gets propped awkwardly in the high chair. Hmmm)

Co-ordinate their eyes, hand and mouth so they can look at the food, pick it up and put it in their mouth all by themselves (ah – she’s not yet fluent in mastering all this together)

Swallow food. Babies who are not ready will push their food back out, so they get more round their face than they do in their mouths …

Ella feeding

Says it all really. At least she’s got a sense of humour about it here

But if you do have any tips please share for this mammy who has been in despair.

Love Missuswolf xxx

12 comments

  1. Emma says:

    No tips as I’m still navigating this too. As our little ankle biter is to be raised vegan I have to read every jar and packet of preprepared stuff to make sure there’s no sneaky dairy in there. We didn’t start til just before the magical six month mark, but you have to do what your baby wants in this regard. Ours was trying to steal food off our plates at 4 months but the health visitor was adamant we had to wait. Every baby is different & advice is so subjective and conflicting. She’s ready when she’s ready! Good luck 🙂

    • support says:

      Thanks Emma it’s all another learning curve isn’t it? That’s the thing we tend to forget – all babies and different. I think you know instinctively what’s right. Good luck to you too 🙂 x

  2. Gemma Wilford says:

    Thanks Emma it’s all another learning curve isn’t it? That’s the thing we tend to forget – all babies and different. I think you know instinctively what’s right. Good luck to you too 🙂 x

  3. Rosie says:

    I’m in the exact same boat as you! My little girl is 8 months now, and until last week I was having regular meltdowns over weaning. She didn’t seem bothered, she gagged quickly and vomited everything in her stomach, she only ate 3 baby spoons of food and then was done etc. Etc. Just persevere and do what you think is best for your baby. If puree and pouches are working now, don’t upset the balance! Just slowly move her up the different flavours and stages so she gets used to more texture. I started weaning my little girl bang on 6 months and it’s took us 2 whole months to see a glimmer of hope and get in a routine. You’re doing such a good job, it shows what a great mama you are because it’s stressing you out so much!

  4. Gemma Wilford says:

    Aw Rosie thank you so much for posting this you’ve made me feel so much better! She’s interested in food in the sense that she watches what I eat but when I put it on her tray she’s not fussed. She doesn’t even touch it. It’s good to know that there’s someone out there who’s been in the same scenario. Thank you for your lovely comments you’ve made my day. Best of luck with you and your lovely little one x

  5. Becci - The Unnatural Mother says:

    Im really lucky and both of mine took to food really easily. I did a mix of spoon feeding and baby led. I mainly used smooth mashed sweet potato as the base food and added things like grated cheese, bits of ham & chopped chicken to it as they older. Garlic bread is also a favourite in our house and cut into fingers makes eating it much easier #fortheloveofBLOG

    • Gemma Wilford says:

      Thanks Becci I’ll have a try of this. I’m spoon feeding now which is going better. I’m leaving food on her tray too which she’s started touching I’m just waiting for the hand to mouth ratio to follow. Thanks for your advice. I love garlic bread so will give this a try a little further along the line. #fortheloveofBLOG

  6. A Mum Track Mind says:

    Don’t stress about weaning. Babies use their milk as the main source of nutrition until they are one year old so the food they eat is more about a few extra vitamins and learning how to use food. We used pouches completely (Ellas Kitchen) until Sophie was 7 months old and then she started putting things in her own mouth. Once she did that I introduced the exact same food that I eat, and if I was having something unhealthy then back to the pouches. People might judge but she eats like a dream now at nearly 9 months old and she’s healthy and happy. #fortheloveofBLOG x

    • Gemma Wilford says:

      Thank you so much for the advice. Since writing the post I’ve actually been using Ella’s Kitchen at lunch and tea times after giving her a bottle. She’s come along way in the past two weeks. She’s not quite got the knack of putting any food I place on her tray in her mouth, but she’s picking it up now. I’ve got some fruit flavoured baby wafers and rusks that she’ll chew if I put in her mouth but she’s not yet doing it herself.
      I heard the best advice the other day – they always do it when they’re ready – not when you are. This goes for everything – weaning/potty training etc. Also how many 5 year olds do you know who can’t feed themselves or go to the toilet themselves?
      You’re right not to stress and I wish I hadn’t put too much pressure or emphasis on myself to do this.
      I’ll be doing exactly what you’ve done as Ella seems to be following what your little ones were doing. #fortheloveofBLOG

  7. Mimi Rose & Me says:

    The only advice that I can give is preserve and she will soon enough be eating all the food mummy makes her, those photos of your daughter are beautiful! I remember when my daughter first weaned she made the same face, fish pie became a firm favourite in our household! But funny thing is she’s hates it now! #SundayBest

  8. Sian QuiteFranklySheSaid says:

    Oh gosh traditional weaning (puree plus finger food) sounds such a faff! Both of mine were baby-led weaned and it is the easiest thing in the world. Just out whatever I’m having on their tray and let them get stuck in! I know some people make special food in special shapes but there’s no need at all. I wrote this post a while ago as lots of people were asking about BLW: http://www.quitefranklyshesaid.com/2014/01/baby-led-weaning.html Thanks for linking up to #SundayBest x

    • Gemma Wilford says:

      It has been such a faff. I think I was impatient and wanted her to grasp baby-led weaning straight away. Looking back I tried too many things in one go and it went wrong. The food processor was never used again and she’s only started in the last week grabbing food and putting it in her mouth. If only I’d waited a couple of weeks I might have been spared the angst! Thanks for sharing the BLW post I think she’s in a good place now to do this. #SundayBest x

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