The weaning stage has begun! Despite the NHS recommendation to wait until 6 months before starting to wean your baby, we decided to start weaning Callie at 5 months. She holds her head well, sits up unaided for a short period of time and has shown an interest in food. She can also move the food to the back of her mouth and eats well. For me that is a good enough sign that she is ready to start on solids so we went for it.
We started with fruit, which upon reading a post on Veg for Victory with Ella's Kitchen I realised this may have been a mistake but not one we could go back on so actually I have been winging it for the past couple of weeks. I did what I had with Ted and that was to spoon feed her smooth puree starting with one food and gradually introducing a new taste every day ensuring we left 4 hours before bed times to be safe in case she had a reaction.
Callie's first taste was of banana. We mushed a little bit up in a bowl and she loved it. She had also had a tiny lick of cucumber which she wasn't overly keen on (like her Mumma). After banana I then tried a banana and apple pouch knowing that the banana hadn't bothered her and introducing a new fruit in. Apple was a hit so we moved onto Apple and Pear, again introducing another new fruit in and progressed from there.
When we were kindly send some Veg For Victory pouches of Peas, Parsnips, Carrot and Sweet Potato I decided to try going back to the start and giving her just veggies for a while. This went down like a tonne of bricks! She hated the pea puree, gagging on it with every mouthful, the same with carrot. I tried mixing it with some fruit to make it a bit sweeter and even added some Carrot Baby Rice to change the texture up but she was not having it!
It was as I feared, this little monkey had developed a love of sweet things in just one week!
Alex from Lamb and Bear suggested only offering sweet foods when she had eaten some of the veggies so I did that. She managed a few mouthfuls of veggies, fighting me all the way so I gave her some fruit which she demolished (typical!). I then remembered I had a 4 Month (stage 1) pouch of Chicken and Vegetables that I had picked up on my weekly food shop. I gave it a go and much to my surprise she loved it!
I had her grabbing the spoon as I was feeding her and finally I had worked out what she needed. Flavour. She enjoyed the variety in the meal and not just one vegetable all the time. There are only a few brands that do actual meals like this for Stage 1 so I am waiting until she is 6 months before I will start giving her a bit of what we eat but I am convinced she is going to love it. In the meantime I will continue to offer vegetables as it is suggested babies take 10 tries of something to know whether they like it. Her brother is a great eater so I am hoping she will follow suit and will try everything for me before writing them off completely.
I decided on spoon feeding Callie as opposed to baby led weaning because a. I was scared she would choke and b. it is messy as hell! I know the second reason is a bit silly but honestly I am not sure I could cope with her slinging food around the room just yet, least not things like porridge.
While we are on the subject of porridge, Callie has it every morning for breakfast. Some days it is apple porridge and others it is a Rusk mixed with some of her milk. She loves breakfast, literally wolfs it down and it is so good to see.
I have only been giving her a couple of tablespoons of food at each meal and we currently (2weeks in) only do breakfast and dinners with the hope to increase portions and meals once she is 6 months. This is when I will introduce some finger foods too.
She currently is still on 7oz bottles every 3/4 hours which generally means she has 5 bottles a day but this can vary depending on how long she naps for in the day and also if we are out and about and she is happy playing I let her lead me. We have always fed on demand so are sticking with her to guide us.
I am enjoying this weaning journey and actually just going with the flow. It is so easy to be swayed by what other people say nowadays and someone will always have an opinion on how you do anything as a mother but I try to ignore it. Callie is enjoying solids and I think weaning her early was the right decision for us and her.
Please hit me up with some baby friendly recipes or pouch suggestions and don't forget to pop over to Instagram to follow Callie's weaning journey!