Welcome to my new guest series Weaning Wisdom Wednesdays. Each week, a guest blogger will feature, either by writing their own original piece about what they’ve learnt during their weaning journeys or by answering my set of questions. This week we are joined by the lovely Kaiden from http://kaidenlaverty.com.
Hi Kaiden, welcome to Weaning Wisdom Wednesdays. Please start by introducing yourself and your family.
Hello! My name is Kaiden and me and my partner, Jamie, have an (almost) three-year-old named Joshua. I call him my tiny tornado because he’s a rush of energy and has the ability to destroy anything around him within seconds! But he’s incredibly funny, kind, caring and smart, I don’t think there’s a day that goes by he doesn’t have everyone around him in stitches. He loves nothing more than singing, dancing and being the centre of attention.
What method of weaning did you use?
We chose to go for a mixture of both baby-led and traditional weaning. We started giving Joshua rusks mixed with a bit of warm milk at just a couple of months old – this isn’t recommended by any health visitor or most other parents but it worked for us and most importantly, Joshua. He’s always loved his food so he definitely enjoyed doing it myself, but sometimes he would like us to feed him. We thought it was important to allow him to explore with his own food and get used to a range of textures in his own way.
He’s now graduated on to toast, crumpets, wafers, fruit and other things which I would constitute as grown up food.
When did you start weaning and why?
We started weaning him properly at 4 months old, with the approval of our health visitor, as he was just so ready to go. He was always asking us for our food and was showing all the signs of being ready to let rip!
Talk us through your journey, how did you start, what foods did you use?
We started by giving Joshua just one meal a day with his usual amount of bottles. He had pureed yogurt and fruit for breakfast, his usual bottle straight after and then his usual bottles throughout the rest of the day. After a short while we then introduced snacks like strawberries, breadsticks, bananas, sandwiches, cheese etc. We then added another one meal at a time until he was on three meals a day, with snacks. I can’t remember how or when he dropped bottles but he gradually dropped his bottles on his own terms. But he kept his bedtime bottle for a long time as it was his comfort, so we let him keep it until he was two years old.
What were baby’s favourite foods?
Joshua’s favourite was yogurt and fruit puree and anything that had sweet potato or carrots in. He has always had a sweet tooth!
What sort of food did baby eat when you were out and about?
I always packed rusks, breadsticks, squeezy yogurts and sandwiches as they were easy to carry around with us without making a huge mess in the bag and Joshua loved them!
What highchair did you use? Do you recommend it to other parents?
I can’t remember what brand it was, but we bought it off Amazon. It was a brilliant highchair for a while because the height could be changed and it came with replaceable tray mats etc but the big downside, which eventually lead to us getting rid of it, was that it was so big and bulky. So perhaps buying online isn’t such a good idea unless you read the measurements properly!
What’s your opinion on offering baby fast food?
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, as long as they aren’t living off it. We used to treat Joshua to a McDonalds (he loves chicken nuggets, what kid doesn’t, right?) but not too often. As with everything else, eat it in moderation and of course we want to give our little ones the best start. But don’t let others get to you if they judge you for doing this with your bubba. I was so determined to give my baby fruit, vegetables and all healthy foods but he’s now almost three years old and hates everything healthy except for yogurt, cheese and bananas!
What was the most challenging aspect of your weaning journey?
I know it sounds silly, but I was so confused as to what I did about Joshua’s bottles of milk and how/when I got rid of them. No-one ever told me that I should keep his bottles the same until he shows me he doesn’t need it anymore. I assumed that weaning meant that I was replacing a bottle with one meal straight away, not gradually introducing foods until he gradually starts eating three meals a day. So, searching online for answers was tough as no-one was talking about it, perhaps it’s so obvious that no-one needed to?
Have you ever received any criticism for your weaning choices?
Not as such, no. We’ve only ever had comments about how we let Joshua get down from the table once he has finished. There’s no way I’m going to keep a screaming baby or toddler at the table when they would rather go and play.
Did you meal plan or just offer whatever was available in the fridge?
I went through a phase of doing a bit of both. At one point, I would sit down of a Sunday evening and plan out his meals for the week but didn’t always stick to it. Eventually I scrapped that idea and just offered him what I thought he’d like at the time.
What tools did you buy that were invaluable?
To be honest, I can’t remember buying anything that was amazing or improved the weaning process. The only things I bought was a Tommee Tippee Blender and those freezer pots, which didn’t turn out too brilliantly. While the blender was perfect and I made up a bunch of purees, after spending a lot of time pre-making food and Joshua not liking them, I gave up.
If you were to do it all again, what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t bother with the whole blender and pre-making purees, it was a waste of time in the long run as I had to either stick with what I knew he’d like or waste a lot of money and time making batches of stuff if it turned out he didn’t like it at all.
If you could give one piece of advice to new Mums and Dads who are about to start weaning, what would it be?
I got very overwhelmed with the whole thing but it really isn’t anything to stress about (really!). Just start your baby off by offering them a range of different things and you will soon get to know what they like, love and hate. Let your baby guide you and it’ll go as smoothly as it can.
You can find Kaiden at:
Thank you so much to Kaiden for taking part this week.
If you’d like to take part in Weaning Wisdom Wednesdays, please send me an email to email@example.com
You can find previous installments of Weaning Wisdom Wednesdays here.