Welcome back to another week of Weaning Wisdom Wednesdays. This week I am joined by Helen from http://mumatron.com. Helen hails from Yorkshire and is Mum to the gorgeous Hugo who is 18 months old. Take it away Helen!
1. Introduce yourself and family.
Hi I’m Helen, part time self employed mummy of Hugo. We love being outside in the garden and grow lots of flowers and vegetables to eat together. Hugo loves to climb, inside or out.
2. What method of weaning did you use? (Baby-led, traditional weaning, combination)
We decided to wean using with purees and finger foods. I’d offer some purees first and then gave a selection of finger foods to choose after. I made and bought purees, too so we really did do a bit of everything.
3. When did you start weaning and why?
I think Hugo was around 17 weeks and if I’m honest I felt pressured by lots of family to start him on solid foods. I’d have happily waited until he was 6 months. He was a hungry baby and grew very quickly. He was never short of a few pounds, I think people wanted to see him eating solids because of his size rather than his readiness. In hindsight I wish I’d have waited until I was happier with it but as a first time mum I think it’s hard not to give in to family.
4. Talk us through your journey, how did you start, what did you do?
I started with very basic cow and gate veggie pouches and I’d just offer a spoonful here and there. Then I think we started introducing really soft food like banana and avocado. He was really fond of anything with sweet potato in. I made big batches of purees at a time with different combinations of vegetables and popped them in the freezer. As he got older I introduced different textures, like rice and orzo pasta. I remember the kiddilicious wafers being great for finger foods.
5. What food did baby love and what was their least favourite food?
His favourite was definitely pears, although I think yogurt was a close second. (Yogurt is now in demand morning, noon and night, gogo, gogo mummy- er no, eat your peas.) His least favourites was cheese. L0ts of my friends had recommended baby bels, he’d just spit them straight out.
6. What sort of food did baby eat when you are out and about?
It was the same out and about as it was at home so I’d take a puree in a flask pre heated for his ‘main’. Then after he could have a choice of finger foods. I found the sistema containers that split into different sections really useful for storing finger food.
7. What highchair did you use? Would you recommend it to other Mums?
We borrowed a chicco one from my sister and although it did the job, it took up half the kitchen and was not easy to fold away at all! We ended up using a mamas and papas one and that was far lighter and easier to manuvre. I’d recommend them both but in all honesty I think they’re a bit of a waste of money. The little white Ikea ones are as good and go up to the table. Now he sits at the table with us on a booster seat strapped to a chair. It’s far better than having a high chair up all the time. Don’t buy one thinking it goes up to 4 years- how many 4 year olds actually sit in a high chair?
8. What is your opinion on offering baby fast food?
Personally Hugo’s had fish and chips with us a couple of times but he only likes the fish. We don’t really eat much fast food anyway- it’s rather expensive and I’d rather make something myself. If I didn’t have a choice, I’d give my child any food over no food though. I think it’s a case of being educated in your choices but if you have no choice you feed your child whatever you can.
9. What was the most challenging aspect of your weaning journey?
Sick. Hugo was a reflux baby. I’d heard that weaning would help the situation, I personally don’t think it made things any quicker than it would have done if he’d had grown out of it by himself. He would nearly always be sick after yogurts, and that my first porridge, that was bad for sick! He’s still pretty sicky now to be honest.
10. Have you ever received any criticism for your weaning choices?
I wouldn’t say I’d been criticised but I’ve certainly experienced other mums try to make me feel unnecessary for making my own purees. But I think it was their own guilt or whatever. I’d get “I actually don’t have time to be faffing around making puree, life’s too short” – your issues love, not mine!
11. Did you meal plan, or just offer whatever is available in the fridge?
A bit of both, and it still is. I would defrost purees overnight in the fridge but if I forgot then it would be whatever was going. A jar or scrambled egg, something like that.
12. What tools did you buy that were invaluable?
I bought a Totseat in a charity shop, it fits on any chair and turns it into a high chair. It’s brilliant. Munchkin 360 cup allows Hugo to simulate drinking from an open top cup while having a top. I also love the babycups. They are small enough for a child’s hand and hold enough water or milk (I think 50ml) with out being disastrous if they are spilled! I also get disposable bibs from home bargains (less than £1 for 12) for when we are eating out.
13. If you were to do it all again, what would you do differently?
I’d wait a little longer I think but other than that I don’t really have any regrets as such.
14. If you could give one piece of advice to new Mums who are about to start weaning, what would it be?
Don’t stress if they don’t eat it, babies are still getting everything they need from their milk. I found that if I was stressing, Hugo would stress as well. Then it was unpleasant all around.
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