Welcome to another week of Weaning Wisdom Wednesdays. Each week I am joined by another blogger who imparts their weaning wisdom. There are so many different methods of weaning out there and it’s so nice to read all the different ways each week. This week I am joined by Amanda from Mummy Confessions. Take it away Amanda….
1. Introduce yourself and family.
Hi, I’m Amanda, mum of three crazy kids and wife to a man who traversed the globe for me. We live in Sydney, and have been parents to nearly 5 years.
2. What method of weaning did you use? (Baby-led, traditional weaning, combination)
With all of my kids, I’ve used a combination of baby led weaning and purees (traditional weaning). We started off with the rice cereal which was quickly rejected by all of them, and moved to some of the blander foods. After the first few months of sticking mainly to purées, we transitioned to more “normal” foods. We are now struggling with getting my youngest (now a few months into weaning) to eat anything, purée or otherwise, though.
3. When did you start weaning and why?
We started Weaning around the recommended age of 6 months because, well, it was recommended. Apparently baby’s iron stores are nearly depleted and it’s wise to start solids at this point. I was told I should have started my youngest a bit earlier (at a check around 7 months), because “recent research” has shown allergy prone children do better earlier. It was news to me, as everything else I had been hearing was strongly advising against starting prior to 6 months, and I was in no rush to make him grow up either. I looked for the “ready” signs when I was starting my babies before I would try as well. Things such as sitting up decently, and making sure the tongue thrust reflex was gone.
4. Talk us through your journey, how did you start, what did you do?
With each of my kids, I’ve gotten more relaxed about how I introduce foods, but we try to do the rice cereal/oatmeal/porridge first and then bland veggies and fruits to balance off one at a time. I try to follow the four day rule, by only introducing a new food every four days, and watching for reactions. I was more leaniant than with my second, but my third child has eczema and reactions to other things, so we are watching him more closely. I found the pouches had combinations of foods, so I opted to steam and purée my own foods to start. I found Momtastic Wholesome Baby Food website and Annabel Karmel’s website to both be great with suggestions on how to make foods for baby, toddlers, and family meals. Momtastic talks about purées for babies and has some great little recipes, and Annabel Karmel has some amazing looking recipes suited to various ages.
5. What was their favourite food?
My first and second absolutely despised the rice cereal and loved anything with meat it seemed. The first now struggles with eating any variety though, and we are working with her to accept anything fruit or vegetable related, as well as any “new” foods. The second will eat anything, especially if I’m eating it. My third would only open his mouth for a puréed chicken and corn combination, but now he even rejects that food. It’s a big work in progress!
6. What sort of food did baby eat when you were out and about?
We love the pouches! With my first, I would blend my own and put them in pouches, or throw some yoghurt in a pouch. But, though it’s expensive, it’s a lot easier to purchase when out, and convenient. Occasionally they have had cereals or baby snacks (which are no added salt or sugar). Currently my toddlers are fans of Nutrigrain cereal and other Arnott’s biscuits. Pouches were a definite lifesaver though, and much healthier (and cheaper) to offer over McDonald’s or other fast foods.
7. What highchair did you use? Would you recommend it to other Mums?
I use a hi-low chair from Infasecure. It has lasted five years already, and has various height positions and can recline a little. I highly recommend it! And it’s not super pricey either! I recommend anything easy to clean, that has various height positions, and can possibly recline. Wheels are a nice feature, too.
8. What is your opinion on offering baby fast food?
For babies, I don’t offer fast food as the salt content tends to be high, and I’ve read it’s dangerous for them to have too much salt. I opt for the pouches in this case, which are also far cheaper! For toddlers and preschoolers though, I lost my will to argue, and we wind up doing fast food about half the time while out. That being said, we don’t go out much.
9. What was the most challenging aspect of your weaning journey?
Having to spend time figuring out decent healthy meals! I’m a fairly picky eater, and dont want my kids to wind up the same way. One already is, and far worse than I ever was! It is SO much easier breast or bottle feeding when they can’t complain about the menu!
10. Have you ever received any criticism for your weaning choices?
The fact that I didn’t want to feed littlest bubs a range of things straight away got some backlash, but once I explained that I would rather be safe with his reactions to other things, they were fine with it.
11. Did you meal plan, or just offer whatever is available in the fridge?
I’ve actually recently started a meal plan Mondays on my blog, but it’s slow going so far, and I only do about half. It’s great, so I can start putting new things into my rotation of recipes and hopefully help others to do the same. Otherwise I play it by ear, and try to shop for the week ahead with a few recipes in mind!
12. What tools did you buy that were invaluable?
Thick plastic bibs, such as the Baby Bjorn bib, with the pocket to collect remnants of falling food. And bubs doesn’t soak their little outfit! A range of different spoons and utensils also comes in handy, as some times it’s easier to use a long handled spoon if I myself am feeding bubs, as opposed to the thick, chunky spoons they can use to self feed. Also, spillproof sippy cups and nonslip bowls and plates!
13. If you were to do it all again, what would you do differently?
This time around, I’m trying to introduce and keep with good healthy foods and variety, so as to reduce pickiness later on. I am trying to Meal Plan as well to make it a lot easier on myself rather than making different meals. So far it’s hard going though!
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! I’ve heard many mums worrying about how little their baby is trying, or how hard it is to get them to eat, but love the thought of “food under one is just for fun” as a mantra. Yes, baby does need to start solids because of that whole iron thing, but pushing them to try more, or consume more can be more harmful to their experience and make it harder for you and them. Let them play with their food as paint, and chances are, they will be more prone to eat it. And each child is different with their intake and interests, so try to figure out what works best for your child!
Thank you so much to Amanda for joining us!
You can find Amanda at: