Harriet Westcott is a mum of three and the Owner of Cover Me Baby (www.covermebaby.co.uk) – who sell award-winning multi-use baby covers that can be used to breastfeed or express under. Here, she offers some early weaning ideas.
As a mum of three, I have experienced a weaning hat trick and each child presented me with new challenges and experiences. So from one mum to another, here is some of what I learnt.
With child number one, weaning is super exciting. You want to get all prepared and organised, and spend ages deciding which foods you are going to start with: you debate whether to do baby-led weaning or purees, and what highchair should you buy? Just as you did for your newborn there is the temptation to go out and buy everything. But just start with the basics: a highchair, bib, plastic spoons and bowls, and wait and see what you need as you go along. Speak to friends who have already weaned their children and use things that you already have at home. The best things I ever used were ice cube trays and an old shower curtain! The ice cube trays were great for freezing small amounts of purees that can be defrosted quickly and the shower curtain was great under the highchair to protect the floor from all the mess…and believe me, there will be mess.
Now that you have some of the equipment, what are you actually going to feed them? As baby brain prevented me from making any kind of concrete decision in the early days, I decided to do a mixture of baby-led weaning and purees. I would puree some vegetables or fruit and then give them a stick of cucumber or a rice cakes to hold, put in their hair, drop on the floor or stick up their nose. This way I knew that they were eating something but they were also getting the opportunity to feed themselves too.
The one thing that bothered me in these early days was the sheer amount of effort that would go into one dish; the peeling, the chopping, the steaming, and the pureeing. And all this effort only for my children to spit it out and grimace. It was so disheartening! What can you make with three ice cube trays of pureed sweet potato and broccoli? Some of my NCT friends felt the same so we came up with a plan. What if we all cooked a different recipes and had regular weaning parties? This way our children got to try lots of different tastes and textures and the recipes that our children liked we could cook again at home. We tried all sorts of things: courgettes, muffins, spinach tart, butternut squash pancakes and quinoa balls. Some were more successful than others but some of these recipes I still use today!
So enjoy those early weaning days and have fun experimenting with different foods and recipes.
I weaned all of my children in the same way but of course, that all turned out differently. My six-year-old is still pretty fussy and hates stuff with sauce, my three-year-old will eat it if the six-year-old is eating it and my one-year-old is still making up her mind about the whole thing. I wish you the best of luck on your weaning journey!