Please note, this post does not constitute advice, instead it is our own journey so far.
In the UK, the NHS advice for weaning your little one is to start weaning once they hit the 6 month mark as this is usually when they are showing all of the signs of being ready to start eating. The signs to look out for that your baby is ready to start solid foods include:
- Able to sit up by themselves
- Able to hold food and coordinate hands and mouth
- Showing an interest in your food.
There are generally two camps that advice falls into – purees or baby-led weaning, and a lot of people, like us, use both!
Baby Led Weaning (BLW) is a way of feeding that offers finger foods to your little one, and bypassing the mushy puree stage completely. There are arguments for and against both types of feeding, but for me, the idea behind BLW that your little one is autonomous around food and learns to feed themselves and enjoy food appeals much more. Generally it also means only cooking once too. Plus, I am insanely lazy and the idea of making and freezing purees just turns me right off!
However, we do use ready made purees from Ella’s Kitchen (and others) for ease when out and about and if our meal isn’t suitable (hello Golden Arches!) for him. We added the purees in after a few weeks of feeding solid food. Generally our little one much prefers to feed himself.
We are very much working on the idea that his food is fun and eating is fun. We make it a pretty chilled affair, focusing on one main meal a day at the moment. For us, that is our evening meal so that Daddy can be involved.
Baby loves water too, and his favourite part of the meal is when he helps himself to his cup of water. We’re using an open cup, which is obviously a huge mess, but the grin on his face makes it all worthwhile.
This isn’t an advice post, but the following are our first learnings and tips are as follows:
- Don’t compare yourself to the families – I can’t emphasise this enough! It’s just not worth it, you are doing what is right for you and your family.
- Deep breath and be ready for the mess – whichever version of weaning you are doing it will get messy!
- If you are concerned about allergies, read up on the best approach
- Adult food needs salt – add it at the table!
- Create a happy environment for eating in – it’s good for everyone
- No phones at the table – this is hard because your little will look adorable covered in food, but it means a lot to all just be in the moment. We’ve taken a few pictures but its so much more about time together for us.
What are your top tips for starting solids with your baby?