I’m a Mum of two and an Auntie of three.
I had no idea as a new Mum about what to do or expect as a new Mum and learnt a lot on the job. I didn’t have a friend who had a baby I could “practice” with. I probably would have run a mile if I did! To be honest, I was happily pregnant but horribly fearful of babies.
How would I know what to do?
How would I know what was wanted and needed of me?
I read plenty of books, discussed and absorbed advice and asked some questions when needed. I didn’t follow one set book or guide to babies. I absorbed the bits I liked and followed my daughter’s lead. She was very much the boss. But she was a very easy baby. I was lucky.
I know all babies are unique and not one guide fixes all problems. There is no one help guide that works for all babies. I love sharing what worked with my lovely Mummy friends and exchanging news on the grapevine of new ideas and recommendations that we’ve all stumbled upon.
When weaning popped up with my eldest I was at a total loss. I had had a hard time breast-feeding and had only just come to terms that it’s just not always possible for some Mums. Suddenly I realised friends had their puree’s pots and plastic spoons at the ready. I was still happy in my newly settled world of teats, milk and sterilising.
So again I read, You tubed, read some more and discussed with my partner how we should par-take in our newest editions feeding regime. I am a Baby Led Weaning Mummy. I swear by it. But then again I didn’t try anything else. So my tips are based around my own little system.
So here are my tips to a stress free start to feeding, from one Mum to another.
- Introduce one meal at a time. I found lunchtime best, as baby wasn’t too tired. We planned it slap bang in the middle of milk feeds so that baby wasn’t cranky and hungry.
- Don’t expect baby to eat much to start. Even at all.
- Introduce one food at a time. We started with steamed courgette. And then introduced other steamed vegetables.
- If BLWing cut food into BIG chunks. Bigger then you think. If baby holds the end with their clumsy hand it needs to be twice as long as that or their hands will be covering all the food.
- Be ready for mess! From experience everything will become covered in food. Including you!
- I know it is difficult but encourage baby to play with their food. Let them squelch, press and mush as much as they like. I mean with hands AND mouth!
- If baby pulls a face while eating it does not mean she doesn’t like it. They have had the same flavour milk forever so the funny expression on their face is them simply a surprised face by the texture and taste.
- If baby doesn’t like it one day doesn’t mean they won’t like it the day after, or the day after that! They may just be having an off day.
- Baby only wants one thing in front of them at a time. Anything else will be too much to understand and he/she will probably reject it off the plate or highchair. So edit back to offer minimal amounts and then when they have eaten/squashed that offer more. Always have more to offer.
- I personally never make my children have “just one more mouthful”. If they are done then who I am to tell them to eat more. I read somewhere children are the best judges of knowing when they are full.
- Every Mum worries about gagging and choking. If you let your baby feed themselves there is less risk of gagging as baby is in control. Be brave. The gag reflex is there is protect a baby from choking. When you first start weaning a babies gag reflex is towards the front of the month so gagging will happen. It gradually moves back as baby gets older.
- Try and let baby be in charge. We wouldn't like to have food put in our mouths without knowing if it is too hot or cold, bitter or sweet. It's the same for baby.
- AND MOST importantly make dinnertime social. Eat with baby. And eat something similar to baby. How will they learn how to chew, swallow, and actually put the food in their mouth if they don’t have someone to copy! Use it as a special time to interact with baby. A time to chat and be together and learn a new skill together.
*Our meal boards really help make meal times stress free. They are heavier then weaning plates and therefore harder to throw on the floor. There is a little hole a perfect size to fit a dippy egg.
They come in lots of cheeky animals. Come and take a peek!