I am delighted to introduce Michael from This Real Life Dad on the blog today talking about his family’s weaning experience with his son Arran so far. Weaning is lovely, but can be a tricky time for all parents, with some babies loving their food, and some not so much. I remember religiously sticking to Annabel Karmel recipes and worrying about choking. As parents we all get excited about new phases and developments, and here Michael tells us about his weaning journey.
My son Arran is 7 and a half months old and we’ve been weaning him for the last few months.
I’d like to start by saying he is our second child and our approach has been very different this time round. With Alba, our first child, we were very regimented with our approach to weaning. We used the Annabel Karmel baby led weaning book as a bible.
This time round we’ve been a lot more relaxed in our methods. This is mainly because he is our second child, so naturally you’re slightly more relaxed. But also, like everything else over the last few months, my illness got in the way and has made life harder for me and my family. The daily trips back and forth to the hospital, which coincided with the start of us weaning, made it very hard to be as strict this time around.
For the first few months Arran was 95% breastfed. We like to introduce one bottle in the evening from an early age. For us this gave Mum a break, let me bond with the baby and also gets them use to taking both. Alba took one bottle a day from about 2 weeks without any problems. However, Arran struggled for such a long time. We tried various bottles, formula and teets but nothing worked. He just wanted the boob.
Then out of nowhere around 4 months old he finally managed one type of bottle. From that point he found the transition between bottle and breast too hard. After he took a bottle. Although my wife loved the bond of breastfeeding she found breastfeeding a 2nd child with a 2 year old not as enjoyable as she did 1st time. Especially with our hungry horrice who had started feeding every hour of the day and night. We didn’t feel it was fair on our toddler so switched to formula. Happy mum, happy baby and even Alba got to help.
Start of weaning
We started weaning from about 5 and a half months. Similar to our first we tried Arran with baby rice in the morning. He took to eating and being spoon fed so well and made the transition so easy for us. We continued with the baby rice and porridge too for about 2 weeks. He was managing really healthy sized portions so from roughly 6 months we started to introduce a puree meal every day. We started with some fruit purees around late lunchtime. Trying a different taste every few days.
So he’d still be having his baby rice in the morning, a fruit puree in the afternoon and all his regular bottles throughout the day.
It was obvious he quickly wanted more and more, so I’d say within maybe another 2 weeks he was having 3 meals and a few snacks in between too. It was around this time that meats and fish were slowly introduced for his evening meals. These were still pureed but not as smoothly so he got use to different tastes and textures.
He must take after his Dad as he ate everything and also managed with the different consistencies of the meals no problem. Most days finishing everything and looking for more. This experience was completely different from weaning Alba. She did eat well and eat most things to begin with but was always satisfied with what she was offered. Arran seems to want to eat a lot more frequently and larger portions.
For snacks between meals we’ve tried Arran with lots of finger foods. He absolutely loves to hold onto his food and get very messy. These finger foods were anything from toast, carrot sticks, sweet potato or more biscuit type finger foods. We’ve been very fortunate with his eating, to date I don’t think he’s refused anything we’ve given him yet. His favourite meals are sweet potato or apple.
So from 6-7 months old he was trying all sorts of foods; he was having 3 meals, 2 snacks in between and a few bottles too. Most meals were home-made, but unlike with Alba, this time for ease and lack of time we’ve also used Cow & Gate jars and we love the Aldi Mamia range of products too.
He is now 7 and half months old. He’s starting to cut back on his bottles a lot. We still offer them to him but depending on his mood he sometimes takes a little amount before spitting it out to let us know he’s had enough. More recently we have started to introduce a little baby led weaning, offering him the same foods as we’re having to try. We would give him his normal meal. Then give him a little bit of our meal to try and mostly play with. Which he loves.
So that’s what stage we are at now, so far everything has been such a breeze. It might be down to our slightly more relaxed approach this time. Or it may just be that he loves his food. But compared to his older sister, who is nearly 3 and is a very fussy eater, we are very glad that everything to date has been so easy and relaxed. Long may it continue.
Thanks for reading,
This real life Dad xx