Weaning: Our Journey so far….

Weaning. That time I dreamed about after months and months of exclusive breastfeeding, with a little one that would not take a bottle. I was excited about weaning it would give my husband a chance to feed her, and hopefully respite for me from breastfeeding. We started weaning just over 2 months ago when our little was 5 and half months, as she started showing the classic first signs that she was ready:

  • Hands in mouth
  • Toys in mouth
  • Grabbing food of my plate
  • Really interested in what we were eating

Her first tastes of food were pureed carrot, pureed pear and pureed apple. Obviously the sweet fruit went down much better than the carrot.

Our Approach

I decided to go with a combination of traditional weaning (spoon-feeding) and baby-led weaning, spoon-feeding so I was sure that she getting food in, and baby-led so that she would learn all about different food textures and learn how to feed herself. For the first few weeks I focused solely on spoon-feeding, by trying to introduce a variety of different flavours and then once she was 6 months old I started to introduce finger food at meal times too. At about a month in I found that milk feedsย started to drop. Our eating plan for the day looks a little like this:

  • Breastfeed
  • Breakfast – We offer her Weetabix or Porridge, usually with toast as a finger food.
  • Nap
  • Snack – Either this is a muffin or rice cake. She loves the Organix Carrot Sticks (I’ve not seen a baby who doesn’t).
  • Lunch – Often this is pureed vegetables, with breadsticks, pitta bread, falafel as finger food.
  • Breastfeed
  • Snack –ย This could be cheese on toast, or another topping.
  • Dinner – I try to feed her with what we are eating for dinner. She loves a lot of tomato based foods – chilli, spag bol, and pasta. I have found that she loves the Sainsburys Alphabet pasta.
  • A little bit of porridge before bed, this is my ploy to get her to sleep longer.
  • Breastfeed
  • Bed

I offer water throughout the day, with all meals and snacks. I have a Tommee Tippee straw cup and find that she drinks about 5oz, I don’t think that this is enough so I’m trying to up her water intake.

The preparation

I initially thought that we would go down the baby-led weaning route, and purchased the Baby-Led Weaning book by Gill Rapley. This books contains loads of recipes that are suitable for the whole family to enjoy, and are delicious too even without salt and sugar. Even though we are going with a more traditional approach the book is brilliant at providing recipe ideas, and food to feed your baby.

I find that a lot of my time especially at the weekend goes into thinking about food for our little one, and preparing food. I purchased the larger food trays, tuppaware and freezer bags, and dedicated a whole draw in our freezer to food for our little one. Where possible I try to portion out part of our meal and make smaller meals for her, or I will batch cook at the weekend and freeze a lot of mini portions.

My weaning learnings:

  • Take your baby’s lead sometimes they are hungry and sometimes not, she may want a full Weetabix one day and then none the next. I’m trying not to have too many expectations on how much she will eat in one day. Like us sometimes we eat a lot and sometimes we eat a little. It can be disheartening when you’ve spent hours make her food for it to be thrown on the floor or refused.
  • I offer water with all meals and snacks. Just like food, she will either take loads or very little.
  • We have definitely cut down on breastfeeding from about 8/9 feeds in the daytime (not nighttime) to 3/4 feeds. I can see that these will only drop further as she learns that food relieves her hunger.
  • If all food fails to go into the mouth, yogurt is a winner. I seem to get through a big tub every couple of days. The good thing about yogurt is you can hide fruit in it.
  • Preparation is key, I often find that I don’t know what to feed my daughter or I’m feeding her the same thing over again and again, and not offering enough variety.
  • Have plenty of space in your freezer for lots of small pots of tuppaware, and freezer bags of food. Make sure that these are labelled, as in the early days everything was blended and orange.
  • Most importantly I have learnt to stick to what feels right, and not to put too much pressure on myself. She will learn to eat by herself, and will not be breastfeeding forever.

Weaning: Next steps

The next steps for me are to continue with our routine, and to eventually start phasing out breastfeeding. What is key for me is I need to offer her more variety of food including fish (which I don’t eat myself), and start to let her use a spoon. I also need to up her water intake too. I hope that by the age of 1 in August she is nearly fully weaned – things are definitely moving in the right direction currently.

I would love to hear about your weaning journey.

Hope you enjoyed reading.

Claire x

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Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

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53 Comments

  1. Debs April 2, 2016 / 9:26 am

    Sounds like you have a great weaning plan ๐Ÿ™‚ We will be on yoghurts soon too ๐Ÿ™‚

    I had a v similar plan with my first little boy and have started weaning my 2nd baby boy 2 weeks ago. His favourite so far is pureed pear with baby rice & breastmilk and loves pear, banana and toast fingers too. Oh and we tried a blueberry rice cracker for the 1st time yesterday. I think he finds the pureรฉ a bit boring some days but with no teeth as yet and he’s just 6.5 months I’m holding off a little longer on lumpier food. We’re just taking each day as it comes really! I love our Feeding your Baby & Toddler book by Annabel Karmel – some great recipies in here. Good luck with it all! xx

  2. min1980 April 2, 2016 / 9:32 am

    You don’t want to know about our weaning journey, I promise you that. I’m pretty sure that Piglet is regressing and well on his way to a career shocking audiences on This Morning as the world’s only exclusively breastfed adult. I started off with all the good intentions, followed all the guidelines and purchased every book I could get my hands on, but he was having none of it. Hopefully one day it will all work out, and he won’t end up eating only foods of a particular colour, or something. #justanotherlinky

  3. Squirmy Popple April 2, 2016 / 7:22 pm

    Good tips! I kind of wish we had included more spoon feeding at the beginning of weaning – baby-led weaning has been great for the Popple, but it makes it hard to feed her softer foods. I usually put them on toast or a tortilla so she can feed herself. Sometimes she’ll take food from a spoon if I pre-load it and hand it to her, but more often than not, the spoon ends up on the floor. I’m trying not to worry too much if she doesn’t eat much one day (or get annoyed when she throws the meal I’ve lovingly prepared off her tray), but it’s hard because she’s so petite and I’m a bit obsessed with her weight.

  4. Coombe Mill April 2, 2016 / 11:55 pm

    Sounds like you have got things sorted and a good little eater there too. I remember mine starting so well then as soon as I introduces yogurts and fruit the veg were immediately less popular, hopefully this won’t be the case for you. #KCACOLS

    • The Pramshed April 3, 2016 / 7:09 pm

      Thanks for your lovely comment, we’ve had a few issues with teething the past few days resulting in only yogurt being consumed for 3 days! I think that she is now back on track ๐Ÿ™‚ I keep thinking she won’t eat yogurt and fruit forever. Thanks for reading and commenting. Claire x

  5. nsalama1 April 3, 2016 / 12:55 am

    Sounds like you’re doing an amazing job and offering your baby a great variety of different food with a variety of textures, tastes and nutrients. I’m sure lots of mothers will find your schedule and suggestions very helpful – I know I would have a few years ago! Found your post at #KCACOLS

    Nicole | The Professional Mom Project

    • The Pramshed April 3, 2016 / 7:10 pm

      Thank you that is so nice for you to say that, I had no idea how to fit in the food with breastfeeding – it did feel like I was constantly feeding her every hour, but once you’ve been doing it a few days you figure out what works. Thank you for reading and commenting on my post. Claire x

  6. To Arizona......and beyond April 3, 2016 / 12:37 pm

    Brilliant advice! It sounds like you’re offering a great range of foods and they’re being well accepted. We have a problem now with “freezer roulette” with our own meals, not quite being able to work out what somethings are, so labeling everything clearly is a great tip!

    • The Pramshed April 3, 2016 / 7:11 pm

      Ha ha – we were playing lucky dip with the freezer! It’s funny how everything looked the same in the beginning, now that she is on a wider variety of food it’s starting to look a bit different. Thanks for reading and commenting on my post. Claire x

  7. mumzilla April 3, 2016 / 6:49 pm

    I loved the weaning stage (washing aside) I used to cook up a big batch of bolognese, leaving the mince chunky, then set aside portions for Rian before I put seasoning in for us. There’s nothing better than a bolognese-orange baby face #KCACOLS

    • The Pramshed April 3, 2016 / 7:12 pm

      This is exactly what we’re doing with chilli, thai green curry and beef casserole. Pasta bolognese seems to be a winner so far. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Claire x

  8. bridiebythesea April 3, 2016 / 8:51 pm

    Sounds like you’re doing a fab job – our journey so far (E is almost 1 year old) has been up and down…it started really well but she would only eat very smooth purees but loved butternut squash & carrot and potato, spinach and parsnip. Then we progressed to more textures like sweet potato mash and apple / bolognaise and she struggled a bit. I even remember a two week period where she only wanted to eat yoghurt! Now she’s doing really well and loves any kind of risotto & pasta with tomato, courgette and carrot blended sauce, and also loves the Organix carrot stix and blackberries. Hope it continues to go well, weaning is tricky but I’m sure they all get there in the end – Bridget x

    • The Pramshed April 4, 2016 / 7:01 am

      That’s brilliant that you moved from purees to proper food, it’s stressful for us parents when our little ones don’t eat especially when other babies around you are all eating full meals. Currently we are in an “only eating yoghurt” phase but I think that this is because she’s teething. Your comment gives me confidence that she will move out of it – she won’t be eating yoghurt for the rest of her life. Thanks for your lovely comment and for reading. Claire x

      • bridiebythesea April 4, 2016 / 7:08 am

        The yoghurt phase definitely happens with the teething…I also noticed a huge difference when she got her first 2 teeth, even though HV said she can use her gums. The good thing is that as soon as the teething passed, she was back to eating normally so quickly…I was quite surprised xx

  9. crummymummy1 April 4, 2016 / 7:35 am

    We did baby led weaning two times round and it was the best route for us – especially as they feed themselves so you can multitask and get other things done while they eat! #KCACOLS

    • The Pramshed April 4, 2016 / 7:42 am

      Thank you, I can understand this and less time consuming that purees and spoon feeding. Thanks for reading and commenting. Claire x

  10. An imperfect Mum (@animperfectmum) April 4, 2016 / 10:30 am

    What a great variety of food Claire. Both of mine were spoon feed but I always gave the bread and snacks to feed themselves like pear pieces. My eldest was always easy to feed but the youngest was and remains a nightmare. I like your advice about following their lead. I certainly do that with my little man. I offer him regular healthy snacks.

    • The Pramshed April 4, 2016 / 11:04 am

      Thanks for the comment Catie, it’s the feeding for themselves that I’m finding particularly challenging as it always goes on the floor. It’s funny how they put every toy in their mouths but not food. Thanks for commenting and reading my post. Claire xx

  11. Adventures with J April 4, 2016 / 10:32 am

    Sounds like you are doing a fabulous job! Well done! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Wow – clearly J needs to drink a lot more water as he doesn’t drink 5oz in a day… I love the hiding fruit in yoghurt idea! J loves the supermarket own brand of cheerios (less sugar in own brands) for breakfast and they are great for co-ordination. #bigpinklive

    • The Pramshed April 4, 2016 / 11:10 am

      Ooh I hadn’t thought of that I’ll check out that cereal. At the moment she’s only drinking about 2oz of water, but hardly having any milk in the day, so I’m a little concerned that she’s not getting enough fluid. But she seems fine, so I’m sure it’s all ok. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Claire x

  12. Katy (@hotpinkwellies) April 4, 2016 / 11:50 am

    I was really keen on Baby Led Weaning too, but like you I ended up doing more of a combination approach. It was quickly clear that although Max loved food, he just didn’t have the hand control to pick up small bits of food, and certainly couldn’t use a spoon for quite a long time. I found that with the water that Max started to drink a lot more after he turned 1 – I used to worry about how much water he drank all the time but I just remembered reading your comment – I’d forgotten it was ever an issue for us! It sounds like your weaning journey is going really well – we’ve now definitely hit the ‘fussy toddler’ eating stage, I can’t believe I used to have the baby who would eat anything! #bigpinklink

    • The Pramshed April 4, 2016 / 7:37 pm

      Oh no I didn’t realise there was a fussy eating stage, hopefully we won’t have too many problems with that. Our daughter is really not getting on to well with feeding herself, it gets tasted or doesn’t, and then get thrown straight on the floor. I’m being persistent with it, so hoping that she will be keener to feed herself. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Claire x

  13. whitecamellias April 4, 2016 / 3:15 pm

    It sounds great Claire! I think you are doing a fab job.
    Like you I weaned both my children with a mix of traditional and baby led methods and it worked really well. Both my children have always had big appetites so for me the weaning process was pretty straight forward. I used to make mini savoury/fruity muffins and banana and oat cookies for them and they used to love that. Maybe your little one would enjoy that? Pat xx
    #bigpinklink

    • The Pramshed April 4, 2016 / 7:40 pm

      Thanks for your comment Pat, that great that both traditional and baby-led worked for you. We’ve given savoury muffins a go, the cheese and spinach ones that are in the Gill Rapley book and sadly so far they have been thrown on the floor. I have stocks in the freezer so I’m going to keep trying – she will eat. Thank you so much for reading and commenting, and sharing on Twitter. Claire x

  14. babiesbiscuitsandbooze April 4, 2016 / 5:04 pm

    This is really interesting. We will be at this stage soon so it’s great to read someone else’s experiences. I think being relaxed about it is key – sounds like most babies don’t take to food that easily so it’s important not to stress too much! #bigpinklink

    • The Pramshed April 4, 2016 / 7:41 pm

      Yes being relaxed is definitely key, I also heard try not to put too much pressure on yourself and baby, otherwise it’ll just become a stressful experience. I hope that your weaning journey goes well for you and your little one. Claire x

  15. Double the Monkey Business April 4, 2016 / 7:15 pm

    Sounds like you are doing a great job, with a lot of variety! I also remember giving the kids fish, which is not one of my favourites either. I am quite glad that they share my dislike of mushrooms though ๐Ÿ™‚ x

    • Double the Monkey Business April 4, 2016 / 7:15 pm

      sorry popping in from #bigpinklink

    • The Pramshed April 4, 2016 / 7:44 pm

      Ha ha I hadn’t thought of that, I also have a dislike for mushrooms too! I’ve not tried the fish yet, it was one of my to-dos this week. I’ll let you know how I get on. Thanks for reading and commenting. Claire x

  16. Someone's Mum April 4, 2016 / 7:12 pm

    You sound very organised! ๐Ÿ™‚ I found my two weaning journeys to be very different. My boy was generally pretty easy and ate whatever you gave him, though he is much fussier now. My daughter would not eat much at all until nearer a year and refused spoon feeds and baby led approach. She’s just now starting to eat more but is fiercely independent and won’t let me spoon feed her at all. #bigpinklink

    • The Pramshed April 4, 2016 / 7:44 pm

      Oh wow they are both very different, it’s amazing how different each child can be. Thanks for saying I’m organised, although trying to stay on top of it and provide a variety has been quite tricky. I hope that your daughter starts to eat more soon for you. Thank you for reading and commenting. Claire x

  17. Something Crunchy Mummy April 4, 2016 / 8:54 pm

    Sounds like your doing great. I found weaning so much fun and loved it. Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky xx

  18. pinkpearbear April 4, 2016 / 9:22 pm

    Oh I remember these days well. Once I was feeding my son whilst eating a baguette over his head and he didn’t take his eyes off it, kept trying to grab it, he was so ready! Messy times for you then? ๐Ÿ˜€ Yoghurt is amazing but sooooo spread-y! We did a bit of both too. Lots of toast fingers. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for linking up with us! #bigpinklink

    • The Pramshed April 5, 2016 / 7:31 am

      It is so messy, I feel like I’m constantly cleaning the floor and the highchair. You know when they’re ready, our little one shoved a chip in her mouth at 5 months of my plate in a pub. We got through another tub of yoghurt yesterday, hopefully she’ll start to eat more “food” today. Thanks for hosting this fab Linky for another week. Claire xx

  19. Clare April 4, 2016 / 10:08 pm

    This is a really great post Claire, and sounds like things are going well! I never really thought about things when it came to weaning my three, I think I am too laid back sometimes lol! Thank you so much for linking up to #KCACOLS Hope you come back again next Sunday xx

    • The Pramshed April 5, 2016 / 7:32 am

      Thank you, I think sometimes that it’s better not to really think about it – to avoid the stress and pressure. I hope you had a great weaning experience with your little ones. Thanks for co-hosting a fab Linky, I’ll try to be back on Sunday but I’m away with no wi-fi ๐Ÿ™ so I might have a little break for 1 week. Claire x

  20. mewifepamum April 4, 2016 / 11:38 pm

    The teething plus yoghurt and fruit comment made me laugh! We’ve been living off the same for the last few days as I am sure tooth number 3 is on its way. Love your post, love how relaxed you are too. Definitely the best way forward! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • The Pramshed April 5, 2016 / 7:34 am

      Aww thank you that has made my morning! We got through another tub of yoghurt yesterday, I have none left so breakfast had better be eaten. Teething definitely has an impact, our little one has cut two teeth in the last couple of days. Hopefully now she’ll move onto other foods. Thank you for reading and commenting. Claire x

  21. Azaria April 5, 2016 / 12:02 pm

    Sounds like you have a fab routine down! We have strictly BLW as Ailsa just doesn’t open her mouth if we try and spoon feed and she has alwasy been that way but we are quite happy with it. Since hitting around 10/11 months she has started to use a spoon and fork herself and even though she ends up covered can quite happily feed herself a small bowl of Greek yoghurt. She has gradually increased how much she eats but still has quite a number of breastfeeds through the day as she is such a boob monster. Some days you will find she eats more than others and that is completely normal.

    Azaria
    #KCACOLS

    • The Pramshed April 5, 2016 / 8:13 pm

      That’s brilliant that BLW worked for you and that your starting to reap the rewards. I’m sure the number of breastfeeds will start to reduce naturally too. Thanks for reading and commenting. Claire x

  22. occupation:(m)other April 5, 2016 / 3:01 pm

    We did a combo too…like you we very much took our baby’s lead in both areas which I think is importnwt. We have patches of ‘fussiness’ (more now he’s a toddler) but I think he has a good relationship with food and no anxiety about mealtimes. Sounds like you are flying…a relaxed approach (as far as we as parents can be relaxed when we’re wondering if they’re getting all the goodness etc!!) is fab. #bigpinklink

    • The Pramshed April 5, 2016 / 8:14 pm

      All is going well, she is now back on food after a brief spell on just yoghurt. But more than not I’m taking her lead, and letting her choose how much she has. Thanks for reading and commenting. Claire x

  23. Hannah G, The 'Ordinary' Mum April 5, 2016 / 8:12 pm

    Sounds like your weaning adventure is going really well. Our tiny tots just coming up to 5 months so won’t be long before we start the weaning journey again! I did mainly purees with our first but think I will more finger foods this time around. Definitely going to use some of your meal suggestions, and buy more tupperware too (Thanks for the reminder!) #bigpinklink x

    • The Pramshed April 5, 2016 / 8:15 pm

      Thank you, it is going well, I need to introduce more finger foods so that she gets used to holding the food and feeling different textures. I hope that your weaning journey goes well for you. Thank you for reading and commenting. Claire x

      • Hannah G, The 'Ordinary' Mum April 5, 2016 / 8:17 pm

        Our toddler took a while to get used to finger foods so don’t worry if it doesn’t happen right away ๐Ÿ™‚ Sounds like she’s doing wonderfully x

  24. Silly Mummy April 7, 2016 / 12:02 am

    Sounds like a good little eater! My eldest was really easy to wean, youngest much less so. #bigpinklink

    • The Pramshed April 7, 2016 / 6:45 am

      Thank you, we are back to normal now after 3 days of only yoghurt being consumed. Thanks for reading and commenting. Claire x

  25. littlepetalblog April 15, 2016 / 2:12 pm

    Your routine sounds very similar to ours! I also did a mixture of blw and spoon feeding as I felt it worked best for us!
    We are down to 3 breastfeeds as my daughter is 9 1/2 months. I introduced a bottle in the afternoon but I am really struggling to get her to take it! I’d like to start phasing out breastfeeding completely and switch to bottle/cup in the next few months.
    Well done on a super organised approach! X

    • The Pramshed April 15, 2016 / 6:41 pm

      That’s great to hear that you are down to 3 feeds a day, I’m currently trying to reduce the number of feeds we are down to about 4/5 in the day now alongside 3 meals and 2 snacks. I’m trying to stop feeding as much as I am, so that she takes in more food. I’m glad that you found an approach that worked for you, and thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my blog post. Claire x

  26. Motherhood IRL April 17, 2016 / 12:51 pm

    Oh, weaning! My second one has been a nightmare. When we started out he would happily eat my home purรฉed pears, apples, banana, etc. I can’t even tell you how many different veggies I prepared for him that were refused over and over and over again. I had some success mixing them with fruit. In the end, I stuck to purรฉed fruit and offering pouches or jars with veggies because he would actually eat them. It’s worth mentioning that he didn’t even get his first tooth until he was 15 months old, so the baby-led approach wasn’t much of an option for us with no chompers. But he’s getting there and happily feeds himself now. He still likes a lot of his food mushed up though. Sigh. #KCACOLS

    • The Pramshed April 17, 2016 / 8:34 pm

      Thank you Davina for your lovely comment. I’m glad that you’re getting there, I sometimes have to say to myself she will eat eventually. I’m glad that the purees and vegetables worked for you, my motto is it doesn’t matter if you make it or if you buy it, if what works for you and that they are healthy. Claire x

  27. Sara - Babycup Ltd June 10, 2016 / 11:57 pm

    Hi Claire. Great article! Your little one is a lucky bean to have such a thoughtful and gentle mamma. And I completely agree with you about not putting too much pressure on yourself. That’s so important. I’d like to get in touch with you. Plaese can you let me know the best email address to contact you on? Thanks, Sara hello@babycup.co.uk

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