Posted on February 16, 2011

The Weaning Factors By Kerry

Guest post/ weaning

A fab guest post on weaning for you this morning by Kerry of
Thanks Kerry x

The Weaning Factors
The saying that all babies are different it is none too true when it comes to weaning. Second time round I was under the silly illusion that it would be a breeze. I was wrong, but reflecting on my lessons, next time round I would play it very differently. As a Mummy of three under two and half, (my toddler son and boy and girl twins of 17 months), I have since had time to conjure what I consider to be the ‘Weaning Factors’ that make the process fun, enjoyable and stress free.
  1. Acceptance
It is going to happen! Splats, splutters, mess and goo are all to be expected! Protect and prepare, do not wear your favourite cream top and maybe put some kind of covering on the floor if it is not wipeable!
  1. Patience
It is a slow process. Little and often is better than huge portions and it can take half an hour in the beginning to get down what looks like two teaspoons of food, of which you are not totally convinced of how much they have eaten!
  1. Preparation
When you feel the time is right to wean start collecting thing together. Plastic freezer pots and ice cube trays (pound shops do these, so check there first before spending a fortune.) A grater, blender or smoothie maker, masher, lots of bibs, cloths to wipe up mess, and a good chopping knife! If you are prepared it will take away some of the stress.
  1. A good recipe book/weaning guide.
I used Annabel Karmel because it was recommended and handed down to me but use whoever you feel comfortable with and check some of the recipes out first. It is all very well trying your baby on every type of food, but if it is not food you eat regularly then it might not fit into family eating later on anyway!
  1. Cheat!
Don’t be scared to have a few jars in cupboard, ready for those days when you just don’t have the time, energy or inclination to be a super mum. They are nutritionally balanced and if your child loves them, great!
  1. Trust your judgement
There seems to be a lot of pressure on when to wean. My oldest boy was a very hungry baby and I started weaning him at five months. I don’t think I could have waited longer without it upsetting his sleep. With the twins however, (because they were early) I was warned to not to wean too soon and so left them later – till seven months. On reflection I think I left it too long because it took them ages to get used to have anything thicker than milk in their mouths. Remember you know your baby so trust your instinct.
  1. Seating
Decide where to feed, bouncer, bumbo or highchair and start to make that routine. They pick up quickly on what is happening and if they are placed somewhere and a bib is put on it gives them the cues that food is coming!
  1. Don’t panic!
I always felt my stress levels raise when the babies would not eat something, especially if I had slaved away over it! The key is to remember that some days we are hungrier than others and this is true of babies too. Don’t right off the food, thinking they don’t like it, come back to it another day. Try not to offer too many alternatives, as they click on quickly that something better might be on offer, and finally don’t panic that they will starve. If they skip a meal it is not the end of the world and only makes them hungrier for the next. Things that can affect appetite I found were teething, temperature and strangely if they had a dirty or wet nappy, they would not eat!
This is by no means a set of rules to follow, just hopefully some helpful guidelines as to what I would do next time round! I hope I remember to read this. Just try to sit back and relax and enjoy this stage as one of the many firsts you little one will accomplish!

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