So it’s that time. Your baby is ready to try their first tastes of food and you are wondering How to start weaning your baby. Weaning is a big step and it can be daunting. You’ve only just got your head around night feeds and nap time! But it is also exciting. If you follow your natural instincts and your baby’s lead, it will be lots of fun and you’ll soon feel HiPP.
What is feeling HiPP? It’s finding fun in the little things. Doing things your way. Letting your baby lead the way with new tastes, because feeling good on the inside means feeling great on the outside. HiPP Organic want to give Mums and Dads the confidence to do things their way, to follow their instincts. To have fun and be confident in their choices. HiPP Organic have always followed their instincts, working with nature to produce nutritious, organic ingredients.
The department of health recommends you wait until your baby is six months old before weaning, but some babies are ready a little earlier than that. Today I am sharing with you how I weaned my baby, Maeve. This is OUR weaning journey. Every baby is different. You don’t need to follow this to the letter. You will soon see what works for you and your baby. The most important thing is to RELAX, go at your baby’s pace, take your time and enjoy it together.
Where to start?
I started to wean Maeve at 5 months old. Up until that point she had been exclusively breast fed, because she was breast fed I didn’t know exactly how much milk she was having. I only knew that she took as much as she needed, there was peace of mind in that at least! This made it easier to wean her as I knew that no matter how much ‘proper food’ she ate she would just drink more or less breast milk to compensate.
There are so many ways to wean your baby but I started by feeding Maeve purees. I made my own purees by cooking and blending fresh vegetables which I would then freeze to use later on. I liked to keep my puree recipes really simple. A few favourites were sweet potato, pea and spinach, butter bean, carrot and parsnip. I have shared recipes for some of the purees I have made here. I found it really easy to make purees, especially as I could batch cook and freeze them for Maeve to eat later. I liked knowing exactly what went into the purees and what my baby was eating.
I started by feeding Maeve puree at dinner time, for us this is 5pm. I found this a good time to start weaning as it meant we all sat down together to eat. Rosalie was 2 and a half at the time and I felt it was really important for us all to be eating together as a family as soon as possible. It also meant that Maeve had a long breast feed not long after at 7pm before bed. This helped as I was never really sure how much puree Maeve actually ate. It meant I didn’t need to worry as she would shortly be having a breast feed. Dinner was always followed by bath time which was ideal as weaning gets very messy!!
If you don’t have the time to make purees yourself there are lots of ready made purees on the market. I always made sure I had a stash of HiPP Organic pouches for when I needed to feed Maeve quickly. I ALWAYS took puree pouches or jars with us when out and about. They make weaning on the go so much easier. They are far easier to transport and there is no risk of leakage in the changing bag. It also means less mess as you can dispose of the empty packaging when baby has finished. I am all about making life as easy as possible.
I love HiPP Organic, and in my opinion they are the next best thing to homemade. They have such a fabulous ethos, something very similar to my own. They believe Green is good, Organic is better, and that Pesticides are pesky. They believe that babies deserve food made out of the very best ingredients, that tastes great to make them feel HiPP inside and out.
How to start weaning your baby?
After a few weeks I introduced breakfast which was usually porridge and then a puree at lunchtime too. You want to gradually increase the amount of food baby is having. As a rough guide I would say to feed baby dinner for 1/2 weeks, breakfast and dinner for 1/2 weeks and the breakfast, lunch and dinner for 1/2 weeks. The most important thing is to follow your baby’s lead. They will soon start to let you know if they want more food or have had enough.
Once Maeve was eating three meals a day I started to offer her a pudding after dinner. Usually either a fruit puree or Yogurt. By this time Maeve was over 6 months old and I felt she was ready for more solid foods. I started to substitute her lunch puree for ‘soft’ foods that she could manage with no teeth. I would give her a cream cheese sandwich, a banana, all cut into fingers so they were easy to pick up. She ate rice cakes, cheese puffs, boiled carrot batons and omelette fingers amongst other things.
Once Maeve had got used to eating solid food I started to substitute her dinner time puree for whatever meal we were having. As long as it was baby friendly of course! I would give her spaghetti bolognese, sweet potato mash, soft cooked vegetables, chicken. Gradually I tried her with more and more different foods until eventually she was eating everything that we ate.
Maeve is 16 months old now and eats exactly the same dinners that we do. Last night we had lamb Tagine and couscous and she ate the lot. There is the odd occasion where we will have say steak or a take away. These are meals that I know she will find hard to chew or too spicy. On those times Maeve will have a quick dinner like jacket potato with tuna or an an omelette.
I also like to keep some of the HiPP Organic’s tasty toddler meals in the cupboard for those times when Maeve is HANGRY and needs food immediately. They have so many delicious meals to choose from like sweetcorn, chicken and ham pie, vegetable risotto, spinach and chicken pasta bake. Even typing those out is making me hungry. I love HiPP as I know their meals are full of goodness. They go above and beyond EU Organic Standards. They choose less acidic apples to lower nitrate spinach, carefully selecting produce that is naturally gentler on tiny tums. My girls love them, sometimes I think even more so than my cooking!
I am running a giveaway with HiPP over on my instagram where you can win a fabulous hamper to help you on your weaning journey. HiPP have included everything you will need. Spoons, bib, Baby and Toddler meals as well as some gorgeous bath products to help with the after meal time clean up operation! Click here to enter.
I hope you have enjoyed hearing about how I weaned Maeve and that it helps you if you are wondering how to start weaning your baby. Don’t forget to check out the amazing competition to win the weaning hamper pictured above over on my instagram.