Thursday, 5 May 2011

To Wean or not to Wean?

I have decided that I am going to do a weaning diary/project on my blog over the coming months which will highlight how I am getting on with weaning Mads, from her very first taste to when she can start eating proper meals.  I already have been sent some interesting products to review and I hope that we can look back on it when she is older and think that it was a success, as well as help any other weaning Mums that may stumble upon this blog.

Yesterday I went to a weaning discussion at my local Surestart centre.  I was hoping that I would come back fully armed with information in regards to starting to give Mads her first food's.  Unfortunately although the talk was really interesting and helpful, in a way it did make me more confused.

Mads is going through a 'phase.'  She has gone from sleeping through for almost twelve hours to waking every few hours crying and not settling.  Sometimes I feed her but she takes about three minutes and then falls back to sleep so I am not sure if it is hunger.  Sometimes she just cries and I manage to settle her.  Three times this week she has ended up coming into our bed in the early hours of the morning which is what I really didn't want to start doing.

I do not know if it is teething or that she is hungry but something is definitely different.  I went and got her weighed this morning and she now weighs 14lbs so she has dropped down the growth chart slightly. I mentioned to her about maybe starting her on some baby rice but she advised that it might be better to give her a formula milk feed at night to try and fill her up more.  I have reservations about this though as I have managed to breastfeed her up until now with my fair share of struggles, I think if I can just struggle on another 3 or 4 weeks then maybe I can just start her on food.

I had made up my mind to start Mads on some baby rice this week but after going to the talk yesterday they explained that the World Health Organisation recommends that babies are exclusively breastfed until 6 months and food should not be introduced before 22 weeks at the earliest.  Mads is 19 weeks tomorrow.  That said I know a lot of babies that have gone onto solids earlier than six months and are absolutely fine.

I have been looking at the Annabel Karmel book series on Weaning which look brilliant so I shall go and buy a few when I next get paid my maternity pay as I think they will help when deciding on recipes.       I am going to try and make a lot of my own things for her but also use some of the better brands of baby food.  I am looking forward to helping her learn about food and try new tastes and can't wait to start but think I will try and hold off another couple of weeks.

When did you wean your little ones?  Did they like food?  What was their first taste?  I really am looking forward to her trying food but at the same time it is a little daunting.  I keep saying I shall make her lots of different meals but this is coming from the girl who can't cook to save her life and finds beans on toast taxing to prepare.  However I am determined to give her lots of variety so I would really like to prepare her own food plus use prepared baby food as well.  Next mission is to buy a blender!

Wish me look and keep reading to see how I get on!


Working london mummy said...

hi! I started at 5 months. It is fine as if you think she is getting more hungry than milk can provide you can make that decision but it is for you to assess. I did a post on weaning that talked about my experience and also a lot of people commented and gave their tips which I thought was great- maybe take a look and see for ideas (called 'fun with weaning' on my blog). I think the important thing is to introduce flavours - as many as possible - as soon as you can. Gina Ford and Karmel have good schedules for weaning. I suggest Plum organic which has good weaning cereals.
Purees are best till 6 months. If you want to do Baby Led best to wait till they develop a good swallow so they can handle it.

Mummy...Mummy.....MUM!! said...


I did my son at 5 months as he was a big, hungry baby and the girls at 6 months. the good thing about waiting till 6 months is that you can attack it faster and don't have to spend so long doing bits of baby rice!

Annabel Karmel is brilliant as you said, I couldn't have done it without her. I'm a rubbish cook too, but I've made some great babyfood :-)

If you don't fancy making your own stock a la Annabel, Boots do some special baby stock cubes that will save you hours of work!

Plum Baby and Ellas kitchen are great for being out and about, and as Working London Mummy said Plum cereals are great also.

Good luck! Its lots of fun, but very time consuming.

Emma x

Mummy...Mummy.....MUM!! said...

Baby h's favourite is butternut squash and pear :-)

Frankie P said...

I did both my boys at between 5 and 6 months and they were both big boys.. both at the top of the growth charts. I knew they were ready as like Mads they were waking etc.. Trying the formula as the last feed might help as they say its slightly heavier so the baby will feel full longer. But again it is what you feel comfortable with whether you wnat to wait until she is slighter older. I think Gina Ford and Annabel Karmel are the best for weaning tips,routines and recipes x

Inside the Wendy House said...

When I had my first son 22 years ago...we were advised to wean at 4 months. He is now a full grown man with no allergies or dietary problems. So with Freddy I was not worried about weaning him at 5 months. We used rice, home made purees and the Ella's Kitchen puree pouches which he loved. He is now nearly 2 and will try anything. He loves fruit and veg and will give any food a try. Weaning is a lot of fun if you relax and enjoy it. Babies make it quite clear when they are ready. Good luck x

Mrs E said...

Thanks everyone for all your comments, Working London Mummy I shall take a look at your blog post. Emma thanks for this, I think I most def will cheat and use Boots stock cubes! I think Annabel Karmel is definately the favourite when it comes to weaning! x

Mummy and the Beastie said...

Oh the joys of weaning, it kept me busy with puree! I started when Beastie was just over 5 months too, he was a hungry boy and nothing has changed now. He just whinges and begs for food now! (yes we do feed him, lol).

Ella's kitchen was great to start out with, loved them.

:-) x

Laura said...

Weaning = dislike! I weaned Wee Z at 4 months however he was a bottlefed baby and as soon as he stopped sleeping through at 16 weeks, I started him on purees. He hated baby rice so I went for bananas, pear or apple and he loved them. I weaned him gradually though, and he was eating 3 meals by the time he was 7 months. Miss C is fully breastfed, never had any formula milk and I weaned her with baby led weaning at 6 months. At first she never showed any real interest, happy to play with her food rather than eat it but eventually she got the hang of it and was eating her meals by 8 months. Annabel Karmel is fab, highly recommended here. I also had a Gina Ford book which was good. We love Organix for finger food or Plum baby and Heinz custard pots are handy if you are out and about. Good luck!

Emma @ Mummy Musings said...

I did baby led weaning with C and I honestly could rave about it all day & will definitely do it again when we have #2.

That said, C was perfectly happy with milk until 6 months (I bottle fed though) and never woke in the night.

If you do wean before 6 months I'd still say introduce lots of finger foods from 6 months.

Whatever you decide, good luck with it and I'm looking forward to reading your adventures - it's great fun!

Mari's World said...

Like Wendy House I too had children 20 years ago and they started weaning at 4 months with a little yoghurt (no lumps) pureed apple which each of my children has adored and then onto savoury. So with the twins I did pretty much the same and when I saw they were hungrier I gave them spoonfulls to try. They loved it and it was a sign I had been right to try. Both of my older children are good eaters, my daughter has always hated veg and does to this day (she's 20!) no allergies, no fads.
Once I started I tried everything I could, banana, pear, and as they progressed Cheerios were a great food to have in a tub in my bag for emergencies ;)

Dianne x said...

Have you tried offering the other breast after a feed? If you do this then at the next feed start with the breast you finished on. With breastfeeding the more we feed the better the supply. Don't worry about the dip on the chart (do you have the new chart)?
Are you going for more weaning advice? is it a 3 week course? Some babies can't wait till 6 months but certain foods should be avoided till after 6 month. When reading packets check the sugar and salt content. One well known baby cereal has more sugar in than a bowl of cocoa pops.
I hope she settles again on a night and good luck with the weaning x

Grumpyish Mum said...

Hi, I weaned Small at 6 months but looking back he was probably ready just prior to that. Medium was weaned at 4 months though because that was the recommended age then - he was also fine! I found a great site for recipes at and he really enjoyed the things I made from there. If she's waking in the night I'd definitely try her with just a little bit of something in the afternoon or evening to see if it makes any difference.

Good luck xxx