Saturday 27 January 2018

Weaning Baby Isabelle

Hello everyone. I have been getting lots of question about weaning Isabelle from breast milk onto food. I had done some research previously on weaning and decided that Baby Led Weaning was the approach I wanted to take. But like everything in parenthood you end up tailoring things to suit your baby and their needs.

In general I use an altered baby led weaning approach which means I give Isabelle a variation of baby suitable foods that I am eating myself but instead of her exclusively feeding herself I will feed her too. The only foods I don't give Isabelle are the baby do nots which are Sugar, Salts, Honey and Unpasteurised cheeses.

I have definitely noticed a massive difference since Isabelle has gotten teeth and she is more interested in food than before.  I am still exclusively breastfeeding so now she is started on solids I think it has definitely given me a little break as she doesn't have to breastfeed as much.  I knew Isabelle was ready for food as she was sitting up, grabbing things and putting them in her mouth and was very interested in me when I was eating. I am not an expert but these are some of the tips that work for us.

1. Try different consistencies - Isabelle would refuse point black to eat anything pureed so I started giving her soft foods instead and we had success.

2. Try different temperatures- Isabelle adores warm foods and we have better success when food is slightly heated. If I am giving her porridge or warm Weeatabix I might reheat it as she tents to go off it when it is colder. We have been giving her normal organic porridge and she adores it. If any of you have been following my Instastories @Martinamark you would agree.

3. If spoons don't work, finger feed. Whether or not Isabelle is receptive to a spoon is unpredictable. If she refused the spoon I just feed her with my fingers and this never fails.

4. If it fails try again- If Isabelle is not liking a particular flavour I don't write it off completely but rather try again another day. I might also try mixing flavours together - avocado and banana is a big hit here.

5. When introducing new foods keep an eye for allergies. I kept a particular close eye when giving nuts (spreadable almond butter) for the first time.

6. I give Isabelle my full undivided attention when eating as I find she eats way more. I sit down with her and minimise any distraction i.e turn tv off etc. If at home I will either eat before or after her. I find eating in front of her really helps her become interested in food.

7. I am a first time mom so I am nervous beyond belief when it comes to most things, I would never leave Isabelle unattended when eating just in case she choked on something. It is also a really good idea to educate yourself on the difference between gagging and choking. Youtube has some great videos you can watch here. I am also considering a first aid course for children too (another thing on my list to do!)

8. I am adventurous with what I give Isabelle but I stick to the same rule. If I can squish it with my fingers I can give it to her to eat. I always chop up her fruit and half/quarter her grapes. I might even pre squeeze them also.

9. I felt a little less pressure when it came to weaning when I learned that the majority of their nutrients for the first year will come from milk (formula or breastmilk). Food before one is just for fun. Thankfully Izzy seems to really enjoy food. There are always times were she might not eat as much as I would have hoped but for the most part weaning has been an enjoyable experience.

10. I love giving Izzy what my husband and I are eating so we have altered how we cook slightly. I don't add salt or sugar. If adding a sauce or spice, we'll leave a bit aside pre seasoned. We also cook with whole milk which is perfectly fine to do so (its iron content is too low to be used for drinking milk). I personally don't cook with breastmilk as after some research I learned that the proteins get broken down in the cooking process and therefore is at its most nutritious in its rawest form. You can also pick up low salt stock from most supermarkets.

Porridge made with whole milk
Weetabix made with warm whole milk
Natural Greek yogurt with fruit added i.e. blueberries, strawberries etc

Scrambled egg
Heated baby tomatoes (quartered)
Sweet potatoes

Mashed potatoes/Sweet potato
Chicken (I tend to shred this)
Fish (Salmon/Prawns)
Vegetables (Steamed broccoli flotteretes, carrots )

Soft fruits

We are loving

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Pocket highchair when out and about and there is no baby chairs.

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Overall bibs are great for keeping baby clothes clean.

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