Raising Eloise and Morgan

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Eloise's Weaning Diary

5 month old soft closeup I started to wean Eloise (started introducing solids) at 21 weeks: I felt the time was right as she was showing signs of wanting more than just milk. (In his turn Morgan also started at 21 weeks having been very interested in what we were eating and seemingly desperate to join in!) I was fully breastfeeding her. She would wake up more in the night for feeds and she was very interested in our food especially toast in the morning. Like many first-time Mums I was worried about starting to introduce solids as I didn't have much of an idea what I was doing and there was so much information that I could read. I spoke to the health visitor and she suggested trying baby rice for a few days, and once Eloise was used to something else in her mouth other than milk and baby rice that I should try purée of vegetables.

I decided that I did not want to start a milk feed, feed her solids and then breastfeed again as it was too much hassle, so I decided that I would give her the milk feed and then wait a bit and then give her the solids.

I have to to say if there are a group of friends who are about to start weaning at the same time, then I suggest you share the box of baby rice as I hardly used any of it!

Here is the first 4 weeks of weaning of Eloise. I kept a food diary of what she ate.

Week 1

tasting baby rice with breast milk at 4 months Wed - 1/2 tsp of baby rice and breast milk - mid morning

Thurs - 1 tsp baby rice and breastmilk - lunch time

Fri - 1 tsp baby rice and breastmilk - mid morning

Sat - 1.5 tsp baby rice and breastmilk - lunch time

Sun - 2 tsp baby rice and breastmilk - lunch time

Mon - 2 tsp baby rice and breastmilk - lunch time

Tues - 2 tsp baby rice and breastmilk - dinner time

Eloise seemed to like having the rice, she had a taste of the vegetable I puréed for the second week and was fine with that. She also liked the taste of pear I gave her. She liked to feel the food that I have her to touch - good way of exploring new things and textures.

Week 2

Wed - 1 cube of carrot and 1 tsp of baby rice - lunch time

Thurs - 1 cube of carrot and a bit of my pear - lunch time

Fri - 1 cube of sweet potato - lunch time

Sat - 1 cube of sweet potato - lunch time

Sun - 1 cube of pear - lunch time

Mon - 1 cube of parsnip - lunch time; 1 cube of potato - dinner time

Tues - 1 cube of carrot - lunch time; 1 cube of potato - dinner time

In week two I introduced vegetables at lunch and then when I was happy she was liking them, I introduced a cube at dinner. She liked to feel the food that I have her to touch - good way of exploring new things and textures. I puréed my own vegetables. I would cook the vegetables and then freeze them in ice cube trays. This would mean that I always had food at hand and made it much easier as I would only need to use 1 cube at a time.

Eloise liked the carrot and sweet potato. She did not like the parsnip when she had it the first time, so I did not force her to have anymore, but decided I would wait and try again in a few days or so. I was unsure when to introduce a second meal, I was thinking of breakfast.

Week 3

pea puree in ice-cube tray ready for freezing Wed - 1 cube of carrot and parsnip - lunch time; 1 cube of carrot and parsnip - dinner time

Thurs - 2 cubes of sweet potato - lunch time; banana - dinner time

Fri - 1 cube of carrot and potato - lunch time; 1 cune of carrot and potato - dinner time

Sat - 1 cube of carrot and parsnip - lunch time; banana - dinner time

Sun - 1 cube of sweet potato and pear - lunch time; 1 cube of carrot and sweet potato - dinner time

Mon - 1 cube of pea and potato - lunch time; 1 cube of carrot and potato - dinner time

Tues - Hipp cereal - breakfast; 1 cube of sweet potato and brocolli and cauliflower - lunctime; 1 cube of sweet potato and pear - dinner time

Parsnip still was not the favourite, but I kept introducing it. I started to make up different combinations of vegetables and fruit. She didn't like mashed up banana, but liked to suck it. She loved carrot and sweet potato, not so sure of pea, but I was thinking maybe she liked the orange colour. I introduced some water in a beaker and she was fine with it. She liked to hold a spoon while I was feeding her. I started breakfast and she liked the cereal I gave her. I was thinking of introducing 3 cubes.

Week 4

Wed - Hipp cereal - breakfast; 3 cubes of butternut squash - lunch time; 1 cube of sweet potato, potato and pear - dinner time

Thurs - Hipp cereal - breakfast; 1 cube of carrot, potato and pear - lunch time; 1 cube of parsnip, pear and potato - dinner time

Fri - Hipp cereal and stewed apple - breakfast; 1 cube of pea, carrot and potato - lunch time; packet potato and rosemary - dinner time

Sat - Hipp cereal and banana - breakfast; a fruit pot, cube of sweet potato - lunch time; 1 cube of sweet potato, pea and carrot - dinner time

Sun - Hipp cereal - breakfast; 1 cube of sweet potato, courgette and squash - lunch time; 1 cube of parsnip, carrot and sweet potato - dinner time

Mon - Hipp cereal - breakfast; 1 cube of pea, carrot and potato - lunch time; 1 cube of parsnip, carrot and sweet potato - dinner time

Tues - Hipp cereal - breakfast; 1 cube of potato, pea and carrot - lunch time; 1 cube of parsnip, sweet potato and pear - dinner time.

Eloise did not like the packet food I gave her, I think the texture was strange, so she did not have any more. She still was not liking mashed banana.

6 months +

After 6 months then the variety of foods you can start to introduce is enormous, so it does make it easier to feed. I gradually introduced new foods a few days at a time. I continued with vegetables for a while, but I started to introduce bits of chicken and fish at some meals. I gaver her ready brek for breakfast with whole milk. You can use whole milk in cooking from 6 months but it cannot replace breast or formula as the main drink. I gave her ready brek as it was the only cereal I could find that did not have added sugar or salt. Since starting to give her food I am much more aware of labels and what goes into food especially added sugar and salt. salmon, sweet potato, broccoli, potato, grated cheese

I continued to breastfeed whilst I was weaning, but as she gradually increased the solid food she ate, the milk demand slowed down. When Ellie was 8 months, she was eating small portions of the food I cook at home - of course with no added sugar or salt. It meant that she got used to the foods that we have instead of having something different to us all the time.

I have given her shop-bought food on occassion, when we were out or go on holiday, but I prefer to give her home cooking. The makes/brands that I have used are Hipp and Heinz.

She was feeding 3--4 times a day from me and I dropped the mid-morning feed at 7 months and replaced it with a snack - she usually has yoghurt with fruit or rice cakes. I give Eloise water at meal times in a beaker and she seems to have gotten the hang of how to use it. She also has water during the day in between meals if she is thirsty - especially in the warmer weather.

At 10 months old and Ellie ate everything we gave her; she liked to try what we are eating as she is not a fussy eater. She liked to feed herself with finger foods; so all meals had to have something that she can hold. She liked to eat tomatoes as a snack. I stopped her mid-afternoon feed at 9 months with advice from my Health Visitor. I replaced this with another snack.

I hardly cook different meals for her now, I just have to think more about what to cook, so that she can enjoy it. If I make something spicy, then I will cook her portion separately. She is enjoying tasting new foods and as before always wants to try what we eat. She liked the risotto I made with squash and even had some more of my plate. I only mash the food a bit now. As she has teeth she enjoys biting bits from the food and chewing. The next stage is to help her eat with a spoon, but she has a go, which is good.

I cooked corn on the cob and she was interested in the cob, so I gave it to her and she actually bit some off it, that's advanced weaning.

I made some shortbread from The Baby and Toddler Cookbook and family meal planner by Sara Lewis. I used small cutters and gave her one every so often and she liked to dip it into the yoghurt.

At 11 months old Ellie tried to start to use a spoon. I put some food on the spoon and she would pick it up and eight out of ten times she would manage to get into her mouth without it dropping. She then passed the spoon back for me to load it with more food.

Now at over a year old Eloise eats what we eat and is fully weaned. Eloise is enjoying her food and it's a lovely experience for me and we spend some quality time together at the dinner table. Most importantly I have made it fun and not worried about food dropping on the floor as it's easily cleared up.

Looking back it was not as hard as I thought it would be before I started, and I hope with the healthy and varied diet I have introduced to her that she will enjoy her food in future.

Jean

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This site is not official advice: just one mum's experience!
Copyright (c) Jean Ryder 2006-2008.
See Eloise's home page, and the main Hart-Davis home page.