How do I make weaning less stressful?(20 Posts)
DD is 7 months and a week old, started weaning 4 weeks ago. She is happy sucking on most finger foods but anything that breaks off in her mouth eventually gets pushed out. She won't take anything from a spoon really. So not swallowing anything and... it's really messy! Only trying food once a day and it takes an hour (prep food, set up, feeding for 20 min, then change clothes wash her face and hands, wash up and clean high chair area).
HV said today I should be feeding her 3 times a day as she is not gaining weight as expected.
I can't spend 3 hours a day on weaning - we'll never go out! How can I keep in her same clothes after weaning? She's smallish so bibs with arms are too large. Other bibs get pulled about so food goes under and up her arms etc...
How does everyone else manage? How long does a feeding session take others?
Also I don't agree with the HV on the weight issue - she's 2nd centile where she's been since birth. Bottle fed and her daily intake has increased. Lots of wet nappies, regular bowels. Very active rolling everywhere. If she is awake all 4 limbs ate in constant motion!
So I think her slow weight gain is normal for her.
Breadsticks and oatcakes won’t make a mess on her clothes and require no preparation. Don’t overthink things and give her a bit of what you are having-as long as it’s not too salty.
She might take to spoon feeding eventually just keep trying.
Well at 7 months almost all their food/nutrition.comes from milk. So she shouldn’t be losing weight. Is she bf or ff? Whatever she is, keep milk feeds the same as before and offer food afterwards (when she isn’t hungry).
I did baby led weaning and found it great. Read the book by gill rapley so you know what you’re doing. My daughter ate when I did and what I did. But i adapted what I ate to make it suitable to what she could manage at whatever age she was. And when I say manage I mean what she could hold and get to her mouth.
Obviously there are certain things you should not feed a baby and you need to be careful with salt and how some foods are cut (eg grapes and cherry tomatoes need to be cut in half to avoid a choking hazard). Anyway that’s why I say read the book as you’ll be confident then in what you’re doing.
It just takes forever. I don’t think there’s a secret to it really. It will get easier in time when there is less faffing around. I’m working a bit from home at the moment as I had a deadline for a project looming that I can’t miss even on mat leave. So between work and meals, I’ve only left the house once in a week (other than doing the school run for my older one).
It’s just messy and a faff, but you just do it and accept it will get easier. Change clothes as needed, vanish gel in stains. Feed what you’re eating to save on prep. Do a big hoover and scrub of floors on the weekend to keep on top of it.
I would try to offer 2-3 meals a day when you can. But milk is the most important thing for weight gain. You can bulk up solid food with healthy fats, but they don’t really eat enough til around 1 for it to make much difference, so I wouldn’t stress about it.
Weaning is messy. That's the unfortunate reality. You just have to buy three times as many lots of clothing and a lot of vanish gold.
As for prep etc, just give her food when you're eating yourself and give her what you and your family are eating. If it's not something you can mash up easily or give her to feed herself, then purees and jars are handy. They're also great for when you're out and about. I was never one for every thing homemade. They got homemade if we were at home, but not all the time!
Weaning was much easier with my second because I just fed him the same food when his brother was eating and usually I just left it for him on his high chair tray to get on with himself.
It's quite common for babies not to 'get' eating til somewhere between 9-10 months old. Ds1 certainly didn't, everything was tasted and spat out of thrown in the floor and he hated spoons. And then one day he went from eating a tiny morsel of banana to polishing off the lot and demanding more. Never looked back after that. (Ds2 stole a breadsticks in pizza hut aged 22 weeks and didn't ever stop shovelling ).
Anyway, tips for making life easier:
1. Milk should be the main source of nutrition for now. It's the most calorie-dense food you can give and will fill her up faster for longer than anything she eats. Offer milk a while before anticipated eating then she will be a bit hungry but not starving and upset.
2. Don't stress about having a specific meal just for her. Put her in the high chair next to you at your meal times and just put a couple of things in her tray to play with and maybe eat. Let her 'steal' from your plate. Someone else's food is always more interesting.
3. Put an old sheet or shower curtain under her high chair. At the end, gather it up and shake it all away.
4. Strip her if it's warm enough before she eats, otherwise get a long armed overall (or an old t-shirt of yours) to protect her clothes.
5. Don't stress! If she's not interested don't make any fuss, just take it away and get on with your day. Have some snacks about you and try again later. Keep trying and eventually she will be interested enough to have a go.
Buy a bib with sleeves,
feed her what you're having (as long as not too salty or on the list to avoid) plus she'll see you eating and copy,
do messy meals before normal bath time so the clean up isn't extra,
prepare extra portions and freeze in small pots so you're not having to prepare every time,
Just because she won't eat it today doesn't mean tomorrow she won't, they need to see it a few times
It is really messy - annoyingly. Ds1.was stripped for all feeds still often is now at 20 months.
Go for quick and easy foods. Microwave scrambled egg, serve alongside a banana for breakfast. Microwave with Microwave a sweet potato, boil some brocolli while you have breakfast. That's lunch done in a few minutes (chuck in some chicken you have left over from dinner the night before). Prep dinner at any point during the day whe. You get a few minutes.
Main thing is don't stress about what is or isn't eaten. Just dustpan it up and offer milk after.
It is such a lot to achieve but interestingly my second has been next to no work to feed as I just kind of throw food at him
Freeze portions. Making weaning purees can be a pain. Freezing is your friend. If it didn't freeze, she didn't get it.
Give her easy meals that require virtually no prep- Breadsticks, crackers, rusks, porridge, baby food pouches and jars, pots of mashed fruit, cheese cubes, chopped fruit and veg. Also make up batches of suitable food and freeze like mashed potato and veg.
Painting bibs or stripping the baby to nappy can save a lot of clothes. Cover the floor underneath the high chair for easy cleaning. And have picnics inside/outside when you can't be bothered with the high hair.
I hated weaning and some children just aren't ready at 6 months so it gets very messy. For me it helped to change my expectations around what weaning would be like (I had dreamt of providing home cooked meals which baby would carefully feed himself and enjoy with minimal mess- that didn't happen!) and be as flexible as possible. Good luck! Xx
I did BLW with all my ds.
My ds wore a small bib for right around the neck, a long sleeve bib which covered most areas, a muslin cloth covering the lap and a plastic catching food bib! We used an IKEA chair which was easy to clean and a plastic mat underneath.
I was (tried to be!) fairly relaxed about food so bf on demand as usual then when I was eating breakfast I would give some soft fruit, toast fingers etc. When I was eating lunch I would give them similar to what I was eating and again at tea they would have similar. I found a steamer was invaluable. If we were having something that they would struggle with I would steam them some fish or chicken, some potatoes and some Veg. It meant I could offer a wide variety of veg without faffing around. I would keep some of the cooked veg for the next day so I could supplement whatever I was having with some extra veg for them. I found plain rice cakes really useful and initially steamed apple and pear.
I basically would put a few pieces on their tray and leave them to it. I would give them more if they wanted and when I had finished I would tidy away. As they got older they were given a spoon and just worked it out themselves.
I did get very good at knowing the difference between gagging (perfectly normal) and choking although my dm was much more worried!
Thanks for all the suggestions will try some this weekend when OH can help. Love the old tshirt idea. I'd love to feed her what we eat but sadly we eat lots of processed/prepackaged stuff. Really want to do better on that front. I tend to do it the other way round and I eat what I've made for her so she can copy me.
I am anxious about her choking especially because she's not intentionally swallowed anything yet so I'm avoiding trying lots of things.
She rocks from side to side in her high chair - do all babies do this? Or is it because her chair isn't supportive enough? We don't have much space so have a Chicco Pocket fitted to a dining chair.
We went on a baby first aid course, this really helped with the worry about choking. Generally babies have a really good gag reflex which is designed to prevent them choking. At the moment it sounds like your lo is getting used to the feel of food in their mouth. She will get there! I found our diet really improved because we were having a lot of meat and veg because that was easiest for weaning!
Banana is easy, safe and delicious but creates horrible indelible brown stains which are initially inapparent. It's when it oxidises on the fabric - so dunk banana-ed clothing immediately in water.
My little one is 8 months and my tips would be:
Asda sell bibs with sleeves which seem to be a bit smaller than anywhere else I’ve found. They are in the baby section, in small packs. I can try and find a link if it helps.
We bought a vinyl table cloth 1 meter by 1 meter and put it down under the high chair so food thrown on the floor can be picked back up and the mat can be shaken clean outside.
Have a simple high chair like the Ikea Antilop which is easy to clean.
When chopping fruit and veg like a cucumber, I chop the whole thing and store in pots in the fridge ready for next time.
Eggs are quick to prepare and cook. Scrambled eggs, cheese omelettes, or even healthy pancakes (egg, banana and cinnamon) aren’t that messy.
It’s ok to cheat a little, I found in Asda they have chicken skewers (in the picnic section) which is mainly green on the nutritional info so I grab them occasionally for when we are in a rush. Or even a quiche (although watch the salt levels) which can be given cold. Also my little un loves melon so I buy packs of pre cut melon chunks.
For when we are out and about I usually make a cheese and pickle sandwich cut into fingers but I don’t let her feed herself, I break it into small pieces and pop them in her mouth to stay relatively clean.
Whilst variety is great find some staple meals which you can prepare easily. We have a pack of Warburtons cinnamon and raisin bagel thins in the freezer and pop half of one in the toaster for a quick breakfast. The thins are easier for them to eat than a normal bagel and are already cut up for you.
The other thing I’d say is remember the idea of BLW is that the baby learns to chew and then learns to swallow.
It’s less likely the baby will choke this way than with puréed food where baby learns to swallow before learning to chew!
The swallowing will come in time.
If you eat prepacked food, you can by children's ready meals such as fish pie and sheherds pie. They are like home cooking but low in salt. Cut them into portions which are the right size for your baby and freeze any leftovers for another day. I agree with pp who said weaning may not really take off till after 9 months. Feed breakfast whilst still in pyjamas and schedule bath straight after evening meal. Some highchairs can be washed in the shower.
lorisparkle I did do half a child's first aid course but got called out by the creche as she was crying! Will try again if I can find one nearby.
Great tips SailAway will look for those Asda bibs.
If the meal is gonna be messy i just sit her in her high chair in a nappy.
Also, all her food is already prepped in bulk, just need to heat it up from fridge if needed.
Spoon feeding maybe takes 15mins
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