BABY-LED WEANING | HOW TO, TIPS & ESSENTIALS

BABY-LED WEANING | HOW TO, TIPS & ESSENTIALS

Today’s post is a guest post by the lovely Frances from the Instagram account Weanwithruby. Frances has a baby girl, Ruby, and made the account to document and share their weaning journey. As a Dietitian, she felt confident with the heathy eating and nutrition side of things but felt less informed on the psychology and practicalities of weaning. Her account shows examples of Ruby’s meals as well as lots of very helpful and down to earth advice.

STARTING WEANING

Before we started, I sat down and reviewed my own diet. Baby led weaning means you will be offering baby what you eat, so this may need to be improved before you start!

Write down some family goals, it’s a perfect opportunity to improve all of your diets. These might be… to eat as a family at the table, to have more fruit and vegetables or to home cook more. It helps to plan at least a few days ahead to ensure you offer a variety of healthy options at the ready. We also decided to do an infant first aid course so we felt more confident should Ruby choke on anything.

FIRST BITES

Ruby’s weaning journey started so early on, she was often in the kitchen while we cooked, touching and smelling food and ingredients such as fruits, vegetables and herbs. Also, being at the table while we ate. Both great foundations for a good weaning journey! The first food Ruby tried was actually a banana I was eating. She grabbed it from my hand and ate some before I could even blink!

Like any aspect of parenting do what feels right for you and your baby. Whether that be starting with purées or going straight into baby led. Everyone will have an opinion but do what feels right for your family! I believe in a flexible approach which ensures meal times are happy and not stressful. We mostly do home cooked baby led self-feeding, however, I also use purées, convenience food and some pre made baby pouches. Ruby has been a terrible sleeper so I need quick and easy meals that we can all enjoy.

 HAVE FUN

The number one most important aspect of weaning is to make it enjoyable for yourself and your baby. Cooking for, and eating with your little one can be a lovely bonding experience.

Remember, your responsibility is to offer baby a range of suitable foods to eat. Baby will decide what and how much they will eat. It’s so important never to force feed a baby or to get stressed at meal times.

QUALITY NOT QUANTITY

Follow your baby’s lead, some will eat lots straight away and others won’t. They all go at their own pace, remember that in the first year of life breastmilk or formula milk are their primary source of nutrition. Initial weaning isn’t about the amount they eat, it’s about exposing them to new flavours, textures and getting them used to mealtimes. This sets the foundations for life long healthy eating habits!

OUR WEANING ESSENTIALS

 This book is great. It is evidence based and so comprehensive. It really made me feel confident in my weaning decisions. I love the focus on building a healthy relationship with food.

The Ikea Antilop high chair. It is cheap, easy to clean and you can get an insert to make it comfortable for tiny ones.

A plastic mat like this one to cover the floor (where most of the food ends up)!

Bibs! The bigger the better. IKEA again are a go to.

Napisan– amazing at removing food stains from clothes.

Low salt stock cubes (we use Kallo).

BABY-LED WEANING TYPICAL MEALS

Breakfast 

Banana pancakes with yogurt and berries – I promise these are so quick and taste amazing!

Lunch 

Usually a ‘pick and mix’ selection, hummus is always a favourite – and easy to make yourself to limit the salt content. Here she also has frittata, grated cucumber and a slice of tomato.

Dinner

Slow cooked dishes are great, they soften meat to make it perfect for baby led weaning. Also, 10 minutes of prep in the morning can save stress when the witching hour begins! Here Ruby is enjoying Bolognese.

Frances and Ruby x

Thank you so much to Frances for todays post! I have found her Instagram so, so useful and Frances has answered many silly questions from me with good grace and patience! There are so many meal ideas on her account to give you lots of weaning inspiration. Whether you are already weaning or are about to start, I highly recommend you check out her Instagram. If you want to see more about my weaning journey with Freddie check out this post

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