The subject of „weaning” is at least as controversial and wide as breastfeeding. For a first time mum the start may seem quite difficult. It’s something new for both, parents and babies, even if it’s not the first child, because each of them is unique. We started a week before turning six months on January 6th. How do you know that baby is ready to start weaning?
Before 17 weeks, the kidneys and the digestive system are not fully developed to process solid food and drinks other than milk. On the other hand, it is not recommended to start after 26 weeks because the needs are no longer fully satisfied by milk, the iron reserves from birth are used up to 6 months and the baby needs to take it from food, you can delay the opportunity to learn important skills and, above all, the introduction of different textures stimulates the development of muscles involved in speech.
The period between 17 and 26 weeks is the ideal one, and the baby may start to show signs such as: milk is not enough, he feeds more often for more than one week, he shows interest in food and tries to rich it, he chews frequently or he’s able to sit in the chair with little support. And one of the most obvious signs is undoubtedly his interest in their parents food. For babies born prematurely the start may be somewhere between 5 and 8 months from the date of birth.
Robert began to show signs of being interested in food no later than three months, but at that time it was too early. There are multiple opinions, you find a lot of weaning schemes, whether you choose to go on classic weaning or blw (baby-led weaning). I chose the classic one, introduced a new vegetable every three days. In almost three weeks I’ve introduced enough vegetables, such as carrot, parsnips, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, broccoli, sweet peppers, red lentils. All of them were offered as fine purees, made with a vertical blender. When it comes to fruits, I tried to introduce them in the morning, some of them boiled and blended. He ate apple, pear, banana, avocado, peach.
Robert is open-minded, I have the feeling that he likes diversity, he has gladly accepted every change in the menu. After the introduction of each new food we made all sorts of combinations. He would be great at blw, but for now I want to have more control. As recommended, I don’t give him sugar, salt, honey, I don’t give him juices, just water during the meal. I prepare his meals at home to make sure they’re okay.
About gluten – a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats, and also in bread, pasta, biscuits and breakfast cereals – is said that if it’s introduced too early (17 weeks) or too late (30 weeks) there is a risk for the baby to develop type 1 diabetes and celiac disease. I gave him a bit of bread last week, he was haunting it for a long time. I intend to boil 2-3 pasta shapes. They need to be introduced gradually, in the first week once at every 3 days, then once at every 2 days, then after a month for several times a day.
An essential aspect is to allow it some time. It is also important for baby to have a bit of milk to relieve his hunger and he’ll be more eager to test the food. We all know that babies aren’t nice when they are hungry.
You shouldn’t expect him to embrace the change, open his mouth and finish the meal. If you went through this, what can I say? You are lucky. We, the others, have to leave them in their own rhythm, to feel the food between their little fingers and find the role of the spoon. We have fun, even eat, he needs to get nutrients. Except for the vitamin D supplement, we do not supply any chemicals.
We’ll be alright, the main goal for now is not to feed him, but to cultivate the love for food, quality food, nutrition, not for quantity. That doesn’t matter.
I inspired myself from a booklet that I received free of charge from the nurse and I use it whenever I have a question or want to know something new. It shows brief information and leaves no room for interpretation.
I’ll write about this again, it’s never enough. I just wait for him to grow up a bit more 🙂