When I found out I was expecting I booked onto an NCT course. When I decided I potentially wanted a home Birth I attended Hypnobirthing classes and read or listened to materials every single day. When Ace was diagnosed with DDH I made it my mission to research all the treatments and understand what could potentially be ahead of him.
So when it came to weaning, of course I was going to arm myself with as much knowledge as possible. Knowledge is power at the end of the day.
Meeting with a nutritionist
Thanks to good old Facebook I discovered an old school friend, who is now a nutritional therapist, holds weaning workshops for small groups of mums. With 7 new mum friends with a similar mentality, we spent the morning with Lucy Malone broadening our knowledge of traditional and baby led weaning.
Lucy was wonderful. She tailored the information to each of our individual needs and gave a balanced view on both weaning methods, encouraging us to do what was right for us and our babes.
Although intrigued by baby led weaning, I’m also terrified of the mess it creates, so was already more open to a mix of the two to keep my house proud anxieties more at bay. Starting with purée and adding finger food in gradually so he can explore and play with the textures, smells and tastes of each food group.
But if it wasn’t for Lucy discussing tongue ties and high palettes I wouldn’t of been aware that this decision was actually the more sensible approach for Ace too.
Gagging vs Choking
Gagging during those first milestone mouthfuls is common practice. Because their gag reflex is located closer to the front of the mouth at this age, retching and red faced coughing can be a pretty frequent occurrence. And even more so for tongue tied little ones, whose reflex tends to sit where the tie once was. Aces was pretty severe, so this makes sense as to why he always gags on his bottles, teething ring and fingers!!!
So to keep my fears at bay, it’ll be smooth purées for his first few mouthfuls at least!!
If your baby is gagging (remember, for gagging they are coughing, going red in the face and making plenty of noise) then ideally you need to hold back and let them learn how to sort it out for themselves.
Choking however is an entirely different story. Silent, struggling to breathe and possible blue tinge to skin- and you NEED to assist them. There is some fab info on St Johns Ambulance which Lucy pointed us in the direction of, but I can’t recommend the Little Lambs First Aid Course enough either.
Continuing my massively geeky passion for learning, I’ve invested in a few good books to get us on our way.
Ella’s Kitchen First Foods is a light hearted, easy to read and family friendly investment. I love the pull out weaning journeys which now have pride of place on the fridge, and Ace took a real interest in the illustrations and bright, attractive colours. This read breaks down your first few weeks tastes making everything much more simplistic. Definitely a winner for those traditionally weaning.
Young Gums was recommended by Lucy and I love the family cooking approach to the recipes. I really hope to enjoy meals as a three with Ace and the recipes here cater to that. It’s a more stylish read than Ella’s and makes a rather lovely coffee table addition.
Annabel Karmel is a master in the purée world and my sister in law kindly passed down these gems. They have provided invaluable cooking, blending and flavour combining tips in a quick and easy to read fashion. Again, no baby led weaning here but great for those first tastes.
I haven’t read any baby led weaning books as yet, but would love to hear your suggestions!
Fail to prepare, Prepare to fail
I’m feeling pretty determined to wait until nearer the recommended 6 month mark to begin Aces weaning journey, and even more so to start it in the right way with a balanced diet. I think part of this was my inability to breast feed, so now this is my chance to make sure he gets everything he needs. It almost like I think of it as my way of making it up to him, even though I know deep down there is nothing to make up for.
But anyway, the preparing has begun and I’m enjoying steaming, puréeing and freezing his first tastes. I’ve even turned into my mum and felt a real buzz buying those freezer pod things and labelling them. I seriously need to get out more….
And the final part of the preparation? Picking up all those super cute plates, bibs and cutlery sets that I’ve drooled over on Instagram, only to probably find they aren’t worth much more than a pretty picture…. anything you think is worth suggesting, please send my way!
Anyway I’m back off to stalk #weanin15 !