I’ve read many times that one of the first signs of a baby being ready for solid food is when they watch your fork travelling from meal to mouth. My son, Joe, was doing that in hospital the day after he was born.
After breastfeeding him (almost exclusively) for five months, I started to accept that I probably couldn’t put off weaning for much longer.
I would never have imagined I would feel emotional about weaning, but standing looking at a box of baby porridge, I found myself welling up… and so put it off for another couple of weeks. But when Joe rolled over and lay gnawing on the leg of the coffee table, I realised I couldn’t put it off any longer.
His first meal, like his older brother’s before him, was a tiny amount of baby rice. When I first fed Harry (now 5), my sister warned me that it would look like more was coming out than going in, but Harry scarfed it. And yet, despite being apparently starving, Joe spat out every mouthful.
I put it off a few more days and then tried mashed banana. Again, I found myself scraping much of it off his chin and chest, but he definitely enjoyed it. At which point, of course, I started to feel I should be making him fresh food in the manner of, you know, a domestic goddess (ha!) or yummy mummy (hollow ha!).
With Harry I took a lot of time making and pureeing first foods through a sieve. Preparation time: 45 minutes; eating time: 5 minutes. This time I’d decided to go for a blender. And then a health visitor called round and told me that, because I’ve weaned Joe later, he didn’t need purees, that mashed was fine. I think I did a little dance of joy.
So far I’ve tried Joe with Organix Apple, which he loved (Harry stood alongside, saying repeatedly, “I like apple!”), various cereals and Organix Sweet Potato, Pear & Pea, which was a resounding success (I could happily have eaten it myself). His favourite is still banana, but he can also make short (but very messy) work of a Soft Rusk.
I still haven’t got into any sort of routine, and I’m still not keen on this overwhelming sign that my baby is growing up (I’ve only just had him!), but we’re working on it.
by Keris Stainton