weaning your baby

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My baby is now 8 months, she is breast fed and being weaned on to home made baby food.
Things you’ll need;
Ice cube trays- rubber ones are easier
Food pots packs of 4 in £1 shop
Freezer bags to put the ice cube food into
Labels to remind you what you cooked and when
Cling film to put over ice cube tray
Food bowls with lids most supermarkets do these

First I started at six months with baby rice about half an hour after her lunch time breast feed for two days(babies will normally only take a couple of spoonfuls to start with).I wanted to introduce savoury first as you don’t see many children that will not eat sweet foods.I then began cooking sweet potato, butternut squash or carrot and adding some to already made baby rice and pureeing it, Put it into an ice cube trays and freezing it (it’ll keep for a few weeks in the freezer).I gave her two cubes of sweet potato for two days then carrot for two, then the butternut squash and other root vegetables like Swede and parsnip and once two weeks had passed I introduced flavours together e.g.  Sweet potato etc with a new flavour like cauliflower, broccoli or cooked frozen peas and increased the amount of cubes as necessary.

After a couple of weeks I began introducing breakfast after her 2nd breast feed of the day (breakfast feed at about 9am) with baby rice at first, then baby porridge or baby muesli (check brands but I found heinz had no sugar) I did this for the first week and then on the second introduced pureed fruits, dried apricots cooked with pears, sultanas cooked with apples, peaches etc. Keep the juice made from cooking the fruit and this can go in a small bottle to give baby only with their meal this is meant to help with iron absorbing- cooled boiled water at all other times.Some babies get constipated when you start weaning, plenty of water will help but you can give prune juice(it comes in a massive bottle,so I froze this in ice cube trays too.

At seven months I only gave four breast feeds a day.
 I introduced protein, finger food, dinnertime and more flavours e.g. oven roasted veg in sunflower oil (courgette, Peppers Aubergine etc).
Protein: She has frozen salmon or haddock skinless and boneless -cooked in foil with salt free butter and a bit of dill then blended with cooked potato and full fat milk, then frozen in ice cube trays or small food pots now she’s eating more. (This can be mixed with any of the pureed veg).
Mixed tinned beans are easy- can buy in Sainsbury’s or health food shops without salted water kidney beans white beans and pinto beans just cook and blend with a bit of the cooking liquid. Many dried beans take forever to cook! Lentils cooked with a small amount of leak or cooked red onion and blended work well too.
Grated mild cheese blended with cooked pasta is tasty and adds more texture.
Finger food: Mild cheese makes a great finger food- cut into strips, as do cooked French beans, carrot, raw cucumber, melon, ripe pear. Soft wholegrain toast with unsalted butter cut into fingers. Eggy bread cooked well cut into strips is a treat. I give finger food after meals or when she can’t wait until mealtime.

Routine : So now she is breast fed about 6.30am, then goes back to sleep for an hour or longer if I’m lucky, she then has breakfast at about 8am. Another breast feed about 10.30-11.00 with her nap shortly after. Lunch about 12.30-1.00. Her afternoon breastfeed is at about 2.30 followed by a nap. Dinner is at about 5pm and a breastfeed at 7pm after her bath and calm down time.
I get her food and juice pot out of the freezer the night before, then put them into food bowls in the fridge.
 I try to make sure she has mainly vegetables and fruit including at least 1 dark green veg for iron, fruit or veg with vit c, 1 protein and 1 carb a day.I now also use ready brek and wheatabix and only use baby rice to make cheese sauce for her. At the moment she eats everything I give to her, I still introduce new/strong flavours in small amounts with larger portions of her favourites.
Cooking all your own food isn’t easy I do a bit every other night, but it doesn’t take long and at least you know exactly what they are eating. It is satisfying doing it yourself.Annabel Karmel has some very helpful books and a web site.Also www. askdrsears .com( all as one word)  is a great  resource .                                                                                                                                                                 I’m just starting puddings, but I’ll be looking out for tips, because she doesn’t like ‘baby yoghurts’.

I hope this guide was helpful, please rate it at the bottom of this page.

I've also written a guide on breast feeding.

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