When should I wean my baby? 

Messy baby led weaning

When to wean Noah onto food has been a real dilemma for me recently.  With James it was easy; we waited until he was six months old and began to let him have some food off our plate at every meal.  It’s a really important step for babies, and I know it’ll be lots of messy fun, as it was with James!

baby eating sushi

James chomping on sushi

 

The NHS website: Your baby’s first solid foods recommends waiting until six months. Any sooner, and I have to offer puréed fruit and vegetables only. Also, waiting until six months means that he should be able to feed himself, so I won’t have to spoon feed him, and I just don’t think I could be bothered with the hassle of having to spoon feed a baby while my dinner goes cold. I’d much prefer we all eat together, and I’m not a short order chef; I like that we all eat together, and all eat the same thing (obviously unless we’re in a restaurant- then of course we can eat what we fancy: I don’t have to do the cooking or the dishes!).

So, Noah will be six months old at the end of May, and I’d think by then he’ll show all the signs of being ready for food.

porridge fingers

James squidging porridge fingers – it’s all about the texture, too!

 

According to the NHS website, these are the signs of being ready for food:

  • They can stay in a sitting position and hold their head steady.
  • They can co-ordinate their eyes, hands and mouth so that they can look at the food, pick it up and put it in their mouth, all by themselves.
  • They can swallow food. Babies who are not ready will push their food back out, so they get more round their face than they do in their mouths.

We are still waiting for Noah to be able to hold himself up in a sitting position. At the moment he slumps forwards and holds on to his feet, and he’s not keen on sitting in the Bumbo for too long, so I think we’ll really have to wait for him to master sitting properly so he can go in the highchair.

So, what’s the dilemma, you may be wondering?

Well, we go off to Egypt when Noah is six and a half months old. I don’t know about you, but almost everyone I know who has been to Egypt has had an, erm, “runny tummy”, and I’d much rather know that if a food doesn’t agree with Noah, that it’s because of the food, not because of something in the food. We are staying in a five-star resort, so you’d hope it would be okay, but you just never do know! Also, I know from my own experience, food in Egypt is generally pretty salty and/or sugary.

baby eating spring onion

James had a bit of a liking for spring onions

 

We’re only there for two weeks, and I’m pretty sure that anyone with a child over weaning age and under the age of five can remember the saying “food under one, just for fun”. So will waiting to give Noah food until we get back in June really cause him any delays or problems?

I asked the health visitor, and her advice was to start on time, and continue with food once I’m there. If I’m at all worried, she suggested taking tins of foods for Noah to eat while we’re there.
Noah has reflux, and the health visitor suggested that foods may help him with this, as the food won’t rift up on him quite as much as my milk does. She also mentioned that my milk won’t have enough vitamins or calories to sustain him after six months. I’m not sure about this one – Noah is sick after every single feed, so I’ve no idea how he is as big as he is, but he’s thriving just nicely on a minimum amount of milk – he’s in 9-12 month clothing (sob).

Some friends have advised emailing the hotel to request very small amounts of salt-free food to be available at every meal, or taking a small pot and a bottle of water to wash vegetables at the table to make sure they’re free of salt.

What would you do? Start to introduce foods then stop for a fortnight? Wait until he’s seven months old and we’re in the UK? Or introduce foods and keep on doing so while we’re in Egypt?

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7 Comments

  1. deepeabee
    May 23, 2015 / 11:47 pm

    You could take a box of risks and other hand held dry baby food.

  2. deepeabee
    May 23, 2015 / 11:48 pm

    Rusks* tut! Predictive text!

  3. anotherbun1
    May 24, 2015 / 8:26 am

    Your health visitor is talking nonsense on the vitamins front – food before one is just for fun and your milk is more than enough to sustain him. You can give vitamin drops from 6 months but I never did, I didn’t feel they were necessary

    Popping over from #sundaystars

  4. May 24, 2015 / 3:55 pm

    I am a first time mum to a 5 month old, he’ll be 6 months at the end of June and I have been dreading weaning for some reason! However, from what I have read (and I know, there is soooooo much information out there and at times it gets rather conflicting) I don’t think you’d be damaging his weaning progress if you *did* happen to wait until you returned. I have often heard “after 1 year the milk loses it’s nutritional value” but I just did a quick Google and the only information I could find on that was from people asking about it on birth boards but I couldn’t find any definitive answers from medical sites, etc. The one thing I did find was information about extended breastfeeding, so beyond the age of 1, and it all says how it’s great to do due to it’s nutritional value (so not sure what your HV was meaning because it seems like it can be a really good thing)! http://www.babycenter.com/0_extended-nursing-is-it-for-you_8496.bc So I would say you’d be ok, whatever you choose to do and what you feel comfortable with AND when baby is ready! Lol, sorry for the novel!! #sundaystars

  5. Love From Clueless Mum
    May 24, 2015 / 8:19 pm

    We did exactly what you did with your first with waiting until 6 months and giving solid food rather than pureeing. I found that to start with she was only actually eating tiny amounts and was happy with one meal a day on top of milk (she didn’t drop her milk intake for ages). I think I’d most likely start weaning with one meal a day (maybe breakfast) and when you’re away go for things like fruit that can be peeled, or something like brown toast that may be less likely to cause an upset tummy, or take something with you like porridge or weetabix (might require some spoon feeding though). Obviously I’m not an expert though so I think I’d end up spending a lot of time asking Google if I was in your shoes! #sundaystars

  6. thesingleswan
    May 24, 2015 / 10:44 pm

    I started weaning when my son was 6 months old, but he is totally ambivalent about food. He loves his milk and seems to show no signs of giving it up or even cutting back. He spits most of his food out and has a real aversion to any lumps. He looks happy and healthy so I am not worrying about it. Go with what feels right for your baby. You know him best. xx

    • May 25, 2015 / 11:48 am

      Thank you, that’s a really sensible attitude. It’s tricky being a parent though at times! Hard to know what to do!

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