Here we are with this step again. My little one is almost seven months old and I have started a very easy and light approach for the last two weeks and things seem will go on very slowly.
I can clearly remember how I was overwhelmed by this step with my eldest that is now 2 years old, who wasn’t ready at all. Everyone (a mum is being given any kind of unrequested advice) suggested me to force him to accept this step, with very absurd advises like not to breastfeed him before or after if I wanted him to eat. I have never managed to do that. The reality was that I prepared and trowed huge quantity of food and time.
The simple truth was that my son wasn’t ready.
Andrea didn’t like homogenized fruit and food either so I can clearly remember these summer evenings boiling huge quantity of broth, that it isn’t the best thing you can do in hot days!
If you are not from Italy, you are probably guessing why broth?! Because in Italy it is what it is suggested to do: vegetable broth made with potatoes and courgettes generally) mixed with flour and vegetables.
Breastfeeding with both my kids has been well established since the first days and luckily I didn’t have any problems or worries about that. They both grew very well (my little one is now 9 kilos) and my milk has always been enough. The current guidance states that you should start until six months. However, it doesn’t mean you have to start on the day they turn six months – especially if you feel like they are not ready and want to wait a week or so.
As you probably know there are three different approaches to baby weaning. The Italian and most common way is with purees, where you feed the baby by spoon with pureed food. Liters and liters of broth plus different types of flours and strictly selected vegetables to introduce step by step.
Another way, now popular in Italy and very common here in the UK, is the baby-led weaning, where the baby feeds himself with solid food. Even if it is known as a more convenient way than the spoon weaning (as you don’t have to boil liters of broth), I have found it not suitable for me and I am going to explain you why.
With baby-led weaning, it is said that your baby is able to grab food by himself, choose and eat what it is best for him. Although you both can’t eat the same food as well (as for the salt used to cook first). A mum has to prepare specific food for him anyway because he should eat finger food with a first-step-food-list of . So you don’t boil broth, but you cut and slice lots of vegetables and fruit and cook different food from what the rest of the family eats.
Yes, the idea of all the family having dinner at the same time was beautiful but it was not the real world.
We were used to eat too late and in the end I have continued with the traditional Italian weaning, with lots of screaming since he was able to appreciate food and eat (around 8 months old).
I was also scared of chocking and I am still worried about that with Leo now, so definitely baby led-weaning doesn’t work for me.
Yesterday I have tried to give him a piece of banana but he couldn’t swallow. Leo is intersted in our food but he doesn’t want to eat or whether he wants he is not able to swallow.
Beside, if you need to go back to work, baby-led weaning is not the perfect choice, because you continue to breastfeed for a lot of time because your baby will be able to eat and be full only with time.
I have finally chosen a mixed approach. I read up on each and I think this is the best for me.
Also, here in the UK there isn’t the vast selection of different flours as in Italy (that can suggest a bit of commercial interest behind it) and I don’t think it’s necessary to continue with that approach.
You will find how I have chosen to wean Leo in the next post.
If you are still hesitant on which approach to follow, I recommend to read Baby-led weaning: helping your baby to love good food
But meanwhile I want to ask you how did you manage this important step with your baby and what do you would suggest.