My journey from breastfeeding to weaning
My Weaning and Feeding Journey
My son and I had a rough ride right from the beginning as documented in my other blogs but this time I shall be attempting to remember key aspects and briefly share my experience of the leap from breastfeeding to weaning.
Due to my son’s digestion, bowel and reflux issues, I was advised to wean him early in an attempt to get him to put on weight.
By 4 months old I had already felt like I’d failed him by being unable to continuing breastfeeding past 2 months due to a combination of both of our health issues.
Given this, he had been surviving on a prescribed formula called Neocate and medications before and after each feed and although he was beginning to gain weight he was still struggling to hold enough down and digest it effectively.
I used to call the formula Fairy dust, as that was what the appearance of it made me think of, but I could only hope it tasted as magical as I made it sound.
Nevertheless, if he could consume anything without chucking it all back up or digesting it without being in immense pain it was an achievement.
Prior to this and whilst I was desperately seeking the reasons behind all my sons feeding issues, I had started out breastfeeding and then expressing, both with great difficulty.
During this time, I discovered that tomato based foods were a particular factor making the problems worse.
I had completely cut them out of my own diet whilst breastfeeding so of course when weaning I would need to avoid them too.
Basic weaning wasn’t too troublesome when adhering to an acidic free diet, it was just porridge and fruit puree which seemed to stay down long enough to have noticeable weight gaining effects.
However, when it came to more substantial meals, I struggled to purchase any shop brought baby food. The ingredients used to prolong shelf life were not suitable due to the acidity, plus he was also lactose intolerant which added further complications.
I simply had no choice but to make my own baby food. I brought a cheap tiered steamer from Argos (which was actually was great for sterilising bottles too!) and a 2nd hand food blender from eBay.
A few times a week I’d do a big fruit and veg shop and at naptime I’d mass produce food for the week.
Bearing in mind, I was in no way a home-cook or even a food lover. Prior to having my son, I had always been on my own so pasta and microwave meals through the week were all I would bother to stretch to.
If it makes any of you feel better, I can further admit that I’d always been a bland and unadventurous eater however I really didn’t want my son to be the same.
Luckily I’d always been a relatively healthy eater and big lover of fruit and veg but my 5-a-day was not a top priority until becoming pregnant and monitoring everything that I put inside my body.
Anyhow, fast forward, things changed, as they do with the introduction of a little one into your life and before I knew it, I had my own baby food production line going on inside my kitchen!
I actually enjoyed testing the flavours and mixtures, then seeing his priceless reactions to new tastes!
I’d buy mini food container pots from the local supermarket, then label them either fruit, lunch or dinner. Once a batch was blended and ready, I’d decant it into the pots then pop them in the freezer for when I needed them. It really wasn’t anything fancy, but it was nutritious and he loved it so I kept it up!
Ella Kitchen pouches came out when my son was over his feeding problems and were a great solution when out and about.
The jars had never seemed too healthy to me. Although I could see they were handy and clearly popular, having had to look into the ingredients I was never keen.
As an example, I am a self-confessed chocoholic and yet I managed to avoid giving it to my son until someone presented him with an Easter egg at the age of nearly 3yrs old. Yet I can happily consumer family sized portions of pretty much any type of chocolate at any time of the day.
In all honesty, I’m the kind of Mum that vowed I would never feed my child Mc Donald’s and yet as with many parenting techniques people claim they with have, I have failed that a few times on a long motorway journey home.
That said, because I’ve always gone out of my way to avoid freezer food where possible and mostly always cooked fresh yet quick and simple meals for my son and I, he actually doesn’t like Mc Donalds/Nandos etc. So I have weirdly found myself in predicaments where I’m forcing him to have fries just to ensure he’s got something inside him!
Together with my lack of cooking skills, time was never something I had much of and being a single mother, alongside work and caring for my disabled father meant I was constantly rushing around.
However, my sons feeding issues meant I had to prioritise what I fed him so making meals from scratch was something I started right from weaning him and in turn it gave me the confidence to explore with cooking going forward.
Although it’s just the two of us, I feel strongly about the importance of families sitting at the table to eat dinner together every day.
Quite possibly it is down to the way I brought up, yet we live in such a fast pace society, that time spent sitting, eating and chatting can be so important for bonding and connecting with each other.
Weaning your baby and feeding kids in general can be a troublesome task. Of course we can just use our common sense to know that making it as fun, stress-free and imaginative as possible for them is a great technique. Putting this into practice is another thing.
So here is my Kiddiwhizz product plug…
Given my journey with weaning, you can imagine the delight and awe when I discovered The Pouch Maker.
With the amount of money that is spent on shop brought pouches, now you can not only save money but you will be able to control what your baby is eating.
There may be foods that you eat at home for example, that aren’t available in pouches to buy.
If your toddler will soon be eating this food for themselves soon, why not blend some up and pop it in a pouch for them to get used to.
My blender became the most used item in my kitchen until the rubber part actually burnt out, so I got quite excited when I came across the awesome touch panel blender that we now sell at Kiddiwhizz. I was blown away by the ease at which you could steam, blend, clean and sterilise.
The combination of these two products can really revolutionise the way we wean and feed our baby. As a society, we take healthy eating very seriously nowadays and are much more conscious about what we are feeding our children.
I’d love to hear your experiences of weaning or weaning ideas!
Here are some links you may find helpful, but please comment with your own for everyone reading to check out!
These Instagram accounts make feeding look fun: