We, like most parents were excited to start Little G-Mans weaning journey especially after some stories we’d read and heard, many of which seemed to offer an easier life (sleep being the main one!).
Sadly, as it turns out, most of our expectations for the weaning journey haven’t quite come to fruition and it turns out many of them are actually baby weaning myths 🙁
Weaning Myth #1: Weaning helps your baby sleep through the night
Sadly this isn’t exactly true, but how many of us wish it was? Most babies are physically capable of sleeping through the night by the age of six months, but that bears little relation to whether they actually do and by weaning them doesn’t guarantee a good nights sleep.
All babies are different, some have a tiny appetite and sleep through, and have done so from an early age. Others have big appetites and continue to wake for one reason or another. Sometimes, like adults, babies will wake in the night feeling a little hungry, thirsty or are simply unsettled.
Weaning Myth #2: You should start weaning with bland food
Breastfed babies are already exposed to tastes and flavours via breast milk. Obviously avoid salt, however herbs, spices, garlic and pepper are all suitable flavourings.
Root vegetables such as sweet potato or carrot (Georges favourite) make ideal first foods when puréed due to their naturally sweet flavour and smooth texture. Combining fruit with savoury dishes is also a good idea.
Apples and pears are a great first weaning food with a low likelihood of intolerance and they contain pectin, which helps little bowels to start processing solids efficiently.
Weaning Myth #3: Only use fresh vegetables when making purées
It’s a known fact that most frozen vegetables are done so within hours of being picked, therefore locking in all the flavours and vital nutrients you find in fresh vegetables. In some cases, frozen vegetables are fresher than those bought from the fresh shelves in your local supermarket when you consider how long they’ve been in transit and on shelf before you actually eat them.
Normally once a food is frozen, it shouldn’t be defrosted and re-frozen, however, this doesn’t apply to all vegetables. So if, for instance, you make a purée from frozen peas, it can be re-frozen and used at a later date.
We’ve found that using Ice Cube Trays to store puréed food is a great way to cut down on waste. We simply pop a cube or two out each morning and let it defrost ready for his lunch.
Weaning Myth #4: Delayed weaning increases allergies
Another weaning myth that has been busted relates to allergies. It has been proven that delayed weaning has no impact on the development of allergies. Instead, it is more likely to make your life more difficult in the future as you try to encourage your baby to eat solid foods and experience new textures and tastes.
We introduce a new food to Little G-Man every 3 days. This gives us enough time to see if there’s any reaction to it and thus far, we’ve seen no issues.
Weaning Myth #5: Weaning helps weight gain
Not true. When you consider breast milk has around 70 Kcal per 100g and in comparison a typical sample of puréed carrots only contains have 27 Kcal per 100g, there is a significant difference.
Research has shown that by continuing with milk feeds while starting your weaning journey encourages your baby to reach their optimum weight, as initial foods are often low in energy.
Weaning Myth #6: You can stop Breast/Formula feeding
Milk’s still the main source of goodness. Fact.
Starting solids is not a cue to start dropping feeds sadly and for a considerable time to come (and at least until he’s established on three decent meals a day), Little G-Man will still need to get most of his daily nutrients and calories from breast or formula milk.
So there we go. Our initial thoughts of weaning being a straight forward process resulting in an easier life have been blown out of the water. Still, seeing Little G-Man pull some award winning gurning faces is well worth it.