It’s never the things you expect that trip you up and after getting through the early trials of breast feeding, creating routines, sleep training and the general ‘getting out of the house in less than two hours’ challenges that come with early motherhood I never expected to be so thrown by the weaning process.
I consider myself to be quite a relaxed parent and try hard not to sweat the small stuff but witnessing Phoebe gagging (or what I thought was choking) on fruit as we began baby led weaning honestly made me never want to give her any solid food again. I tried to reason with myself and really focus on the information about gagging vs. choking. I understood that it was a necessary stage of exploring food and that every baby does it but it still left me in a panic every time it happened.
This, paired with the painfully brief weaning visit I received from the health visitor at 16 weeks (a long time before the suggested 6 month start for weaning), meant I didn’t get off to the best weaning start. My worry about the process meant I was unable to think creatively about meals and instead began to form habits, giving Phoebe the same few foods I felt were safe. I wished I’d attended a workshop before beginning the process and worried it was too late to do so but Rebecca at Selena’s Suppers came to our rescue.
Rebecca’s baby led weaning workshops run from Baby Bear’s Den in Crosby and last an hour. As a qualified nutritionist Rebecca is able to walk you through the process, suggesting recipes, types of food and how to prepare them. Rebecca is also mum to 16 month old Selena and can empathise with many of the obstacles faced throughout the weaning process.
For me the session was a chance to confirm lots of pieces of information I had taken from different places and check that what we were doing was along the right lines. Rebecca was able to offer the time and individual advice that instilled confidence in the food choices I would make following the session. This advice extends past the session as Rebecca encourages mums to continue messaging questions as and when they come up.
All babies have the option to try some finger food in the class, a daunting prospect for the mums of younger babies, many of whom would be trying it for the first time. However, if you do have any reservations about giving food, what better place to do it than surrounded by other mums and with an expert in the room. There is no pressure to offer the food to baby during the workshop and if you choose not to, just seeing the way the food is chopped and served is a good start. It can also be reassuring to watch other babies attempting the food even if you don’t feel ready to begin this yourself.
The great thing about the session is the follow up, I’ve already mentioned the opportunity to continue asking questions, but every member of the workshop also gets a pack full of information. This includes NHS guidelines and ideas from the Start4Life campaign and also has info on portion sizes, choking and meal ideas. Rebecca also includes 4 recipe cards to be tried at home. Keep your eyes peeled for my review of just how easy the recipes are and whether even the most limited chef (such as myself) can make them work!