Ten quick (not entirely serious) lessons I’ve learnt from the first two weeks of weaning:
1. Carrot purée stains clothes worse than poo (and that’s saying something). If you get some on your baby’s clothes get some stain remover on it as quickly as possible.
2. If it’s warm enough save on laundry by stripping your baby down to a nappy and bib for feeding time. For the first week of weaning each day I was putting her in less and less clothes, before I accepted that skin is easier to clean than material. (If I could strip myself down too I would but you never know who might come to the door).
3. Sweet potatoes are a b@~t%&d to peel and chop.
4. If you use breastmilk to dilute a purée or make porridge, to ease your baby in with a familiar taste, remember that you did that before licking or tasting the food yourself – breastmilk isn’t yummy if you’re not a baby.
5. Baby portions are tiny (we started with one tablespoon) so if heating in the microwave they only need seconds (less than 10). I nuked the first batch.
6. A typical 1kg bag of vegetables is going to make one hell of a lot of purée. I had enough carrot purée to paint a wall of the house, even after freezing portions. Start small.
7. When you think your baby is fully cleaned up after feeding, hold a toy above their head, because there will still be a whole of food you missed under the chin.
8. Don’t be disheartened if your baby pulls a face and refuses to eat your lovingly prepared food. All my friends seemed to have stories of their babies gobbling up food from the first time, but it took at least two weeks for my baby to swallow anything, even though I had waited until the recommended 24 weeks to start.
9. If your baby isn’t eating don’t make mealtime stressful by trying to force her. Food isn’t their main source of nutrition at this stage so it’s just about getting them used to the sensation of swallowing foods and the different tastes. Just sing a few songs and enjoy making a bit of a mess together.
10. Make sure you stock up on nappies, things are just getting interesting on that front.