When Martha was 4 months old I wrote a post about when to wean, how to know when the time is right and my fears about weaning a baby whose gag reflex was so overactive that even a breastfeed could result in projectile vomiting if she took too big a gulp. Fast forward to Martha at nearly 11 months old and this girl simply loves her food! Here’s how months 6 to 10 went.
Months 4 to 6
We started Martha off with small tastes of porridge and baby rice, which seemed successful until she got to around the third mouthful, at which point she would gag and repeatedly projectile vomit until we were sure there couldn’t be anything left inside her! She tried the odd nibbles of finger foods, but she mostly looked at them and then dropped them on the floor.
In spite of her seeming really fascinated by food, we decided she wasn’t ready yet and didn’t want to create a negative association with food by provoking such a bad reaction, as well as forcing her into a gorgeous highchair which she randomly absolutely hated.
Months 6 to 9
As Christmas preparations came into full swing, we decided to try going down the same weaning route as Toby – a combination of baby led weaning and purees. I personally think that all weaning is baby-led if you’re reacting to their needs and not forcing spoons or food through tightly clamped lips, but I know purists would lynch me for that. This combination approach worked so well with Toby, but Martha absolutely would not eat from a spoon, so finger foods it was!
Up to about 8 months, Martha still didn’t care too much for any food and would barely take a nibble. It was important for us to remember the mantra:
Food is for fun until they’re one
This helps to remind parents that a baby’s main source of nutrition is milk and that even a 100% milk diet is sufficient for them at this age.
Come 8 months, something clicked in Martha’s head and suddenly she was guzzling everything in sight! Broccoli, scrambled eggs, bread, pasta and peas were definite favourites and it was a joy to see the look of concentration on her face as she focused on picking up a pea, then the triumph of getting it into her mouth.
We were sent a fantastic Stokke Tripp Trapp chair which takes children through each stage from babies to around 5 years of age. You can even get a newborn seat for it, this is then replaced with the baby set that Martha has once baby can sit up with support at around 6 months old. At Toby’s sort of age, the baby set can be removed and your child can sit in their own comfy chair; Each stage allows your little one to be right up at the table with you for fully inclusive family mealtimes.
At nearly 11 months old, Martha loves her food so much! She now also really enjoys sucking purees straight from the pouch and is quite a dab hand with a spoon too. The foods I mentioned above are still firm favourites and she also likes to munch on (and squish) bananas, grapes, mushrooms, cucumber and virtually anything that’s put in front of her!
Martha isn’t the signing maestro her brother was at this age, so instead of signing ‘Finished’ when she’s done, she’ll simply spit and swipe everything off of the table *sigh*
The weaning journey with Martha has been a longer process than with Toby and she would still prefer to breastfeed above all else, but she’s doing really well.