Social media really can be a great thing for sharing information. We had a really exciting twitter chat last month on weaning. Lots of dietitians, mums and bloggers came together and shared their tips on all things related to weaning.
To read what we discussed, click here: Weaning Twitter Chat
We run these #rduk nutrition chats monthly so join us live for a future one!
Unfortunately Oscar was born with a cleft palate. It’s quite common in the UK and 1 in 700 babies are born with a cleft palate. Feeding has been slightly more difficult as he is unable to suck (he can’t get a vacuum to suck) and so we have use a special squeezy bottle to give him milk. We effectively ‘squeeze’ the milk into his mouth and he drinks it. Sometimes the milk goes up his nose and he does get a lot of wind but he is doing very well and thriving.
Weaning presents it’s own challenges but being a dietitian has given me confidence to overcome these. Here are a few things I have learnt along the way;
- Weaning is really messy. Food does go up his nose and he sneezes alot. Never wear a white t-shirt when serving carrots!
- Give drink breaks. Between mouthfuls of food give some sips of milk (formula or breastmilk) or water to help your baby clear out his mouth/nose.
- Play with the texture. Stage 1 purees were too runny for Oscar. They kept going up his nose. I found that by adding baby cereal, rice or porridge to fruit/vegetable purees to make them thicker helped a lot. Every baby is different so you may need to play with the texture to get it just right for your little one.
- Be careful with citrus fruits. Oscar has not had any of these yet but I have heard these can be harder to tolerate due to the acidity
- Get advice from your cleft team. We were advised to start weaning at 4 months so Oscar would be used to solids by the time of his operation. Please follow guidance from your cleft team.
- Alot of the normal weaning advice still applies. Like all babies, your baby still needs to experience a range of textures and flavours by the age of 1 year. this is to ensure that good eating habits develop for life. Don’t be put off by the cleft palate!
TOP TIP: Weaning is pretty much the same with a cleft palate baby. You may need to make a few minor tweaks but it is still a fun adventure and Oscar is really enjoying his food.
Weaning doesn’t have to be daunting or complicated
Before I started I thought I would refresh my memory and look through several of the weaning books I have. They are all more than 100 pages long!!! Which new parent has time to read on top of a busy day looking after a baby? I definitely don’t!
My aim with this blog is provide simple, bite size pieces of information that you can look at as you go along. All this information will be based on sound evidence and in line with current guidelines. It will also be practical as I will have personally tried it all out.
Please feel free to share any of your tips or learnings. Weaning doesn’t have to be daunting. It should be fun and simple. Enjoy it, because if you do, then your little one will too! Good luck!
Our Weaning Adventure
Weaning is an exciting but a daunting adventure that all parents must face when their baby reaches 6 months old. I am a dietitian with professional experience advising parents on how to wean and now I am doing it as a parent. And it’s definitely different being on the other side. I am really excited to share this journey with my little boy Oscar.
Weaning is very important for the future eating habits of your little one and how your baby is weaned really does matter. Research shows that babies weaned on home cooked foods eat more fruit and vegetables as toddlers than those weaned on prepared baby foods. I’m not the best cook but I am good enough, and determined to give it a go whilst having fun along the way!
I hope some of my learnings can help you. Please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences too.