Taking a Mindful and Positive Approach to Weaning - Guest Post - Isobel Mary Champion

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Hello! My name is Isobel Mary Champion, and I am a Parenting Coach based in Enfield Town in leafy Middlesex (just on the edge of London!). I am dIsobel Mary Championelighted to be working with Wild Ayanda to bring you some of my very best advice on some of the most common parenting themes! Formerly a full-time professional London nanny, I specialise in creating a calming environment for both parent and child. Having spent over a decade working with children and their families in London, I am an expert in creating strategies and solutions for struggling parents. I hope you will enjoy reading some of my tips! Let’s begin with weaning…

 

Weaning can become a very stressful time if things do not appear to be going smoothly, and it can be very easy to assume that you are doing something wrong when your baby just keeps clamping their mouth shut! But try not to worry, this is just the beginning of a life-long eating adventure, and you are teaching your baby to do something very, very new to them! There are likely to be a few hurdles and a few mishaps along the way (and all babies clamp their mouths shut sometimes!), but the best thing you can do is to stay calm, take things slowly, and keep in mind that your baby will only eat when they are ready to do so. 

  1. When is my baby ready?

The NHS recommends introducing solid foods from around 6 months. Before this, try to make sure your baby sees you eating and sees you enjoying your own food! This will make it seem like a more tempting activity! Does your baby show an interest in what you are eating (or drinking?)? This is a good sign that they are ready to begin weaning.

Weaning Tips Wild Ayanda

      2. Don’t try to cook everything from scratch!

Don’t pressure yourself to prepare all of your baby’s food from scratch right at the start – most of it will end up on their clothes and face anyway, and the “meal” will only last for a few seconds! Buy in some good quality, organic baby food pouches with all natural ingredients, and prepare your own when you have the time and energy. 

      3. Don’t expect your baby to eat very much at the start!

At the start, try to see weaning as more of an activity than a mealtime. The aim of the game is just to get a little taste of things into your baby’s mouth – the amount of food they actually eat will be minimal! In fact, “eat” is pretty misleading – if you can get a little smear of puree into their mouth on the first couple of occasions then you are a winner! Try different flavours on the end of your finger or a spoon, and enjoy your baby’s reaction (they will pull some weird and wonderful faces - do not let this put you off!).

Leopard Print Waterproof Bib Wild Ayanda

       4. Mamma, baby and toddler can all eat the same thing!!

Make sure you don’t end up cooking a different meal for each member of the family! Aim to give your baby a baby-friendly version of whatever you and your family are eating. This will familiarise your baby with your regular eating habits, and make life easier for you! Puree, mash or prepare finger-food portions of the different elements of your own meal (add salt to the rest of the meal afterwards if required!), and serve them up to your baby! Your toddler can eat a slightly different version (and Dad too!). 

  1. What is baby-led weaning?

Baby-led weaning means exactly what it says on the tin! You let your baby take the lead on what they do and do not put into their mouth, with more emphasis on finger-food, and less emphasis on spoon-fed purees! To be honest, all weaning is baby-led, because they always have the final say! I recommend letting them try a little bit of almost everything (you can find a list of foods that you should avoid giving your baby here), and experimenting with serving foods in different ways to see what appeals most to your baby.

Easy Veg Pasta Recipe Wild Ayanda

 

  1. Try to stay calm and be mindful of your own feelings.

Just relax and take things slowly, your baby will do things at their own pace, and not a moment sooner! If you become stressed or anxious, and try to rush things, your baby will probably sense this, and become more resistant. Try to make your eating environment as calm and positive as possible, and introduce elements that you find soothing (some calming music or a relaxing radio station, some flowers or indoor plants, and choose some nice tableware that will bring you pleasure – Wild Ayanda have the perfect colour scheme for a calming and positive mealtime!). 

A final thought on the stressful, anxiety-inducing process that weaning can become, especially for new Mummies: 

Remember to look after yourself, to make sure that you are getting three nutritious meals a day yourself (Mamma needs to eat too!), and if you are struggling, don’t think twice about reaching out for help from a friend, family member, neighbour, or a coach like myself! Sometimes just having somebody else there to tell you that you are doing the right thing, and that everything is totally normal can make all the difference! Try to relax… 

For more comprehensive advice on weaning, visit the blog pages of my own website to read the lowdown from my Registered Nutritionist! You can also find a list of my tip 10 weaning recipe books to inspire your weaning adventure, and more of my thoughts about how to handle “fussy eaters”, and dinner time drama! Please get in touch if you would like to discuss any of the topics covered in this post, and visit my website for more information about child development, child behaviour, parenting, and becoming one of my coaching clients! I look forward to hearing from you! 

Isobel 

www.isobelmarychampion.com

 

Follow me on Twitter  @isobelmaryc and Instagram @isobelmaryc

 


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