I started weaning Arjun when he was about 4.5 months old. I was super excited as he was my first and was so eager to get on with it! It’s so different with my second, Saajan, for more reasons than one. Firstly, he has Down Syndrome. Down Syndrome often means low muscle tone which means they take a teeny tiny bit longer to develop gross motor skills such as head control, paced swallowing and sitting up all of which can impact weaning. It also results in a delay in the development of fine motor skills which is the use of the hands and fingers so can impact when a child can pick things up. Secondly, I wasn’t in any rush for my baby to grow up this time! Thirdly, he’s a superhero – he’s recently had open heart surgery and that’s sets him further back a little.
At 6 months, we decided it was time to begin our weaning journey and to start introducing new textures tastes and shapes, one month post op. I’ve always deep down felt as though Saajan is going to be a foodie and that makes me excited to embark on this journey!
I’ve had my concerns around weaning Saajan especially as he’s not sitting up and isn’t close to just yet, he also hasn’t quite found his footing with his head control yet and can be a little wobbly. I’ve been working with our local Speech & Language Therapist (SALT) and the ones at The Royal Brompton in establishing the best way to begin weaning. Thankfully, we own a swing from when Arjun was born – it props him up high enough to be able to feed him. It was the same swing I began Arjun’s weaning journey in! All the SALT’s I’ve spoken to really felt that weaning would help Saajan especially as thicker consistencies would be easier for him to swallow slower and to master control of the use of his mouth and tongue. I’ve also been concerned about weaning encouraging the outward movement of his tongue but I guess we can’t let that hold us back.
Firstly, here’s a list of our weaning essentials:
- A spoon – we have chosen to go with the Munchkin soft tip infant spoons
- A bowl – ours is our favoruite Buddy & Bear bowl
- Milk – Saajan is fed with SMA
- Porridge – we chose the Organix strawberry and banana porridge
- weaning bibs
- Suitable seating – we use our Fisher Price baby swing at the moment
Organix is a well established brand in our house offering variety of healthy snacks – most of Arjun’s favourite snacks are made by the brand. It was therefore only natural that I decided to start weaning Saajan with Organix’s Strawberry and Banana flavoured porridge. I know the usual protocol is to begin with baby rice, but judging from Arjun’s experience, I decided to skip straight to porridge! I was particularly drawn to the Organix porridge as it has added vitamin B1.
I’ve adopted the same approach as I did with Arjun – we first introduced breakfast, once we’re good with that, we’ll then begin introducing lunches trying the same flavour over a few days before introducing dinners. If you’d like to read more on our vegetarian weaning journey approach from past experience, you can do so here.
The first time we fed Saajan, I used a watered down version of porridge as I felt he’d be more familiar with it. He took to it well and gulped down about 14 spoons! I noticed the following few days, he wasn’t as keen and decided to blow raspberries instead! I decided to thicken the consistency and it worked! He definitely prefers it a little thicker and it also helps with his tongue control when it’s not as watery.
After 4 days of just porridge for breakfast, I decided to introduce finger food – a ripe banana. Saajan isn’t quite there yet with lifting food from the table and towards his mouth but I know with perseverance and in time he’ll get there! Arjun and I helped him and he absolutely loved sucking on it!
As time progresses, the plan is to introduce further flavours – predominantly vegetables to begin with over fruit (who doesn’t have a sweet tooth?!) and will be following a similar regime to that of Arjun’s weaning journey just on the scenic route taking our time and letting Saajan guide us.
In the mean time, here are some tips for 1st food adventures with Organix’s #NoJunkJourney!:
Do you have any weaning tips for us? What were your baby’s first flavours?
Disclosure: this is a sponsored post either in the form of remuneration or a free product being sent to us for review however all thoughts and opinions are our own.