Up for grabs are some yummy 'stage one' products, perfect for little ones from four months plus when they start to hanker after solids. Specifically, they are:
- Banana and peach breakfast
- Apple, orange and banana cereal
- 4 x baby jars
- 3 x fruit pouches
- Fruit pots
Weaning is an exciting time for both parents and child; you are experiencing your baby taking their next developmental step (which should hopefully lead to less sleepless nights - bonus!) while they begin experimenting with tastes and textures.
The question is of course, how do you know when your child is ready to begin the process of weaning?
I knew when my two were ready to be weaned because they would stare wide-eyed at my food, dribble at the sight of it and gnaw on their fists as if they were ravenous - milk was obviously just not enough for them any more. I was lucky that Sophia and Dexter didn't exhibit some of the other tell-tale signs such as demanding more frequent feeds or waking in the night for extra milk. However, if your baby does start doing this, take heart in knowing that once you begin weaning, this should hopefully settle down again.
The Department of Health recommends for babies to begin weaning at six-months-old. With each of my children I I decided to rely on them to tell me when they were ready and took the advice of my Health Visitor both times before starting the process. Sophia and Dexter were around five months old when they had their first taste of baby rice. Neither of them have looked back since.
|Sophia enjoying some baby rice, aged six months|
Here's where I have a confession to make though. The current 'thinking' regarding weaning is to let babies feed themselves (baby-led weaning). This involves giving your baby finger foods and letting them learn to feed themselves - no spoons, bowls or messy purees. I didn't do this.
I was so nervous with Sophia because of feeding-related problems when she was born (more on that at a later date, I'm sure) that I wasn't willing to take any chances. With Dexter, I tried to introduce baby-led weaning but the only things he willing to shove into his mouth are socks and cuddly toys.
So I turned to purees. I would make my own batches of basic flavours (apple, banana, potato etc.) and froze them for when I needed them. But I'm not the most confident cook and I found baby jars to be a godsend. For me, using pre-prepared baby food provided real reassurance that my babies were getting some proper nourishment.
|Dexter enjoying his puree|
Out of all the brands available, I found an affinity with HiPP Organic. It's not because I'm fiercely pro-organic, but they make good, high quality, nourishing food. I'm not being paid to say this, I honestly believe it. Dexter has recently discovered their Little Nibbles range of healthy rice cakes while Sophia still loves the HiPP fruit pots even now.
Another plus to HiPP is that they have their own Baby Club you can sign up to. It offers a whole range of benefits, the best one being the free food samples.
The HiPP Organic website has further information about weaning, including advice on food allergies, fruit and vegetable portion sizes for babies and a weaning FAQ.
So, back to the giveaway, to be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is comment on this post and let me know your weaning fears or stories. Don't forget to include your Twitter ID or Facebook username too so that I can contact you if you win. If you don't want to enter, you can still leave a comment but make clear that you don't want to be considered for the giveaway.
This giveaway will run for one week and will end at 10pm on Wednesday 18th January 2012. All entries will be placed into a hat and the winner will be drawn at random.
The winner will be announced on Twitter and Facebook so make sure you come and 'like' my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter, if you haven't done so already.
Please note: The giveaway prize was provided by HiPP Organic free of charge. I was also compensated with some goodies from their Little Nibbles range, which my son is currently enjoying.