Do you really need to go on a course to learn about weaning? Isn't it all just common sense and instinct?
I was lucky enough to be invited to a 'Weaning in a Nutshell' workshop by Nicola, of Happy Tums earlier this month. Since the guidelines have changed many times since we weaned our daughter, I was interested to measure how well we did against modern practises.
Set in a small room, it was instantly obvious this workshop was designed to make parents and babies feel relaxed and at ease in their surroundings. When I arrived there were around 10 mums with their little ones sitting in a circle, discussing many topics, but the one that came up most was choking. It was interesting to see that this was one of their biggest concerns when thinking about weaning. Nicola did an amazing job of explaining about the gagging reflex and the differences in sounds when a baby gags or chokes. Nicola recommended that parents take a paediatric first aid course. This is great for so many reasons - you never know when you might need to apply the skills learned on the course.
After the informal discussion, we covered what foods to start with and why. I thought I knew this one...baby rice of course! But what I didn't know is that it is over processes and classed as a sugar, so not a good star for me!
Next, the big question... when to start?
Nicola gave a great explanation from a scientific perspective as to why you should wait until 6 months. Once we had the facts, we went around the group to come up with the signs to look out for so you know baby is ready to wean. Guess who got most of the signs wrong?!!
We started weaning our daughter when she was 3 month old and Nicola explained why I thought it was time to start weaning and why I could have left it longer before starting. That's two things I did wrong.
Traditional vs Baby Led Weaning (BLW) approaches
I left this part of the workshop wishing I could turn back the clock and have another go at weaning. We started when B was young, so we started with purees. If I had known more about BLW, I think we would have more than likely changed our approach.
Did I feel the course helped me to understood when to start weaning, what are the signs and what foods we should start with? Yes it certainly did!
Did I feel I empowered to start weaning after attending the course? Again a resounding yes from me!
Would I recommend attending a course like this? Absolutely - I just wish it had been around when I was going through it with B.
As well as the content covered by attending the course, parents receive a pack with details on everything covered (how can you write anything down when you have a baby sat on your knee?) and a link to Happy Tums Facebook group. I think having a support network is really important so you can ask questions and get tips from the experts and people who are going through weaning at the same time. This can help stop the worrying and enables you to enjoy weaning, the mess and the fun of eating with your baby from an early age.
If you are interested in attending this course contact Happy Tums via their website.
About Happy Tums - Nicola and Theresa are qualified Nutritionists and run Happy Tums to equip parents with healthy weaning knowledge to give babies the best start on their weaning adventure.
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