We've hit a massive milestone this week and have started Peyton on proper food food. We've waved goodbye to the purees and said a big hello to proper solid solids.

I've touched on weaning before, but will quickly recap now.

We started giving Peyton pureed vegetable(s) at tea time around 18/19 weeks. She was showing all the signs of being ready and, when we gave them to her, she didn't gag or spit it out - so I knew she was game. We introduced porridge at breakfast time a week or so ago. By this time, she was comfortably having two, sometimes three, full little plastic weaning pots of vegetables and/or fruit at tea time.

We'd also started giving her some finger foods as well, to get her used to feeding herself. Namely the Ella's Kitchen melty sticks and melty puffs and the Kiddylicious wafers. The Ella's Kitchen ones were great as they were like Wotsits and just melted in her mouth. She had more luck with the sticks than the puffs as they were longer and easier to hold/put in her mouth and suck. Similarly with the wafers, they looked like a little surf board-shaped prawn cracker. But, they too melted in her mouth. She was getting really good at her hand-eye coordination and everything was going straight in her mouth and being sucked/gummed and, sometimes, swallowed.

I had wanted to do baby-led weaning (BLW) with Peyton - which is basically where you feed your baby exactly what you eat (with the exception of honey as they can't have anything with honey in/on until they are 1 and no whole nuts as they're a choking hazard). I'll also limit the amount of salt and sugar she has - so she won't eat exactly what I do - but you catch my drift.

I joined a group on Facebook to get ideas/top tips etc. in preparation for starting and, while it was great for these, it was also one of the most judgemental, attacking places I have seen. I know these mum won't, on the whole, mean any malice, and probably just have everyone's best interests at heart. But if a mum thinks their baby is ready, and is being safe with it, nobody should have any opinion on that. I have touched on it before, how the perfect mum brigade on there would jump on anyone who so much as suggested weaning their babies before 6 months/26 weeks and were quick to shoot down anyone who said they were going to progress from purees to BLW. In fact, I myself was shot down about this.

"It's not BLW if you've started with purees, that's traditional weaning."

I'm no expert, but to me, it's still baby led as I don't feed her. She takes the lead. I just put the food in front of her and she feeds herself. We just dived straight in with solid stuff, we didn't gradually go to thicker, chunkier purees first.

I've seen people say introducing purees can increase the choking risk when you do start on solids, as they just get used to swallowing, but that's definitely not been the case with us. If anything, I think it's helped her because it's going so well so far. Tom is a bit worried that she's not 'eating' as much as when she was having purees. She used to scoff down three pots sometimes, but obviously won't eat that much yet of her solid food. But, as I said to him, if she's hungry she'll just take more milk from me. I've tried, where possible, to use the purees I made as a sauce or spread or filling, so that she is still consuming them somehow but just in/on something else. And, if we find BLW stops working for us, we'll revert right back to purees. I'm not precious about it like some mums are on this group.

Some absolutely lose their mind when they find out someone has spoon-fed their baby a pouch of fruit, or they've given them a jar of food. Heaven forbid. I mean, they've been fed - surely that's the main thing? Chill the chuff out.

Anyway, I digress...

We started our BLW journey on Friday. I know, she's not six months yet. Bad mummy. But she was showing all the signs and was absolutely desperate to feed herself. When we'd give her the purees she was grabbing the spoon and feeding herself it, and she was forever trying to pinch bits off our plates.

So, we took the decision to begin. We started off simple and she had steamed apple slices with cinnamon on for breakfast. It smelt amazing - next time she has them I'm putting some on my porridge for me!

She did really, really well to say it was her first proper go at eating anything solid. It went in her mouth and she managed to chew and swallow some bits.

We were out at lunchtime and hadn't gone prepared, so we just picked some peppers off what we were eating and she gummed down on them. Most ended up on the floor, though. She was a fan of the potato wedge we let her have, though! That was demolished rather quickly.

Tea that night was a spinach and ricotta tortellini in a broccoli, pea and spinach sauce (aka a pot of puree left in the fridge!) with steamed tenderstem broccoli and asparagus. I'd seen that tenderstem was easier for them to hold as it was that bit longer than regular broccoli.

She did amazing to say it was her first go. The girl definitely loves her greens!

Day two, and Saturday morning's breakfast was Weetabix soaked in some expressed breast milk topped with chopped grapes and blueberries. Weetabix will definitely be a breakfast she has when Tom is home to help with the clean up because it was messy. She seemed to really enjoy it but, my God, it looked like she'd been covered in baby lotion and rolled around in sand! She was straight in the bath.

She ate quite a lot, though - despite how much it looked like she was wearing! We tried some pre-loaded spoons to see how she got on with those and she actually did really well. Some die-hard BLW-ers will slate you for starting on purees but I honestly thing it's prepared Peyton really, really well. She can move food around her mouth, she isn't gagging, and she's great with a pre-loaded spoon. Obviously every baby is different, but it's worked really well for her.

For lunch she had toast fingers with butter, a hard boiled egg and some beans - we had poached eggs on toast with beans and bacon, so it was our first time sitting down and, almost, eating the same thing. She wasn't so sure on the toast at first but she soon came round and couldn't shovel it in quick enough. The egg was a hit too and every time she smiled I could see beans tucked in her gums!

Teatime and she had fish fingers with cheesy mash, peas and steamed tenderstem broccoli. The broccoli is deffo one of her faves - but, then it was when she had her purees too! She always goes for that first and bites all the tree bits off. The mash and peas were a success, too, with us doing some more pre-loaded spoons for her. She was unsure about the fish fingers at first, but as with everything else once she started she couldn't get it in fast enough.

It was the first time we've given her anything other than fruit or veg, but I figured fish was a good place to start as it's flaky and not dry, so will be easy to chew/gum and swallow.

Today has been day three and we all started with pancakes for breakfast. Peyton had strawberry, apple and banana compote (aka a leftover pot of puree in the fridge, but compote sounds way fancier) in hers and some strawberries on the side. We had Nutella on ours, but she's too small for that amount of sugar first thing just yet!

The pancake went down an absolute treat! Next time, I'd maybe make hers a little thicker. Because it was quite thin it did break easily when she picked it up. Not that it seemed to bother her, and I guess it means it's easier to swallow that way. She didn't touch the side of strawberries, but I'm not too bothered about how much she eats - it's more about her learning what to do with it. Already I'm seeing her get better and better each day.

We ended up being out for lunch. We had Sunday dinner at a pub so just picked bits off our plate to give to P. She had a bit of carrot, cabbage, mash, pork and Yorkshire pudding. It was all received well but, of course, the Yorkshire pudding went down best.

And, finally, onto her tea for today. She had cheesy macaroni with peas and asparagus as well as some Ella's Kitchen carrot and sweet potato rice cakes topped with a carrot, apple and hummus spread from a company I found called Baby Led Spreads.

The asparagus was a huge hit and she ate A WHOLE PIECE in ONE GO! My heart was in my mouth, I won't lie. I was quickly racking my brains on how to do baby first aid, convinced she'd start choking, but she saw it off like a champ; she didn't even gag. She chewed the ends off all the other asparagus pieces, had a good suck on the rice cakes and spread, and had a go at some peas. Her pincer grip just isn't quite there yet for her to be able to pick up a pea and put it in her mouth. She didn't really entertain the pasta, only really touching it to move it to get to the asparagus!

I've been so impressed with how well she's taken to it. We're only on our third day but, as I said, she hasn't gagged or anything yet. I am not naive and know we have a long way to go, but I was fully prepared to have to deal with her gagging or, even worse, choking. I've been watching YouTube videos on how to do baby first aid.

I'm really glad that we started when we did. Yes, we could have waited another two weeks, but she was really ready. If she hadn't taken to it well we'd have stopped and tried again when she hit six months.

I am still breastfeeding alongside her having meals now. I'm still unsure about what I am going to do about breastfeeding going forward. She's still being really fussy with a bottle so I'm not sure how we'd go about her having formula from a sippy cup. I know with formula everything has to be sterilised to within an inch of its life - and I dunno how you'd do that with a sippy cup? I could just keep expressing breast milk and giving her it in the cup, but it's a lot of effort to express milk and can be quite time consuming sometimes. So that's something I'll have to work out over the next couple of weeks.

At the moment, though, she still feeds from me. Milk - either from the boob or formula - is still their main source of nutrition until they're 1. I try and feed her an hour before I know she'll have a meal and then either straight after or about an hour after, depending how she was acting. I can't really say I've noticed her cutting her feeds down as such, but then I never know how much milk she takes from me. They say they need to have at least 20oz of milk a day but it's impossible to know how much she gets from me. She still seems happy, though, so I am not worried. She is still feeding between 8 and 12 times in a 24-hour period, which is as before.

So, that's about it. Sorry if I have rambled a lot - I got on a bit of a roll!

If you are interested in following our weaning journey I set up a specific Instagram page for it. I didn't want to spam people on my own Instagram profile with Peyton anymore than I already do, so set up a specific place for it.

I followed quite a few baby food accounts to prepare me for feeding Peyton and got really addicted to seeing what babies were eating. Some of them are like Mrs Hinch - completely unachievable to the normal person but you just can't stop watching them and wishing you had time to do it too!

They've been good to get ideas from, though, and to see how babies cope with certain foods and learn new things. It's been so handy! It's also been good for my confidence and knowing it's ok to feed her certain things. It can be quite daunting giving them proper solid solids when they have no teeth, but they're so clever.

I do want to try, as much as possible, to just give her what we have. I'll have to get used to cooking without salt which will be tricky, but hopefully we'll get there. I'd like us all to sit down and eat tea together, but with Tom getting home so late that would be impossible most days. I might try have my tea with Peyton some nights, but I guess we'll just have to see how we go.

Tomorrow night's tea is going to be lasagne and chips. I usually make my own chips in the Actifry, but I like them really salty. So I'll have to have a think about what I'm going to do with those!

There we are - that's where we are at.

Hope I've not bored you to tears too much. I'll try keep my blog updated as much as possible with how we're getting on, but it's hard to find time to sit down and write it now. Peyton's on the move now and just rolls all over the place, I need eyes in the back of my head. As I am typing this she's just rolled into the Christmas tree and is, once again, trying to get into the presents underneath. She's a right monkey! She is getting much more independent, though, and can entertain herself with toys/the TV remote so I really should utilise that time better than I do now.

I'm going to stop now because I keep going off on tangents!

Lots of love

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