We started dabbling with solids at 25 weeks. Caleb is now 30 weeks, so I feel like we’ve a bit of a handle on things now.

In the beginning I thought I might go with baby led weaning, but the second that first piece of steamed carrot baton broke off and caused gagging, choking, eye watering and subsequent vomiting, I was pretty much off the band wagon.

I reverted to the more familiar territory of purees. Having said that, I do give Caleb something in his hand at most meals so he can have a little explore, chew, choke. I stand by with bated breath and silently rejoice when he’s dropped every last piece on the floor. It is getting easier though.

We went gung ho at the start and didn’t pay much heed to the four day rule. During the first week I had included all of the following either in finger food or puree form: broccoli, carrot, sweet potato. sweet corn, pea, banana, avocado, pear, mango and yogurt. The quantities were minimal though, with most of it ending up in the growing finger food pile under his highchair.

Then I got a grip of myself and decided to be a little more organised. We settled into a routine of giving him breakfast (7-8am) and dinner (4pm). An avocado and pear mix for brekkie, and dinner consisting of a sweet potato base with either sweet corn or pea. We continued like that for a week anyway but pretty soon constipation became an issue and we had to reassess.

From his very first post solids poop it was obvious Caleb wasn’t a fan of the new bulkier deposits being made into his nappy. At first he seemed quite worried by this new and strange occurrence, but after a few more days it became a far more traumatic experience as he screamed and bawled his way through even the smallest of bowel motions.

My first instinct was to pull back on the foreign grub and boob our way back to normality. We reduced to one meal a day and added breast milk to it for a much runnier consistency, and just carried on boob feeding around the clock. I also upped his pear intake after researching other foods that could help reduce constipation.

One morning, 5.30am, Caleb was in bed beside me boobing away for the millionth time that night when he suddenly let out a scream that wouldn’t have been out of place had his finger been caught in the door. I knew immediately what it was and assumed pooping position by stripping him and bringing his knees to his chest. The poor little guy squeezed and cried his way though the substantial passing before reverting to his normal happy self. Next day I took him to the doc to check for a fissure and make sure there was nothing else medically I was missing. All was well from the docs point of view. He advised more water and fruit, as well as prescribing a mild laxative so as to give Caleb a few pain free experiences in a row to prevent him becoming fearful and holding on.

Since then we’ve increased his water intake with meals and thankfully it turns out he loves it. I bring a bottle of water with me everywhere now too and offer it between feeds. He’s on three meals a day, still all consisting of veg and fruit mix. We haven’t gotten around to introducing meat or fish yet, and he’s on very limited grains. His poops are a lot easier (although still not an entirely happy affair) now too, but we have to keep an eye on the number of days he goes without dropping a load just to make sure he doesn’t get backed up. He is sleeping better at night for sure, and it’s definitely due to having a full tummy. He was waking every two hours before for feeds and was genuinely hungry, but now he’ll go for four or maybe five hour stretches. #Winning

Here’s the basics we started with:

Avocado – No need to steam or cook in any way as long as it’s ripe enough. Just a good mash, and add breast milk/formula/water to thin the consistency in the beginning.

Pear – Another raw option. Just peel and core the pear and give it a quick blitz in a food processor, or even a thorough mash with a fork.

Avocado and Pear – A quick and easy combo that works well.

Sweet Potato – Pealed, diced and steamed. I use a metal colander over a saucepan with a small amount of water which can then be used to thin purees.

Peas – I used frozen. I microwaved them covered, with a tablespoon of water. Whizzed them up in the processor, and then pushed them through a sieve with the back of a spoon.

Sweet Potato and Pea – Yum.