How to host a weaning party (yes, I know that’s not really a thing)
So, a weaning party is definitely not a thing. But I want to make it one. Because it’s really easy, really fun, and a great reason to get together with a bunch of mums with babies of the same age – either through your NCT group, through a local Facebook parents group, or just people you’ve met along the way. It’s great to be able to share what you’re doing, whether baby-led or spoon fed or a mixture of the two, and to share what’s been working, what’s not working, how you’re dealing with baby gas, etc.
For me, it feels as though weaning has come around so quickly this time. With Theo, I remember thinking that I’d basically start food, stop milk, and that would be it – she’d be weaned! With Bee, I’m a bit more realistic. I don’t think Theo even actually swallowed any food until he was about 8 months old – he’d spend most of his time just playing with it! Bee is definitely showing more interest, and I wanted to celebrate this period in her life a little bit.
I LOVE seeing the look on her face when she’s eating, and know a bunch of other mums locally with children roughly the same age, so decided to have a weaning party.
There was also a secondary reason, which is that my NCT friend recently started working with Babease, which is an incredible baby food company that has ready made pouches that are entirely vegetable based, and she offered to send me a little party pack of pouches to test out. Last time around I rarely used pouches because the ones that were available at the time all seemed to be 80% apple or pears, when what I was looking for was something that didn’t contain a ton of fruit juice in it. Now there are a lot more options on the market, which is great news for parents!
So what do you need for a weaning party? Really not a lot. We had 7 mums, 7 weaning aged babies and 1 toddler in my small living room for a cup of tea and a biscuit, and then everyone moved into the kitchen. I had an Ikea chair, a Bumbo style seat and a Phil & Ted’s clip on high chair, and I asked a few of the others who were coming from either very close or by car to bring along their own chair. I also asked people to bring their own bib and spoon, although I did have spare messy muslins in case people forgot.
Oh, and wipes. Lots and lots of wipes. I put out a big stack of cheeky wipes on the table for people to use, and we got through pretty much the whole stack.
I made some of these muffins (this was pre-my vegan decision), chopped up some nectarines and cherry tomatoes, and put out 5 or 6 pouches for people to try. Preparing for the party probably took 20 minutes.
And the verdict was… it was so fun! The babies seemed to love the food, the toddler had fun playing with someone else’s toys, it was really nice to chat to the mums about how they found weaning the first time (most of them were second time around parents) and what they’re doing differently this time, and to share our experiences this time around. My friend at Ebury (where I used to work) had sent along some copies of Sara Patience’s Easy Weaning, and that is full of advice, so I got it out and referred to it a couple of times when questions were raised. It was a super low-key morning, but really nice to celebrate this big milestone, and definitely worth doing.
Thanks so much to Babease for providing us with free pouches and to my friend at Ebury Publishing for sending some books for everyone to take home. I didn’t promise either of them a blog post about this event, just a share on Instagram, but it was so great of them to help, so I just wanted to spread the word!