We decided to start weaning the girls at around six months. You could definitely tell they were ready as every time Joss or I ate in front of them, it was like being watched by someone who was on a diet! They couldn’t take their eyes off us. They watched every mouthful and would start to cry and open their mouths.

I don’t think we had realised what a change this was going to be. We tried googling a load of stuff to get a better understanding of how to go about it but there are so many conflicting things online that I think we ended up being even more confused.

We read about baby led weaning and thought we would do a bit of that combined with normal weaning as it seemed like the easiest option considering we would be feeding both of them by ourselves from time to time.

We started off by introducing baby rice in the mornings. I have never seen anything like it. They ate it faster than I could, and for anyone who knows me, that is saying something! They loved every mouthful. This definitely led us into a false sense of security, we thought weaning was going to be, excuse the pun, a piece of cake.

We did the baby rice thing for a couple of weeks and then decided to introduce a small meal as a ‘supper’ before their bottle and bed.

This is the other thing that people don’t tell you about when you have kids, as soon as you have got your head around one routine and you relax into it and get your confidence, something new comes along and the routine changes and you need to learn a whole new thing. It’s never ending.

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There’s so much information online about what they can or can’t have that we actually found it quite scary and quite hard to know which advice to follow. This probably wasn’t helped by the fact that we gave them both scrambled eggs to try in the first couple of days and Bella had an allergic reaction to them. We gave her a few spoonfuls and her whole mouth and neck came up in red blotches – not the best of starts.

To be totally honest, after the scrambled egg incident we went and bought a ton of Ella’s pouches and they turned out to be invaluable. We used the ones labelled ‘6 months’ and started introducing a small pouch that we shared between the two of them at dinner time.  This started to go up to a large one between them and now they can have a whole pouch each. This really helped us to gain confidence with the whole thing and start to realise the sort of things they could eat. Some of the combinations seemed rather ‘odd’ like pears, broccoli and peas but the girls seemed to love them all.

We did this for a couple of weeks and then started to introduce our own food for them. And the quantities started to increase quite rapidly too. We still use them now as they’re great for if you’re out and about. They even do spoons now that stick onto the pouch to make your life even easier, I have had to squeeze it straight into Bella’s mouth before when I forgot a spoon and she started losing it – hey, sometimes you have to improvise.

Joss was really keen not to keep them solely on pureed food as she didn’t want fussy eaters – again, a luxury you just can’t afford when trying to feed two by yourself. We started to introduce food that was more lumpy. Amelie seemed to have no problems with it, whereas Bella acted as if she was choking every time there was the tiniest lump in her food. She would cough and splutter and dry heave which was terrifying at first as we thought she was choking, but after a few meal times it actually became funny how dramatic she was about the whole thing.

This went on for a good few days and then she settled down and started to eat things normally.

We decided it was probably time to move them on to three meals a day. This meant we needed to invest in some high chairs as the bouncy chairs weren’t cutting it anymore!

I had no idea what went in to picking a high chair, I just looked at some cheap multicoloured thing that I thought looked like it would do the job, mainly because it was about £30, which was met with ‘I am not having that in my kitchen the whole time, its huge and doesn’t match anything!’ What do i know!? We (well, lets be honest, Joss) decided she wanted two white Stokke Tripp Trapp high chairs. When they arrived, I have to be honest, even I could see why. They tucked under our kitchen table, they were white and matched all of our chairs and you barely notice them when you walk into the kitchen. We have a small kitchen and not much storage so we knew the high chairs would have to be out the whole time, so I guess I can kind of see her point now.

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They have also been really good for the girls. We can sit them side by side tucked under the table and they seem to love being in them as well, we’ve had no tears placing them in yet and it’s really easy to feed them as they don’t have big trays in the way. I’d highly recommend them.

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We give them things like toast fingers for breakfast so they can try to hold it themselves and learn to feed themselves and then we tend to spoon feed them most lunch and supper as we haven’t quite figured out what finger foods work well for these yet – like I said, it’s a learning process!! We give them fruit which they feed themselves as well, like bananas.

We use the Vital baby suction bowl when we are feeding them which has been a life saver as it has a suction on the bottom so sticks to the tabletop so when they try to fling the bowl off of the table, luckily they can’t.

We learned we needed these the hard way when Bella flung the bowl of Weetabix out of Joss’s hand and it went all over both of them. It’s amazing how quick and string they are, she had done it in nano seconds.

A change that I have clearly loved the most since weaning them is the amount of times they go to the loo!!! My God, I have never known anything like it! I am sometimes changing their nappies two times in an hour. Milk was definitely easier on that front.

We are still figuring out the whole process but we are definitely starting to get there with it. But knowing this baby thing, we will just get our heads around it, and then something new will come along again and throw me for six!

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About The Author

Karl Dickson
Harlequins scrum half, Daddy blogger

I'm Karl Dickson and I am a professional rugby player at Harlequins, I've been there for six years and in 2012 went on the England tour to South Africa. I met Jocelyn four and a half years ago through current England international Mike brown on a night out in Clapham and recently Jocelyn and I got married. We are expecting non identical twins due in June, these will be our first babies, so apparently we don't do things by half! I have a degree in sports and exercise science from Coventry university where I graduated in 2003, after this I went to Bedford uni to start PGCE, but due to rugby commitments I didn't finish the course and was playing at Bedford Blues, where I played for four years before signing for Harlequins. I love to to travel, but with the Quins' twins imminent arrival my travelling days maybe on hold for a few years. In my spare time I'm a keen golfer and I'm also a coach at Effingham and Leatherhead rugby club. Kdickson9 (twitter and instagram)

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