Do you have a "Weanager"?


We’ve all heard about the terrible twos, not to mention the testing teenage years, but what about the weanage months? That’s right, weanagers. Kids’ food brand, Ella’s Kitchen® has pinpointed a significant period in a little one’s life, during weaning, when they are likely to display some distinctive ‘weanage’ characteristics.

But how do you identify a weanager? To help mums and dads recognise this all important stage in their little one’s development, Ella’s Kitchen has partnered with parenting expert, Sarah Ockwell-Smith, to identify ten sure-fire signs your child is a fully-fledged weanager:


1. Your baby won’t let you leave, ever
Separation anxiety is possibly the hardest developmental phase for a weanager, but it is a sign of great parenting and a good indicator that your baby will grow to be happy, confident and independent

2. Your baby ends up wearing more food than they eat
Research shows it's super important to let your baby play with their food, babies who do so may be less fussy eaters as they grow. Eating isn't just about the food that goes into the baby's mouth though, it's about the touch and smell too.

3. Your baby loves to empty stuff
Weanagers spend a lot of time working on their 'filling and emptying' skills, whether it’s the laundry basket, toy box or the kitchen cupboard. This habit of theirs actually helps your little one learn about the world, through repeated actions and experiences.

4. Your baby puts EVERYTHING in their mouth
This is a sign that they are developing their hand/eye coordination, practising their pincer grip and investigating objects via the most sensory part of their body – their mouth!

5. Your baby does a great impression of you
You are your baby's best teacher and babies learn best by imitation. Every minute of the day, they are looking to you to see how to behave…so be sure to set a good example!

6. Your baby becomes a big fan of dropping things
The desire to drop and throw everything is a common stage in the weanage years. Don’t worry though, your weanager isn't being naughty; far from it, they’re actually being incredibly clever experimenting with gravity.

7. Your baby will have a favourite food one week, then go off it the next
We’re all entitled to change our minds, right? Especially if you’re a weanager. During this time, your baby has increasing ways to communicate their preferences, and you’ll soon become familiar with what these are.

8. Your baby enjoys testing out their new pincer grip, even on you
Towards the end of the weanage months, your weanager will really start working on that pincer grip of theirs. All of the practice picking up raisins will now come to fruition – just keep an eye on your keys and phone!

9. Your baby starts spontaneously waving hello or goodbye
Weanagers are social little beings and their communication skills increase by the day – prepare for lots of waving ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’.

10. Your baby makes their mark on the house
Your baby is becoming increasingly mobile and learns a lot about the world by touching everything. This exploration phase is likely to be marked by tiny sticky hand prints collecting over your house, on everything from your TV screen to your light coloured linen.

I definitely think all 10 were & are very relevant, A without a doubt left his mark on the house, my walls being the main place evidence was all to see, (that'll teach me for using matte paint in a high traffic room!)

Another was his hands, it didn't matter how I had my hair, clumps of it would come out in his little fists.

Although A's eating habits have changed since he was of weaning age, once we hit the big 1, he became impossible to give meals to, & now I can say with all the patience I could muster I got through it, he now eats almost every vegetable & the only problematic area we face is pasta sauces.. if the pasta isn't plain you can bet your last £1 he will not eat any!.

Celebrating weanagers all over the country, Ella’s Kitchen is launching a NEW fly on the wall documentary series, ‘Britain’s Weanagers’. Exploring the exciting and, at times, hilarious weaning journeys of babies, the series stars four families who have all featured in the popular Channel 4 TV programme, One Born Every Minute.

The docuseries will be hosted on Ella’s Kitchen’s YouTube Weaning Channel, which launched earlier this year. To view the first episode, which launched on 14 October 2015, search ‘Ella’s Kitchen weaning’ on YouTube.

Mark Cuddigan, Head of Ella’s Kitchen, adds: “At Ella’s we are passionate about helping little ones develop healthy relationships with food and that really starts with the very first tastes. Weaning is a really exciting milestone for little ones and their parents. We created the ‘Britain’s Weanagers’ series to give mums + dads who are about to start weaning a fun insight into what to expect. It really brings to life our view at Ella’s Kitchen that every baby is different and that there isn't a ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to weaning. We think the series perfectly captures the reality of weaning in a very charming, yet honest way and hope that we’re able to bring a smile to parents watching it.”

Check out Ella's Kitchen's Weaning YouTube channel to watch more!