At around 4 and a half months he began to show signs of readiness, munching when we were eating, swiping at our food (we had to be quick at times and he did end up with his fingers in my dinner once or twice!), showing a huge interest when we were eating and happily having the odd (very occasional) suck on my apple or a piece of cucumber as he got quite cross when the rest of us were eating and he wasn't. He was also able to sit fairly well in his highchair too.
It all got a bit too much for me at the start of the summer holidays being on constant demand feeding Little 3 as well as having Little 1 home from school and trying to entertain the girls during mammoth feeding sessions, we couldn't go out much and the girls got bored and bickered and Little 3 got distracted, messing and pulling which wasn't fun for me!
When Little 3 was 19 weeks old I dropped a breast feed for a formula feed at bedtime hoping it would help him sleep at little better (it made no difference) and each week since then we have introduced another bottle of formula at the same time as dropping another breast feed so that I could begin to feel a little more myself and not be in such constant demand. We are 5 weeks in and Little 3 is now on 4 bottles of formula and a feed or two from me each day (which we are going to continue with at the moment), it has made me feel much better in myself and although I am still up feeding in the night and very tired I don't feel as physically drained as I did before. There is more time for the girls too and we are better able to get out and about now that I am not tied to the sofa so much!
Little 3 had continued to gain weight slowly despite the introduction of formula and still wanted to be fed overnight (not that night feeding is a problem at this age but he still wanted feeding every 2-3 hours day and night and after 5 months of this feeding and sleep deprivation on my part something had to give as I was shattered) we made the decision to begin weaning at just over 5 months (the same age as we started weaning with the girls too).
Little 3 was obviously ready to wean as he took to it like a duck to water devouring anything that passed his lips with a huge grin on his face. It is like feeding a little bird with his wide open mouth and little squeals if you don't keep the spoon coming fast enough! We have opted to wean with purees as that is how we weaned the girls but he is already, just 3 weeks in, taking thicker purees without any trouble and even chomping on chunks of very soft veg (potato, sweet potato, broccoli) without much gagging so I think it will be a mixed approach this time with purees and soon mashed food with a few finger food tasters for him to have a go at while we are eating our dinner too rather than full on Baby Led Weaning (I can't stand the mess and with carpets under the dinner table need I say more?!).
He is now 3 weeks into weaning and having 3 small meals a day and pudding at lunch and dinner time (just a couple of tablespoons of each course at the moment so that he doesn't reduce the all important milk intake just yet).
So far as he is still under 6 months (24 weeks now) we have stuck to fruit and vegetable combinations as well as gluten free baby porridge for breakfast since last week and in the last couple of days I have introduced yoghurt to increase his dairy intake too. Next we will be introducing meat and fish then foods containing gluten like bread, pasta etc after 6 months.
We have yet to find anything he doesn't like however a few foods are obviously not as tasty as others!
I have no doubt that he will have shot up the weight charts this month seeing him devouring his food and he has been noticeably filling out too, we are going to have a foodie on our hands!