16.7.15

The Don't Beat Yourself Up Guide To Weaning

Ah babies those lovely little things. You eventually get the hang of feeding them pretty much like clockwork every three hours or so. There's not much mess that a muslin can't clean up and the only panic is the 'it's not cooled down' bottle dance you have to do at the sink and then one day?...BOOM! It all changes and they have to eat proper food. You have to get your child to go from consuming plain old milk to being able to hold, and consume actual real life human food. Like mangos, or toast, or chicken. And it can be intimidating. And frustrating. And messy. God just so f*cking messy.

With my daughter the recommended way of weaning was by something known as 'the purée'. So simply I just mashed up and squished any food I could get my hands on. My freezer was full to the brim of tiny pots frozen of the various concoctions of butternut squash, pear, carrots and sometimes? A full Sunday lunch. In fact I bet you somewhere at the back you will still find a couple of pots lurking. It was easy, we both enjoyed it. I could see what she was actually consuming and that was that.

This my friend. Is a fish finger. You will come to know it well

Cue two years later. And 'they' ruddy changed the rules of weaning. It was no longer purées and plastic spoons. It was...baby led? Eh? What do you mean? I'm not in control? GAH! I found it hard to see what my son was getting in his belly and not all over the walls, in his hair or on the floor. It was hard to just sit there and see him try to eat a piece of banana without me mashing it down and shoving it in his gob. It was frustrating. And I found myself just sitting their watching his every move until one day?

I broke the rules. Shhh don't tell anyone. I took it upon myself to feed him lovely baby porridge in the morning. Let him feed himself his lunch and dinner. And I would help him with his puddings. And I immediately felt myself relax. I could guarantee he was at least getting a few meals. As well as having the chance to feed himself a few times a day. I did what I felt was best for him.

Look! Now he can even eat healthy food like...mmmmm...chips

And that's the best thing about being a parent isn't it? We know what our child needs. The government can tell us all sorts of rules and offer us lots of different ever changing advice but at the end of the day no one knows our children like us. Weaning sometimes seems like an impossible task. And you can't understand how you will all sit down as a family together and eat a proper meal. And then one day? 

I promise you. They just do. You don't notice it but they can shovel a petit filous down their gob like there is no tomorrow. Garlic bread is consumed heartily and spaghetti only gets in their hair and not up the walls. And you will find yourself looking at ancient frozen plastic pea/carrot/sweet potato combos in the back of the freezer with a hint of sadness. 
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