I’m quite possibly the fussiest eater in the world, so when somebody told me that baby-led weaning would mean your baby was much less fussy with food, it was a no-brainer. Not only that, but any time saved on pureeing could instead be spent on battling rubbish naps… it’s all about prioritisation these days.
Given that time to read books is non-existent, I booked myself onto a course in the hope that they’d summarise everything I needed to know into a 2-hour slot. Of course, the main outtake from the course was that I needed to buy a book to learn more 🙄. Joy. The books showed immaculately turned out babies, gently chewing away on healthy vegetables. So far, so good.
A month into the weaning process & it’s certainly been lots of fun. Nothing could quite prepare me for the pride that I’d feel for that first time Bells grabbed some broccoli & popped it into her mouth to chew and the amusement that would then follow as she screwed her face up as she explored its texture.
However, there’s also a lot that WASN’T mentioned in the books, for example:
1. REDECORATION STATIONS
No matter how much you try to limit mess, it’s likely that you will need to redecorate your house at the end of the process. (Have you tried getting bolognese stains off of the walls?!?)
Your baby’s bath quota could quite possibly increase to 3 a day after you decide it’s much easier than dealing with emptying a whole packet of wipes.
3. YOU’VE GOT TO BE CHOKING
You’ll panic about whether your little muncher is choking at least once a day. A first aid course will be booked within the first week if not before. In the meanwhile, the NHS has some helpful tips here.
4. IT'S HAIR RAISING
More food will ALWAYS end up in their hair than in their mouths.
5. YUMMY, MUMMY!
you’ll end up eating a ton as you discover your baby is more likely to want to eat if you’re eating it too.
6. YUCKY FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Generally their first mouthful of EVERY food will be met with disgust, regardless of whether they actually like it or not.
7. BABY V. FOOD
Even though you're told ‘food before one is just for fun’, you’ll panic about their intake & your whole day will be consumed trying to get them to eat as much as possible.
8. HANDY PIECES
You’ll find yourself automatically cutting your food into grabbable pieces even when you’re out without the baby. Awks.
9. ARM YOURSELF
Getting out of the house takes even longer - if that’s even possible - as you load up with mess limitation armour (bibs, mats, disinfectant wipes, blah, blah, blah).
10. WHAT A WASTE
You’ll spend ages preparing multiple choices and/or courses, 99.9% of which will end up in the bin / on the floor / eaten by you.
11. CUE TEARS
After a week of progress, your baby will decide that they no longer feel like eating as it’s far too much effort.
12. PAY ATTENTION
Whilst eating out, you'll get lots of funny looks from strangers wondering if you realise that your baby is eating whole ACTUAL food…. You know, like you hadn’t noticed.
For us, the key has been to stick with it. Bells might decide that she’s given up on eating all together one day & then want to eat everything in sight the next. Keeping mealtimes as stress-free as possible is what I’m trying to focus on… although not reacting when food is thrown on the floor for the 13th time during one sitting certainly takes some … EFFORT.
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