This post is all about our experience at the early days of baby led weaning, although we didn’t use this method from the start and it wasn’t an exclusive method for us.
[edit: since writing this post, back in the day, I have since realised that we wasn’t very good at baby led weaning at all. So if you would like to read a post about an exasperated mothers comical attempts at getting her baby to wean then this post is for you. However, if you want a comprehensive guide on how to do baby led weaning then I suggest you keep on scrolling because you won’t find that here]
After a week of suddenly refusing food, I was starting to think our Gorgeous George had become the first 9 month old to develop an eating disorder! I had tried every trick in the book. Although none of these tricks came to me from a book but rather from well wishing friends and family and facebookers.
He had suddenly turned from a one and a half pouch per meal kinda baby to a “you’ll be lucky if you get that spoon past my lips 5 times mummy” kinda baby. His milk intake was gradually increasing in frequency again and I was starting to fill with dread.
We’ve breastfed exclusively more or less for the last 9 months but this past week of having my nipple yanked and laughed at had completely made me wanna jack the whole thing in. So off I went to the local supermarket and guiltily picked up my first tin of follow on formula. There’s no reason to feel guilty and I would by no means recommend inflicting these feelings upon yourself but ever since I became a mum I constantly challenge myself for not being able to do right for doing wrong. Something I have discovered is normal Mummy behaviour, (whatever that is).
So overall we were in a pretty unhappy house with me wondering why on earth George wouldn’t let me feed him! He was holding his own spoon, he had plenty of high chair entertainment. His high chair did a tour of our small house to see if maybe he wanted to watch tele, look out the window, watch the washing machine, listen to the radio, anything to distract him whilst I slipped some yummy spoonfuls of the latest Ella’s kitchen past his lips. We were also trying a mix of baby led weaning and from near on 6 months old had been giving him little bits to chomp on. All of which scared the hell out of me. He was happy to pick them up and put them in his mouth but any swallowing of lumps was out of the question and he soon became a master at gagging.
It was only when my sister observed me giving him milk on demand not more than an hour before his “dinnertime” that she suggested when he asks for milk I give him food and give him the milk after. A fresh pair of eyes she called it. I couldn’t believe I’d been tearing my hair out when the answer was staring me in the face.
The reality is that is doesn’t actually matter. As long as he is exploring different foods and textures, it’s not like we’ll still be spooning prunes, pumpkins and pear pouches into his mouth at 18 years old.
“But the pouch says from 7 months so he should be eating it surely! Why won’t he eat it?”
My poor exhausted mummy mind cries out whilst I give him the spoon to the tune of “George do it” and get showered in Lancashire hot pot before he smugly puts the empty spoon in his mouth. His willingness to eat is slowly improving and his desire to explore new foods is extending to grabbing food off my plate. I even caught him eagerly tasting the cats biscuits today. It makes a change from tipping the bowls upside down and playing them like bongos.
He also quite enjoys sucking on the shoe of our latest visitor or testing out his two lovely bottom teeth by biting my big toe. He was even eyeing up my mum’s coal in the unused fire the other day, with me having to point out not to touch it, whilst my step dad pointed out not to worry because they all ate coal when he was little! The child has the bizarre cravings of a pregnant woman!
For now I will continue to offer him a variety, and persevere as many fellow mummies have highlighted to me “food before one is just for fun”. Don’t tell George though. Baby led weaning, it’s a George thing, or not.
Until next time….