Even though it was only just over 5 months ago that I became a mom, it seems that the days filled with the constant apprehensive questioning are long gone. In those early days in a mere 20 minutes I might wonder, ‘Is she getting enough food? Should we give her a dummy? When do we introduce a bottle? Is she spitting up too much?’ Now, we just wake up and get on with it. I generally know what to expect from her and I think she knows what to expect from me. And so it seemed those new parent nerves had passed and we’d both just settled into parenthood. Until recently.
As The Duchess approaches her sixth month, we’ve decided to begin the weaning process. After reading a bit about Baby Led Weaning (BLW), we thought we’d give it a try. BLW weaning is practiced by parents both in the UK and in the US, but nevertheless you may not have heard of it. Here are our reasons for giving it a go:
- It’s less fussy (even if more messy) because she eats when we do, feeds herself, and more or less has some of what we are eating
- She eats as much as she likes and decides when she’s full rather than the two of us trying to get her to finish off the bowl in front of her
- It helps with things like hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills and it’s fun to explore all of those new tastes and textures herself (and to watch her do it!)
- It means we all eat together as a family and she learns that meal time is a time to socialize with us. Mealtimes are really lovely, rather than being stressful from trying to feed her, bath her, get her to bed and then to cook for ourselves, eat and clean up afterwards. (This is our top reason)
- She’s eating fresh foods. Nothing from a jar, but food as it comes. It helps usto eat healthier meals and hopefully helps us to feed her better food.
Even with all of those reasons, I have found that the apprehension from the early days has come back. I keep thinking, ‘Okay, I’ve given her steamed apples this morning and she’s had broccoli this evening. Am I giving her enough? Should I be giving her more? Should I be mixing foods?’ If you saw her attempts to feed herself at this early stage, she is only about 5% successful. She gets it to her mouth and nibbles at times, but the other 95% of the time she smears it into the table, bangs it on her highchair or throws it on the floor where The Big Brown One eagerly awaits (He is LOVING BLW, by the way – I fear there may be disastrous results from the amount of broccoli he ate tonight).
Thankfully, I have a very relaxed husband and tonight when I turned to The Native and started rattling off food related questions about how much and what kinds of foods and whether we should lock The Big Brown One out of the room, he calmly replied in a very British manner, ‘We’ve just started. It’ll be a slow start, but she’ll pick it up. Stop worrying and just let her get on with it.’
Thank goodness I married him.
Let’s get on with it.