So I’m just going to say it – I don’t really like weaning. There I said it you may now discard me with the rest of your baby’s uneaten food…which will be most of it. Like many I was excited at the prospect of weaning, the endless feeds were starting to grate, it signalled a milestone, a new chapter and something new. Baby Z could sit to the table with us and we would all sit and enjoy a family meal with smiles on our faces discussing our days. Baby Z would of course only be eating organic steamed veg and the best cuts of meat, obvs. But suffice to say that did not happen. Once again my naive first time parenting got the better of me. I am now weaning my second child, Baby T, and forgot just what a ball ache it is.
With baby 1 as she approached 6 months I stocked up on fruit purées, filled my freezer with blended broccoli and we all gathered round to watch her take her spoonful of liquid mango (yep, I chose mango, pretentious much? And yep life was that exciting in our house). Wasn’t exactly the most riveting of watches but we were excited all the same. I must say it didn’t take long for the novelty to wear off and here’s why.
1.Messy. It is so bloody messy, you end up with purée on your face and definitely all over your babies face. It gets on their hands and then it gets everywhere else. Before the weaning commenced all my baby grows and baby clothes were nice stored in a reusable condition. There is a distinct lack of 6month old clothes in my baby storage, some stains just don’t come out. And yes I know that’s what bibs are for, but sometimes the bib doesn’t save you and, because I’m pretty rubbish, I often forget the dam bib!
2. Guilt. OH the mummy guilt of weaning was in full force for me. I tried to give her home cooked food as much as possible but there was a fair amount of Ella’s Kitchen sachets stored in my cupboard. I always felt our meals were ‘too grown up’ and I could never make a 7 veg organic Moroccan lamb puréed dinner with no salt in just the same way. I also didn’t feel I could mash it up in the same way – see chocking paranoia below. Second time round I’m giving more home prepared food and being less like salt police but, not going to lie, there is still enough pre made baby food lurking round to bring on the mummy guilt.
3. Baby led weaning. Where do I start. I love it in principle and it cuts out all the crappy stages of purée to lumps to normal food. But I was petrified baby Z would choke on her toast and having not done the baby first aid course I didn’t fancy my chances if faced with said choking. I tried to give her whole food but often found myself chickening out, taking it off her (I know!)’ and mashing her food up into none choak-able sized portions. I would be the worlds worst at Russian roulette.
4. Wastage. There is so much bloody wasted food. Whatever method you choose. Baby led then half of it ends up on the floor, purée then baby spits half of it out and you will, without fail, mash up too much – that little stomach is never going to need that big bowl full.
5. Time. It takes so bloody long, not to mention it’s actually a little boring, especially in the early days. Tiny sized spoon goes in (with tiny amount of purée) baby spits food back out. You then race to catch it with your spoon to shovel it back in…and out it comes again. And repeat, at breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you have a morning appointment do not make it early. Getting out the house takes forever at the best of times chuck in feeding a weetabix, which will turn into cement, and your not getting out the house before lunch time, at which point the whole feeding cycle starts again.
6. Milk v food ratio. I’m sure I get this wrong all the time. Which one takes precedent? Should the baby be having less milk? How much less? Oh god I don’t think they’ve had enough milk. Oh he’s not eating his dinner maybe he’s had too much milk. Mind blown.
So I know I sound a miserable old git but there it is I don’t care much for weaning. It is a means to an end. That end being when the baby can eat proper food and sit at the table with you, and that is cool. But all my moaning aside I must say I am weaning my last baby and I am acutely aware that this is my last weaning escapade and I am feeling a little sad about it. Mostly because, despite my moans and groans it my last time and does mean my baby is, albeit slowly, starting his transition from newborn little baby mode and once over my time with the teeny tiny humans will be done and not to be repeated *sniff sniff*