The (not so) fun side of weaning

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 imageover 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*

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23 thoughts on “The (not so) fun side of weaning

  1. Oh I feel for you! 8 months here, and we chose Baby led, thankfully no chokes but plenty of gagging. It is messy and I came home this afternoon to see breakfast food still out at the table and floor. I just don’t tidy it up any more, especially if I have to get out the house on time! I am however enjoying the times he does eat, but worrying about the times that he doesn’t. Oh, and the milk quantity thing is perplexing me too!

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  2. I know what you mean about waste! I’m doing BLW with my 9-month-old and she’s at the stage where she throws half of her meal of the floor. I love that she can eat with me and my husband, though, and she’s taken to food really well. She’s losing interest in breastfeeding now that she has three meals a day, but I totally get it – why have milk when you can have a frittata? #abitofeverything

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  3. Weaning is now little more than a blur as my youngest is approaching two. I can just about remember the horror of the orange stained clothes and the clenched jaw and spitting of food. It hasn’t really got any easiers, these days they just lob the food across the table, launch bowls and plates and refuse to eat anything that isn’t macaroni bloody cheese! Thanks for sharing! #abitofeverything

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  4. There’s nothing like learning on the job. I found out the hard way that what works for the one child will, more than likely, not work with the second child, lol. #BloggerClubUK

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  5. Oh I am not looking forward to starting weaning at all!! I am thinking of doing baby-led but I just don’t know. Seems pretty stressful either way, haha. At least I can be prepared for all the clothes being destroyed! #BloggerClubUK

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  6. Weaning can be so hard and stressful, we are doing a combo of spoon feeding and baby-led purely because I started on spoon feeding her purees before she was 6 months, and then introduced baby-led for snacks at 6 months. If we just did BL nothing would go in at all! She barely touches her food when she eats it herself, and it just ends up on the floor. It’s also stressful not knowing what to give baby, a variety, I don’t eat fish for one, so I’m going to have to be brave and make her a fish meal. The other stress is when to drop feeds. Anyway she’s only 7 months so we have plenty of time, but you’re right weaning is hard I thought it would be fun…I am so over cleaning the high chair 5 times a day. Thanks for sharing. Claire x #abitofeverything

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    1. Yeah it took my first ages to go from purée to food, she’s still a bit iffy now and she’s 19 months! It’s frustrating isn’t it. And yes I struggled with variety – I found if I discovered something they liked it would feature quite heavily on their menus 😕. Thank you for your comment…good luck with the weaning..and the cleaning *sigh* xx

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  7. I still remember when i start weaning Baby E, actually was not so bad (on the beginning), them the nightmare starts and it’s still going on, he’s 15 months know and when it’s time to eat daddy’s suddenly needs to go to the toilet, lol
    thanks for sharing x #BloggerClubUK

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  8. Agreed – weaning is not fun times! There are some tough choices to make in terms of baby lead or purees – then do you make your own. You can’t beat Ella’s kitchen for handiness & for how well it’s pureed. My oldest would get sick if there was even the tiniest bit in his food. In a few months they are away eating anything & this all becomes a thing of the past. Best of luck! Thanks so much for sharing with us at #bloggerclubuk x

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  9. I found weaning very tough too! I felt so guilty that my babies sometimes didn’t even like the food I made and preferred bottled food. Ohhh…the mess and the STAINS! The stains that never come out. I am so glad my weaning days are long over! Thanks for sharing with #abitofeverything

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  10. To be honest once I got into weaning I didn’t mind it too much. I hated the mess, but got over that. I didn’t do baby led as such. I made all my own food and froze it in the little ice cube trays. Then finger foods. It is difficult and not easy however, it takes time and so much patience. Feel for you xx Thanks for linking #abitofeverything xx

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  11. Ah such a shame, but youre not alone! I know lots of friends that have struggled with weaning and/or not really enjoyed it. I on the other hand loved it and cant wait to do it again, but I had a very easy baby that was happy to eat most things that I put in front of her. Completely aware that I might not be as lucky second time round! Hopefully you get past this tricky bit soon and before you know it the whole weaning thing will be a distant memory 😉 Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Emily

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  12. I was petrified too with baby lead weaning and so we kind of avoided it in a way but in the end she wasn’t too bad with food, although the mess…oh gosh the mess…that still hasn’t changed four years on! #kcacols

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  13. I am so with you! I really do not like weaning. I don’t get people who are desperate to wean early – I’m always just thinking why would you ever want to do MORE of this? Why on earth do you think this is simpler?? The mess. The having to think of things to make. Even with my first, who weaned easily & has never been one for being messy or wasting food, I found the process annoying. With the second, who did not want anything for months, & remains a thrower, it was awful. They’re fine once they get to being able to mostly eat what you do, feed themselves completely and, hopefully, not be too messy, but the year between starting weaning & that is not a good one on the food front, as far as I’m concerned! Like you, with my first, I thought it would be great – no more inconvenience of frequent milk feeds. I changed my mind fast about what was more inconvenient! #KCACOLS

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  14. Thankyou for sharing your thoughts on weaning. I can relate to the total chaos and guilt of it all. With my second child, who is now almost 17 I remember the intense guilt and the fact that I thought he was going to starve. My third baby, just turned two, I just fully weaned in September. I know crazy right. Way less crazy than W.H.O’s recommendation to nurse until six years old. I never thought years ago that I would ever nurse a baby for that amount of time but for some reason with my girl it was just harder to do. I am still nursing my 10 month old and enjoying the process of table food. The mess is crazy and the food stained clothes are continual. But hey, life is messy.

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