Mum of two Emma got herself into a tizz over weaning her son, until she realised she could break 'the rules' and do it her way....
Ah babies those lovely little things. They have to be fed pretty much like clockwork every three hours or so. There's not much mess that a muslin can't clean up and then?...BOOM! They have to eat proper food. You have to get your child to go from consuming plain old milk to being able to hold, and consume real life human food. Like mango, or toast, or chicken. And it can be blooming intimidating. And frustrating. And messy. God, just so messy.
With my daughter, the recommended way of weaning was by something known as 'the purée'. So simply I just mashed up and squished any food I could get my hands on. My freezer was full to the brim of tiny pots frozen of the various concoctions of butternut squash, pear, carrots and sometimes? A full Sunday lunch. In fact I bet you somewhere at the back you will still find a couple of pots lurking. It was easy, we both enjoyed it. I could see what she was actually consuming and that was that.
Cue two years later. And they blooming changed the rules of weaning. It was no longer purées and plastic spoons. It was...baby led? Eh? What do you mean? I'm not in control? Gah! I found it hard to see what my son was getting in his belly and not all over the walls, in his hair or on the floor. It was hard to just sit there and see him try to eat a piece of banana without me mashing it down and shoving it in his gob. It was frustrating. And I found myself just sitting their watching his every move until one day?
I broke the rules. Shhh don't tell anyone. I took it upon myself to feed him lovely baby porridge in the morning. Let him feed himself his lunch and dinner. And I would help him with his puddings. And I immediately felt myself relax. I could guarantee he was at least getting a few meals. As well as having the chance to feed himself a few times a day. I did what I felt was best for him.
And that's the best thing about being a parent. We know what our child needs. The government can tell us all sorts of rules and offer us lots of different ever-changing advice but at the end of the day no one knows our children like us. Weaning sometimes seems like an impossible task. And you can't understand how you will all sit down as a family together and eat a proper meal. And then one day?
They just do. You don't notice it but they can shovel a Petit Filous down their gob like there is no tomorrow. Garlic bread is consumed heartily and spaghetti only gets in their hair and not up the walls. And you will find yourself looking at ancient frozen plastic pea/carrot/sweet potato combos in the back of the freezer with a hint of sadness.