The W Word

I’m a ‘by the book’ kind of girl. I’ll have all the vaccinations, share a room with my baby for (at least) the first six months, put E on his back to sleep and sterilise anything that comes within a five mile radius of him (other than the dog, her tongue has an obsession with my son’s foot).

And then there’s weaning. Nothing seems to polarise opinion more than how we feed our babies in the first year. Your child can live in MacDonalds and snack on Haribo after that, but for now, their first food forays are everyone’s business.

Save for a few weeks in the beginning where we combi fed, I have exclusively breastfed E up to this point. Helping new mums to get to grips with breastfeeding is something I feel really passionate about and this subject will make a blog post on its own at some point. We should spend less money on the ‘PR’ around breastfeeding and less time vilifying mothers who reach for the formula and instead offer more ongoing support both in and out of hospital no matter what your decision is. Sorry, rant over.

Where was I? Oh yes, weaning. Exclusively breastfeed for the first six months, that’s the rule. So my plan had been to start no sooner than E’s six month birthday. That was until I saw my health visitor a couple of weeks ago for a weight check up and she suggested I could let him try some fruit and veg. Argh – surely it’s too early?! He’s not yet six months. The books say six months. The NHS and WHO say six months. How dare anyone suggest I try to do this any earlier!

Perhaps I need to chill out a little bit. Unless I want E to develop some sort of OCD.

I like the idea of baby led weaning (BLW) and in my head the process would go something along the lines of:

Me: putting a small selection of veg on E’s high chair table and demonstrating how to eat ‘ooh look at this! Don’t they look nice?’

E: ‘how delightful, this tastes wonderful’

Weaning: Done.

What actually happened was:

Me: small selection of veg etc ‘Yum, don’t these look nice’

E: picks up a piece of pepper, puts it to his mouth and gives me a horrified look. He puts down the pepper and continues to stare at me incredulously.

Yes, looking back, pepper wasn’t the best food to start with. But to be fair – once E started to trust being able to put objects to his mouth again – carrot, banana and grape had the same reaction.

So, we’re taking it very slowly. As a lazy chef, I’m a bit worried at the prospect of having to actually cook proper meals soon as opposed to relying on take aways and not so healthy foods. And I’m trying really hard not to eat cake, biscuits and chocolate in front of him.

I’ve failed spectacularly at this point, but the will is there.


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