I am nowhere near even finished with this, or properly experienced, or any kind of expert, but so far this is what I have learnt about weaning.
If you’re the kind of person who gets upset about mess (I know you aren’t, Nic) then you’d better get over it, pronto. There will be mess, lots of it, and often. All you can do is laugh, sigh, and clean up. I remember saying to a more experienced mum how I was quite excited about weaning, how I thought it was going to be so much fun experimenting. It is! BUT, there are days when I’ve changed my outfit and the Duck’s three times, hoovered every nook and cranny twice, wiped various surfaces constantly and have all sorts in my hair… when locking myself in a cupboard seems a really attractive option.
Don’t get me started on all the lovingly prepared batches of homemade grub I rustle up in about 3 hours… there is a rule that states, the longer you take to prepare food for your child, the more likely they will reject it in a dramatic hurl across the room, or equally dramatic hurl from the stomach if you’re less lucky.
Along with this goes the “Oh my Gawd is my baby eating enough? What if she starves?” fear. I get it sometimes, and it’s REALLY scary when they don’t drink. Keep in touch with the doctors on that one. But sometimes they will go through phases of “I lurve pasta so much Mummy I think I will eat just that forever and ever” and then “Mummy this pasta tastes like crap get it out of my face right now RIGHT NOOOOWWWW”!
My mum calmed me down when I was having a freak out by telling me about her similar panic when I was a baby. Apparently all I would eat was one particular flavour of baby food, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, I would only eat this one thing. Mum was worried I wasn’t getting all my nutrients so asked the health visitor what on earth she could do. The health visitor looked at me (strapping, sturdy and chubster come to mind) and said “Just look at her, do you think she’s suffering?”
So now, if the Duck only wants to eat crackers for tea, or raisins for the day, I try to relax and think “fine.” I do believe kids pick up on your feelings too, so if I start freaking out, she’s only going to do it more. Just like saying “No” when she touches plug sockets or people’s specs makes her instantly addicted to the bloody things.
By the way plastic bibs with sleeves are AWESOME. And those pelicanny ones. And I really am gutted that I haven’t constructed some kind of overall for myself yet… We were discussing at the weekend a potential “Dexter” homage to prepare the room for Duck feeding time, but maybe that’s taking it too far…
It is fun though, really! The Duck is so open to trying everything (even cardboard and yoghurt pots it seems) and it’s so rewarding to see her managing food on her own. Some popular finger foods in our house at the moment (tell me more!):
· Whole boiled carrots
· Mini-muffins baked by Emily!
· Mini corn and tinned sweetcorn
Take tons of photos and videos if you can, it’s hilarious. My current cheer up video is one of the Duck being scared shitless of a boiled egg. Brilliant.