Ben’s now six months old (I know!) so we’re starting the weaning process. After attending a class at the SureStart centre, and inviting people on my Facebook page to discuss their experiences, I decided I’d like to give baby-led weaning a go.
Since then I’ve read the basics on babyledweaning.com and followed a community on Facebook but what I’ve discovered is that, as with most parenting issues, there are a lot of people ready to tell you you’re doing it wrong. With that in mind I’m not going to refer to what I’m doing as baby-led weaning but as Ben-led weaning; then I get to make my own rules.
We struggle to sit everyone down at the dining table because our extension was built by a fool and is freezing but now the weather’s picked up we’ve decided to put some structure back in to mealtimes, not least because Ted is a really picky eater.
We all sat down for breakfast and, as toast is something Ted really enjoys, we thought it would be a good start for all of us to have some together. Ben really enjoyed it.
Next came melon. Now, I know this is where the baby led weaners will be gnashing their teeth: Ben couldn’t hold the chunks we had so I helped by holding it. It may be against the rules but he LOVED it so I’m putting it in the Ben-led box.
Among my new-Mum friends there’s a certain fear of mess with weaning, but as my floor is already disgusting I’m not so bothered about that. The next thing Ben tried was thick gloopy porridge. He loved the feel of it squishing between his fingers and when it did make it to his mouth he seemed to like the taste.
I know it’s important to add water to his meals so, after having let him play with the cup for a few days, we introduced a free-flow cup. Although there’s some debate concerning the type of cup, with some people swearing by normal lid-free cups, the lady at the SureStart centre recommended free-flow and it’s more likely to make it to his mouth.
Despite expectations the porridge didn’t make too much mess and the level of enjoyment surprised me. I’m fairly sure that Ted would have done anything to avoid putting his hands in this mess – and probably still would!
It’s early days but so far Ben seems to be having fun, and that’s what it’s about after all. I’ve yet to cook anything baby-friendly (or at all, actually) so there haven’t been any real meals yet but we’re enjoying the journey and we’ll get there.