It sometimes feels like feeding is my Mummy nemesis. From a month-long failed breastfeeding attempt, to having to switch to reflux milk at six weeks old, plus plenty of comments from health professionals, friends, strangers and every other Tom, Dick and Harry about how little Baby Lighty weighs (“Yes he sits between the 2nd and 9th percentile! No I’m not starving him!”), it’s no wonder that Mrs Lighty is slightly paranoid about feeding.
Having said that, weaning is something that I’ve been looking forward to for months and months and months. Even before Baby Lighty was born, I was looking forward to this stage. Perhaps it’s just that I’m a bit of a gannet myself, or perhaps it was a vague, hazy idea of turning myself into a domestic goddess (ha! Considering Mr Lighty is the chef in our household!) that fed my child beautifully presented, homemade, nourishing meals, but either way, I’d been looking forward to weaning for months.
So why now does it feel like I’m embroiled in a weaning war?!
It’s not like I wasn’t prepared. I bought (and even read!) the Baby Led Weaning Cookbook. I even did the NCT Introduction to Solids workshop. So why now have my feelings about weaning completely flip-flopped?!
As part of the Introduction to Solids course, we were asked to think about any negative feelings we may have in relation to weaning. For example, if we were breastfeeding, how we’d feel about no longer being the sole giver of nourishment, or how we felt about the likes of grandparents giving our little ones treats. “Negative feelings towards weaning?!” I naively found myself thinking, “whoever would have negative thoughts towards weaning?!” It was going to be so much fun, surely?!
Turns out, FRUSTRATION should’ve been added to my weaning shopping list. Frustration is my negative thought towards weaning. I never thought I’d feel this way towards him, but a few times over the past month since we started weaning, I’ve just felt so darn frustrated with him. “Why won’t my child eat?!”, I’ve been known to cry on more than one occasion.
We did everything right; we waited until six months (well, we started a day early, but who’s counting?!), we tried banana as our first Baby Led Weaning food, and he duly turned his nose up – or rather, turned his nose away from the banana, lips tightly shut. So then we tried purées. Nothing; hated it. It has been a stressful few weeks of watching other babies of the same age take to eating like they’ve always been doing it, while Baby Lighty remains uninterested. Well meaning friends kindly told me I was expecting too much too soon, and I knew they were right, so why was it still so frustrating?
Then, at about Christmas time, the battle started to turn in favour of Mrs Lighty. Baby Lighty started eating little bits and pieces here and there. A few spoonfuls of purée here, the odd carrot stick there. Auntie Lighty’s mushroom soup was a bit of a hit on Boxing Day, as was smoked salmon, rocket and Big Hot Cheese (baked Camembert, for the uninitiated!) at Great Auntie Tempy’s at New Year – perhaps this is a baby of expensive tastes?! He has even started saying something that sounds suspiciously like “yum, yum, yum!” when he wants some more…
So perhaps we are advancing; I am under no illusion that the battle is not yet won, and that there will be setbacks along the way, but for now Mrs Lighty will take these small victories.
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