The big 6 month mark passed last month, meaning that it was time for a large IKEA delivery, copious amounts of research, and the start of our journey into baby-led weaning.
For those who don’t know, baby-led weaning is a method whereby a baby is given solid food from the very start, as opposed to purees. The principal idea behind this method of ‘weaning’ is that a baby learns to feed themselves ‘real’ solid food from the very start. It’s not as scary as it sounds. I have encountered a few raised eyebrows when telling people of my decision to go down this route with Thalia…but there are a lot of really great benefits to it. Primarily, meal times are easier, unless having a clean baby and a sparkling floor is your kinda thing! You can give your baby whatever it is that you are eating, with (or sometimes without!) a few alterations, and by feeding themselves they are in control of their portion size and, to an extent, what they eat. And contrary to what you might think, it actually reduces the risk of choking due to the baby learning to chew food before they learn to swallow it. Sure we’ve had a couple of terrifying gagging moments, but generally whatever is too big comes straight back out again. Though the main reason that I fell in love with this idea is that it’s a great way for babies to play, learn and get incredibly incredibly messy. I’m slowly learning to cope with the messy part.
Now, all of the above looks great on paper, but what is it actually like…?
We’re only two weeks into our food adventure, and I will admit that I’ve only been committed to daily meals for the last three days. When I say meals, what I mean is a mouse sized portion of some kind of roasted vegetable. But so far I would consider it to be a success. For starters, Thalia loves her high chair (€16 from IKEA…what an absolute steal!!!), and she seems to be swallowing a fair amount of what we’re giving her, as proven by the contents of her undergarments. I dread the day that she’s old enough to read through this blog…sorry future Thalia. Secondly, I can prepare, eat and clear up my own breakfast without having to intermittently sing a verse of Old MacDonald to distract Thalia from the painful reality that she is not being cuddled or played with.
Currently she is nibbling on a rice cake or banana for breakfast and a roasted carrot or piece of courgette/pepper (straight from the garden!) for lunch. Followed by the same if she’s still awake at dinner time. Which at the moment is a certainty. Some of the time she has absolutely no interest in the food other than using it to make beautiful beautiful music by bashing it on the highchair until everyone within a 5 mile radius is awake. But when she does eat it, I feel so warm, fuzzy and proud, it’s as though she’s just won an Olympic medal. Mum life is the best life.
She’s still breastfeeding as and when she wants, and this hasn’t reduced at all…which I’m not expecting it to until she’s actually consuming a reasonable amount of food. Fellow mummas, any food recommendations?!
Back to peeling peppers I go…