It is fair to say that I was really excited about the weaning process more so than most people as my son never took to the bottle. I had bought all the right equipment and I was determined to make all of my son’s food at home and put them in the fridge/freezer so we could be very efficient at mealtimes.
We hit the six-month mark and it was show time, we started him on apple sauce…. this didn’t go down well, at best he had one teaspoon and I was met with a tight lip, he was not having it. As it approached dinner time, I tried sweet potatoes, this was steamed and blended to a consistency that was close to milk so I had high hopes. Not surprising he was too excited about his meal choice that night. I was soon realising I had a very critical dinner guest. The irony was he seemed to have so much interest for my food so the following week I tried serving his meals in our normal bowls and funny enough he seemed to eat more spoonful of his meals. As soon as I felt like we were making progress, after three weeks, he went on a full food strike. Even his favourites could not get him to open his mouth. We were now back to fully breastfeeding and due to him being more mobile his requirement for milk was much higher and as a result I was always tired, like dead tired.
I decided to follow his lead and try small amounts of food every day. I bought him the small snack pouches and he would take a small sip. Slowly he was coming around to eating again. I felt some kind of relief as it worried me that nothing, I tried was working on him. As means of increasing his milk intake I bought a Doidy cup as advised by our health visitor. Sadly, this did not work for us and he was more interested in putting his hand inside the cup rather than having the contents in his mouth. If anything in life could teach me patience it would be the process of weaning. Fast forward three months and I am better luck, each time he eats his meals I honestly feel grateful and a sense of relief. If I could speak to the old me, I would say the following
1. Take it slow, the experience is new to the both of you, so it is better not to have high expectations
2. Your baby’s food consumption is not reflective of how good or bad you are as a mum
3. Keep trying, just because it doesn’t work the first 50 times does not mean that it won’t ever
4. Don’t pressure your child, I believe they can sense it.
5. Be ready for the mess that comes with weaning, the clean-up alone still takes me 45 minutes
6. Don’t batch make food until you know what your child prefers
The experience of weaning is different for every parent, the above is reflective of my own experience, please seek advice from a qualified practitioner when it comes to getting advice about your weaning journey.