Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Weaning Worries

One thing I've realised so far about being a parent is that it never seems to be the things that you thought would worry you...that worry you. I'm fairly laid back about baby milestones in general. I don't get all angsty that my baby hasn't fully learnt to sit yet or isn't crawling when younger babies than him are already finding their way. I figure he's working on other stuff and as long as he is heading in the right direction, it doesn't matter if it takes him a few weeks longer. The thing that has got me all on edge is weaning, and I really never thought it would.

I started offering Little Monster some basic foods when he was about 5.5 months. I decided a long time ago that we were going to follow a baby led weaning approach so I offer the normal food we eat, perhaps cut into pieces he can pick up, rather than giving him purees. I like the approach. It requires less preparation - which is great in our house as there's really nowhere in the kitchen that I can have Little Monster with me so once he is crawling, I need to spend the minimum amount of time away from him! It also means that the baby can feed themselves from the start so that you can all eat together, rather than spending ages spoon-feeding the baby and then having to entertain them while you eat your (now cold) dinner. I'm not going to preach the numerous and varied studies on this subject but suffice to say it is interesting and has great foundations.

The problem is that Little Monster is now 7 months old and he still eats very little food. He is good with bread-type foods that turn to mush in his mouth but anything that requires him to bite or chew (including, to increase my worry levels) most fruits and vegetables. Don't get me wrong, we have made some progress. In the first few weeks he didn't swallow anything and most times wouldn't pick food up from the mat and put it in his mouth. He is now doing both of these things which are significant skill developments.

But still I worry.

I worry that he's going to be a fussy eater and refuse anything but bread! I know that's a little irrational at this stage but it's so disheartening when I see his peers all happily munching away. I think the worst bit is that it's so hard to know when you should be worried. Now? At 9 months? 10? A year?

I know that, for right now, all I can do is persevere. I have to offer a variety of food every day, even if it all goes on the floor.

And, until he's eating other foods consistently, he's definitely not having cake.  Which is more for me.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Hay Days and Holidays!

Today was the last day of holiday and, in the way of these things when the holiday has been good, I'm a little melancholy and reflective. I wished so much to take Little Monster to the beach for the first time, to see his reaction as the waves washed over his feet and let him squish his toes in the sand. I had that, and so much more. We laughed when a big wave caught us and took photos so we'll never forget.

We went to Dartmouth on the ferry and watched a steam train chunter past. We wandered around Coleton Fishacre, tried a HippyChick Hip Seat for the first time. We watched pigs at the farm and giggled at the monkeys at the zoo. There were lunches and cups of tea in the garden. Ice cream and fresh picked raspberries. Evenings with wine and a good book.

And lying here now, curled up in bed on our last night, I realise how much my son and my husband have influenced this trip and are constantly making me want to be better than I am. Little Monster, at nearly 7 months, has adapted so easily to being here and has displayed more patience than I often do. My husband used up his holiday to care for me when I was ill and couldn't be here. He is kind and generous and has never shown a moment of resentment that he couldn't join us.

All in all I'm feeling really lucky. I had a great holiday and a great time watching Little Monster and all his 'firsts'. And tomorrow, I'm going home where hubs is waiting to give us end-of-holiday hugs.