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.


  1. I've gone sort of baby led weaning because T screamed if I tried to feed him when we started - it was not a researched decision.

    To start with he loved sucking/chewing on stuff like raw peppers, cucumber etc. At 9 - 11 months he doesn't like anything that takes effort to bite a piece off so I just don't bother with stuff like that much anymore.
    If a piece of food is too large he'll just spit it out again. (e.g broccoli florets, pasta twists). To eat one whole piece of broccoli/pasta this way takes 4-5 attempts and much recycling back from the tablecloth on the floor under the highchair.

    Perhaps I just don't have the patience but my solution is to cut most of his food into mouthful sized bits (about 1cm square). Not sure if this is contra baby led weaning approach but it works for us. He happily picks them up and feeds himself handfuls and he gets fed before he runs out of steam. He can then eat our food too and I sometimes get a warm meal!

    Bread is definitely the staple for tea most days but I reckon that is just fine as we usually have a proper meal with veggies at lunch.

  2. Thanks for that :) I am kinda struggling with fitting meals in to the day at a time when he's happy to actually eat. He still views milk as the thing that fills him up so if he's tired/hungry, solids does not happen. I need to work on the pincer grip with him and then I might try your 1cm squares option. I think that's still baby led. He still chooses what to eat and what not! X