Thursday, 31 January 2019

A relaxed approach to weaning your baby

"What are you having for lunch, Sol?"
"Same as you, mummy.
"Correct answer, baby girl!"

That's how we roll in our house. Okay, so I'll lace my Bolognese with chipotle chili, but other than that, it's the same fresh ingredients. I'm so glad I read Gill Rapley baby led weaning book (thanks Rachel for the tip!).

'Fun before one is the motto!' removing any pressure to get food into her in the first year.  As long as she's drinking her milk, she's going to be just fine. The few times I've googled baby weaning, I've narrowly missed suffocating under an avalanche of anxieties.

Do parents need to be having such a tough time? One woman reported that a nurse had told her that, rather than breastfeed her hungry and crying 8 months old first thing in the morning, she should hurriedly get up and prepare her cereal instead. Why? It doesn't sound logical. Just breastfeed the baby and have a solid breakfast later.

Did the nurse just feel she needed to give some advice for the sake of it? Or was it a bit like when a stranger asks for directions and you kind of know so decide to have a stab at it?

These weaning 'rules' are flexible. We should trust ourselves more and trust our babies. I started with sticks of steamed vegetables to suck and she soon started grabbing at everything that was put before her. She lunges for chicken, I give her chicken. She lunges for my biro, I say no biro. It's common sense.

So, your baby prefers purees, then give them purees. The point is you've got to do what's best for both of you. The point is you can't believe one set of ideas fits all.

Cada bebé es un mundo, they say here in Spain. Every baby is a whole world. I hate the thought of stressed parents desperately aeroplaning mash into their 4 or 6 or 8 month old babies, and worrying themselves silly when they don't swallow it, and thinking that they must be starving. They're not starving if they're drinking their milk, plus they've got a tiny stomach and know when they've had enough.

I'm not a pediatrician, and maybe I'm just adding another opinion that the world doesn't need; but if my positive experience helps one mother relax, I'm happy. I can't recommend Gill Rapley's book enough.


It was inevitable that I was going to start writing about motherhood, wasn't it?! My latest non-fiction book, The Pregnancy Diaries, will be out this Spring. 

I also write fiction... if you haven't already, check out my latest novel The Hen Party! 

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