Tag Archives: baby-led weaning

Eating

11 Jun

It’s swings and roundabouts, isn’t it. Especially when you have a toddler. Personally, I think they eat what they need,so if they don’t eat, no biggie. It’s certainly not worth an hour and a half of cajoling and aeroplanes for one more teaspoonful of food. Teaspoons never put anyone up or down, did they?

It’s different when you’re in it though. The turtle ate sh*g all while we were driving across country for two weeks. He’d have some sausage and a yogurt for breakfast and that would be about it for the day. He might eat a few chips or some chicken or something, but that was it. I mean he was offered all kinds of everything, to no avail. Not even corn. And he loves corn. Pasta. Nothing.
I didn’t really pay that much attention while we were in the middle of it. “He mustn’t be hungry…Can’t force him…We’ll try again later…” Then, we got here and I was cooking again and he ate and ate and ate. Everything in sight. And the guilt set in. “Oh my God, he was hungry that whole time. He just didn’t like the food. I’m such a bad mother. I should have known.” But now we’re almost back to where we were. He’s eating sh*g all. He might have an egg or some cereal in the morning. Maybe a bite of toast. And a yogurt. A few berries – blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries (goodness but they’re cheap here) – perhaps. Lunchtime – leftovers or something, usually shunned. Dinner – last night he had spaghetti with parmesan on it, completely ignoring the bolognese. So just spaghetti and cheese. And not much of that. A banana and a cup of milk before bed and that was it.
I’ve started offering something before bed because he has started asking for things when he’s in bed. And I’m conflicted. I don’t want him to go to bed hungry. And I also don’t want him “delaying” bedtime. Supernanny et al have me in a tizzy about this. It seems to be one of the worst things you can do. Although surely sending a child to bed hungry is worse? So a pre-bed time snack seems to be the way to go. That way I can brush his teeth before he goes to sleep and let go of that guilt and the fear that all of his teeth will fall out of his head (before they’re supposed to).
So I have to trust him that he’s eating enough. He’s certainly pooing enough. And he has the energy of ten Duracell bunnnies. But it’s hard. Oh so hard.
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One year on…

17 Jan

The turtle is 18 months old today. It’s one year since he started eating. Not to the day. But around a year. I did think that the actual date would be forever emblazoned on my brain. Sadly not. I do remember his first tooth though, February 5th. See, I’m not that bad. If only I’d had more than good intentions when it came to that pile of “Your First Year” books.

What I do remember is an intense pressure to wean. From around November (4 months). Mainly from my mother. “Is he not eating yet?” On and on and on. “When will you give him a spud?” On and on and on. I told her he could have Christmas dinner. Luckily he was sleeping. I did give him some fruit puree though. From time to time. Just to relieve the pressure. I was living with my parents at the time. My energy to argue only went so far.Being the mother doesn’t count for that much when you’re also the daughter.

As the magical 6 month mark approached, I bought a hand blender yoke. Ready to make my own slop. Lovingly. For my son to eat. I did. Twice? Three times? Lentils and everything. It wasn’t that bad, like soup. Much better than those jars of things. I’m not even able to look at them without feeling sick, but then I’m the same when it comes to tins of soup. Anyway, no matter what I slopped up he wouldn’t really eat it. Two or three days we tried. The day it took an hour to get a few spoons into him, with my mother jangling keys in front of his face to distract him. That was the day. The day I decided that this was just wrong. It shouldn’t be this hard. There must be another way.

There was. Baby led  weaning. I found out as much as I could on the t’interweb, ordered the book, and retired the blender. The difference was almost instantaneous. There were no more battles of wills. Between me and the turtle. Or between me and my mother (she took to her bed with her Rosary beads, mortally afraid that he would choke). There wasn’t much eating for the first few weeks. Months?

There was a lot more mess and a lot more fun. There still is quite a bit of mess. The turtle has a penchant for throwing plates. There’s fun to be had too. Mealtimes are just soooo relaxed. There’s no bargaining. No “One more bite”. No bribery – although if I thought it would work in getting him to stop throwing plates I might consider it.

He eats a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, beans, meat, fish. Everything, really. Except raw tomatoes. But then I won’t eat them either. I won’t even touch them (although I am getting better). He isn’t suspicious of new foods. He’ll give everything a shot. He prefers peas to ice cream.

Going down the BLW route was probably one of the best parenting decisions I’ve ever made. I trust my son to eat when he’s hungry and stop when he’s full. I don’t worry about food quantities. So long as his food intake is balanced over the course of the day (or even the week) I don’t worry about any one meal. All of the options he gets are healthy ones. He loves his food. He’s a happy, healthy little boy. And hopefully I’ll never be in the position of the father I saw today, coercing a small boy into eating “one more bite” ….. of pizza.

If only he would stop throwing plates, mealtimes would be a dream.

The hardest part…

7 Sep

There’s nothing worse than a small child who is sick. Even when it’s nothing serious. “Just a bug.” That doesn’t mean your heart doesn’t break every time he vomits. Or fill with hope every time he takes a bite to eat – only to break again a minute later. He’s back to himself now though! Even if he does kind of retch every time he eats something bigger than a pea or harder than a banana. He’s trying so hard to eat properly, and won’t be discouraged. Once he figures out that eating satiates his hunger again, we’ll be flying!

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