First time round I pureed and I mashed and I filled my freezer with tiny little pots of pulp. My husband regularly took a day off work so I could be hands free in the kitchen all day making batches of baby food (lucky me). I spent half of one day just trying to cut a butternut squash, which is akin to a three hour gym session. And why did I lovingly prepare all this wholesome pureed mush for my darling son? Well so I could spoon feed him and watch him spit it all out and maul a bread stick instead of course. Second time round I said no to all that shit. We were taking the baby led weaning approach and saying no to the purees.
It has gone well. I would highly recommend it. Even though it takes the meaning of ‘mess’ to a whole new level. And I’ve had 5 three-year olds over for a play date – at the same time. Meal times are much simpler, although there maybe the odd argument over who has to sit next to the baby. Although to be fair, he has a pretty good aim wherever you sit.
There are however a few definite things to avoid:
Baby Led Weaning: The Rules
Do not as the name suggests think that ‘baby’ is in charge and leading this thing.
By all means give them bits of finger foods to hold in their little paws and munch and rub into their hair. It’s part of the fun. But if you want baby to be in charge and are willing to give them the Petits Filous and the spoon, then do so at your own risk. Firstly we all know that Petits Filous is the ‘crack’ of the baby world. As soon as they see that stuff they start opening and closing their mouths like a goldfish, grunting at you and clasping their hands in a Neanderthal ‘gimme gimme’ gesture. But give the baby control and you can expect Petits Filous in your face. And that’s best case scenario. You will be amazed at baby’s hurling abilities when you find your walls adorned in splats of Petits Filous. Not to mention the ceiling.
Do not let them loose with food when a Grandparent is present (especially if that Grandparent has a heart condition)
Expect Nanas and Grannys to hover over baby taking lots of loud breath intakes and making comments such as “He’s got that whole thing in his mouth you know“. Heaven forbid baby might cough, because it will be full on panic station at Grandparent central. Expect them to need a cup of tea and a lie down after feeding time at the zoo. Sorry Mum, but you were having kittens when we first started!
Do not eat away from the home
That might be taking it a bit far. Give the fine dining a miss and stick to family friendly places. But do choose where you sit very carefully. Do not under any circumstances sit near to a very well dressed lady enjoying a quiet coffee. And do not in any way misjudge your babies arm reach in relation to the proximity to the back of very well dressed lady’s chair and her very expensive looking coat. Very well dressed lady didn’t seem too impressed with my apologies and baby wipes.
Do not clean the floor before you clean the baby
If you do you will need to wash your hair after baby reaches over to pat you on the head / grab a fistful of hair and pull. Rookie mistake I know. Dry shampoo is not going to cut it with half chewed banana.
Erm, there’s a little something on your face…
And my final no no…
Don’t over cook the broccoli
You’ll be finding that mashed up crap for weeks. And it’s really hard to get out of baby’s ears.