The highs and woes of weaning

So, in my last parenting blog, I wrote about how Sienna and I had just started our weaning journey and basically how excited I was…fast forward to six weeks in and like all my parenting experiences, weaning has definitely had it highs and lows.

Similar to most first time (and most of the time naive) mums, before I started weaning, I did lots of reading, scrolling through Pinterest and liking on instagram of pretty babies eating perfect meals their mums had effortlessly made for them. Now, if you’ve met me or read my blog before you’ll know that cooking and me don’t really mix (I’m the girl who actually put a phone in the oven and cooked a piece of beef in cellophane on national television.)

However, despite these shortcomings, I went into weaning with a positive attitude, confident I could handle making Sienna her meals from scratch.

At first, a phone chef like me could still just about manage boiling Sienna vegetables to purée and chopping up a few for her to play with. Yet, even I was surprised at how doing something so simple could add so much time to my day. Boiling vegetables, feeding said vegetables then cleaning the vegetables from the floor, highchair and Sienna’s clothes, face, hair and at times ears, takes considerably longer than getting your boob out. But, as a good mum wanting to feed my baby the best, I sucked it up (not literally, I hate over boiled veg) and carried on.

As we entered week three of weaning the recipes I was “meant” to be giving Sienna obviously developed from just veg to include different food groups. For most this would have been totally fine, but remember…phone in oven. And I know this is so dumb and superficial, but I was getting really stressed about all the the mess and finding all the extra effort overwhelming. On top of this I had my usual first time mum hang ups of “am I actually looking after Sienna well” and “am I giving her good enough food, cooked well enough to give her the nutrients she needs?!”

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I was in Asda (other budget supermarkets are available) and I decided to buy Sienna some pouches. The next day, I gave Sienna a pouch and unsurprisingly…she was absolutely fine, just like the millions of babies that eat puréed food everyday. Again unsurprisingly with Sienna and her unique eating habits (pictures below of what Sienna looks like when you try and give her a bottle) she was was only happy when she could feed the purée to herself, which is fine but obviously a 7 month old feeding them self leads to a certain amount of mess.

After, I gave Sienna the pouch and the world didn’t end, I decided to stop reading all the prescriptive plans and just to go with my instincts. For me, this meant just trying to give Sienna little and often, with a bit of toast or porridge for breakfast, a pouch and some veg to play with at lunch and something small for her to nibble on at teatime.

I don’t know if this is “right” I don’t know if Sienna has tried all the food she should do in the “right” order for her age but so far I feel a million times better doing this. Don’t get me wrong, I do still get frustrated when after getting Sienna all set for a meal that she literally eats two mouthfuls of, I have to then re clean the highchair, her, me and all the other random places her lunch has managed to end up. But I am also feeling soooooo proud and happy when she tries food that I’ve chosen for her and absolute amazing when I see her plate get a bit clearer each day.

Reading this, I’m sure most will be thinking…why are you getting so stressed about something so simple and it all seems so obvious. But, for me, weaning has been another hurdle in journey of getting over my recurring mum guilt and learning to trust myself. I’m definitely not cured yet and I know my poor mum will be getting more stressy “I don’t know what I’m doing” calls in the future…but I’m getting there.

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