Weaning … I thought I’d be clever and try to find a dictionary definition that nails this pesky verb’s meaning in a pithy little sentence. Instead I just got annoyed. According to dictionary.com, to wean means “to lose the need to suckle or turn to the mother for food.” In short, all the definitions were along this theme of a loss of dependency on the mother.
Personally I find this insulting as yes, Scarlett may spend less time physically latched but the hours of patiently teasing spoons in her mouth, having food thrown in my face, the floor, my hair, her face, her hair, our clothes… we’re closer connected than ever. I can only assume these dictionaries are written by childless men who do not have a bobbing clue. Weaning doesn’t sever any relationships it fosters new ones. Now my baby girl has to trust the new tastes she experiences and I get the joy of seeing pure, innocent reactions to a new discovery of sensations.
Every baby is so different, some, like Scarlett gobble it up like no tomorrow whilst others need time to explore and that’s fine. Mum guilt can do one. All our babies have different personalities so why should we expect them all to approach weaning in the same fashion? For Scarlett, my tiny Hoover likes to not only attempt to try and feed herself, by grabbing the spoon and shoving it in various places on her face, she also love, loves to watch others when they eat and mimic. I must admit it is a bit disconcerting to have a baby that barely blinks watch your every mouthful. I never imagined my life would change to that of mental mummy making loud chewing and noises of appreciation whenever I put food in my mouth, but if it works… hey no judgement.
My top five survival suggestions:
- Invest in a bib which resembles as closely as possible a morph suit… you want the surface area ratio of skin contact and food to a bare minimum… mum’s might want to consider said suit for themselves too.
- Make the food area look pretty with a cute feeding bowl or placemat, that way when the food ends up anywhere but in your babies mouth you can make like Japanese culture who value the space around the object under scrutiny with just as much importance as the object itself (in this case food and child). For example: food flung on carpet, clumps in your hair, baby menacingly brandishing food laden spoon, mum focus: ‘oh I do love this feeding bowl, the little unicorns jumping over the rainbow and the glittering stars make me glow inside and out, the food congealed in my hair just adds to that sparkle’.
- Try more than one feeding handle… also known as a spoon. Genuinely a spoon is a master of disguises and trickery, in its lifetime it takes many forms, some much better suited to your baby’s mouth shape than others.
- Be true to yourself… just because one mother is hand grinding food from their organic vegetable patch doesn’t mean you should go don some wellies and invest in a spade. Your child will not need therapy in the future if you don’t, it’s ok to do it your way.
- Those poos, they are going to change. Food in must equal food out, it’s a simple equation. That lurid coloured carrot mush is going to worm its way out into baby’s nappy and it might mean you’re in for a shock. Whilst the food might make bowel movements more compact (we call them truffles rather than explosions now) the smell. I can even finish the sentence. The smell is another level, gagging is much more common as it the desire to delegate all nappy changing duties to some poor unsuspecting victim.
A Guest Blog from Lottie Keble
Lottie is a mother to little baby Scarlett and spends her time racing around teaching one to one pilates and personal training in the Cotswolds. Scarlett is fast turning into her little helper, especially at the fitness and food events she holds at Wholefoods once a month in Lottie’s pursuit to promote body positivity and female empowerment. Scarlett is a feisty little madam and life has never been more fun!
Enjoyed this read? Make sure you check out all of the CheltenhamMaman recommendations over at Maman Pages.