On introducing Solids/baby led weaning….
I’ve been pretty resilient so far, and I’d say successful, at this parenting thing. My daughter is almost 8 months old and hasn’t had a cold or a bruise yet. Nor has her mother had a nervous breakdown.
But baby led weaning is kind of breaking me, because it’s SOOOOO MESSY! It’s the cutest thing to see your baby Om Nom Nom whole pieces of broccoli or rice or whatever, but in the wake of this fun is basically a baby, high chair, bib, and floor covered in tiny bits of damp, sweep-resistant food. Between the time it takes for her little pincers to get enough food eaten and then the clean time, lunch can be a 2 hour ordeal. Or more. And I still find the occasional hardened bit of something on the floor… which drives me… up… the…. wall…
Maybe we should buy a hoover (or a dyson?!) but until that happens, here are my tips for not letting BLW break you like it’s breaking me:
1. Plastic disposable floor liner/sheet.
2. Always expect to hose baby down. Sink works.
3. Use a bib with sleeves. Or a naked baby. Don’t even bother with cloth bibs. You need plastic or plastic-covered. In large quantities. Preferably with a lip at the bottom for at least attempting to catch the offshoot bits.
4. Did I mention disposable floor liner or sheet? Mandatory!
5. Get a heavy bowl, or one that’s edgeless so that baby can’t lift/shake/hurl it. We love the Boon brand of plates and bowls.
6. Follow baby’s phases…. you’ll see trends toward carbs or fruits only or veggies only. Go with those.
7. Make friends with the idea of easy meals. Your kid needs you happy more than they need you to be the perfect BLW mum. Get those little astronaut pack things like these Ella’s kitchen ones or these by Baby Gourmet. My friend Emma introduced to these and they changed my life forever! Our daughter holds them herself, but no mess. (*Note, even at 19 months, they still save the day when the day calls for fast, easy. It’s easier for THEM too!) Make sure you introduce these in a sure-to-love flavor (peas for us, strangely!) so the association is good. You actually have to look a little harder for the more veggie, LESS SWEET ones…. it’s worth it. Look for squash and green veg over all fruit like ‘banana blueberry etc. etc.”
8. Always clean wet messes with wet clothes and dry messes with dry cloths. Trust me, it helps.
9. Yes, it gets better.
10. I survived piles of sticky brown rice on my floor for months and lived to tell the tale. You will too. And your kid… will never remember any of this!!! : )
Eventually, you get to here, and it all seems worth the ride: