Baby weaning and the backseat driver police.

Everyone has an opinion about how and when you should wean your little one.  Often people can be very vocal about sharing their views and why they believe they are right.

Everyone has an opinion about how and when you should wean your little one.  Often people can be very vocal about sharing their views and why they believe they are right.  I started Friendly First Foods to try and create a safe space for parents, free from that judgement and ‘policing’, so when Lisa from contacted me asking to share her weaning experience with our readers and how she handled the pressure from the ‘weaning police’ I jumped at the chance!
Here is her story:
When I was pregnant I knew that I wanted to try puree’s with my little girl just because I knew that if I could batch freeze something, it would be easier for me while my partner was at work. I read into BLW, purees and combination, but thought it was the best option for us to go puree.
When my little one was 5 months old, we knew she was ready. From the get go we made everything and had an entire freezer drawer full of different types of food ready for her. The only thing was that I had a
little parrot squawking on my shoulder about what food I should make, and how I should be serving it. The backseat driver. This particular backseat driver was my own mother, who continues to be the
most stubborn woman I have ever met in my life. Yep! And I’ve worked in customer services/bars since I was 16.
The only problem with weaning your baby is that maybe you’ve got everything planned and sorted and you know what you want to do, and it seems like it’s perfect for your baby but other people have their own ideas. People try to give you advice but comes across more like they’re shoving their opinion down your throat. I began to worry about everything I was doing and doubting myself as a first time mum. I read some books and assured myself what I was doing was right. I knew that in the end it came down to me.
You tend to find that with older generations that they are set in their ways and think that what they did is right. Certain things might still work, I’m not saying they don’t, but times change and things progress with it. I was certainly not about to give my baby a Rusk as her first food, chocolate or
whiskey on her gums while she’s teething. She’s my daughter. That’s it. She is my responsibility and I know it’s my choice. So I said no, and my mother fell out with me for 4 days. Only to find she did the first two when she looked after her for a couple of hours. Bad Nana.
My advice to you is to be stern from the beginning if someone is telling you that what you’re doing is wrong. Stick to your gut. There isn’t a right or wrong way to feed a child and as many people say “you will over feed them if you spoon feed them” or “they won’t eat it they’ll just choke” they’re wrong. My daughter would shout at me if she didn’t want more or plainly refuse. And when she was gagging, you could tell the difference in noise, just always be at their side just incase something get’s
lodged and they can’t move it in their mouths.
There are different ways to wean babies. As I’ve said I went the puree option, but as my daughter went off her milk for 3 days we stopped all together to make sure she was getting her milk. Food was
there to try out and not to replace her milk so we knew it was the right decision for us. Only to find that when we tried to wean her again, she was adamant about holding everything. So we tried Baby Led Weaning. I was so worried about her choking and gagging but in time I could tell the difference and when she was able to move the food in her mouth by herself. It works well for us and we continued to give her purees too. Normally we would give her fruit purees and vegetable food for her
to hold and grab by herself.
During the first month or so I had my friends, my family, my other half and his family all butting their heads in for what I was doing. A lot of them didn’t like the fact that I did one or the other, or even both. They thought I would confuse her. Some didn’t like that I was only giving her fruits and
vegetables in the beginning. Someone even told me I was a bad mum for giving her fusilli pasta to play and try by herself. No one thought I was a bad mum when they saw how great she was eating it all by herself and how she would stop when she was full.
So my advice to you is to:
  • Read up about puree, baby led weaning and combination weaning and think about what is best for the baby and for you.
  • Do what you feel you are comfortable with as it’s you that has to do all the work. Yes, it can be frustrating when you’ve had to balance your little one on your hip to cook foods for them to throw them all over the floor in a tantrum but it’s worth it.
  • Try not to feel pressured by what other people are doing or how they are doing it with their babies. You shouldn’t compare yourself to others, it does no good and I bet you’re doing an amazing job anyway!
  • Try your best to give them fruit and vegetables. I’ll admit I give my daughter Imogen, Organix biscuits for a snack especially while she’s teething as she chucks raw food on the floor.
  • Invest in some good storage pots. Half of my puree pots opened in the freezer, and I found that I run out of tupperwear quickly when chopping up foods for her to eat and store the leftovers.
  • Above all. Have fun. Weaning should be an experience between you and your little one that you should both enjoy. Lots of smiles and noises. Make them daft aeroplane noises because believe me, they love that stuff! If anyone tells you what to do just either bite your tongue and smile or tell them where to politely shove it.

If you enjoyed Lisa’s story and would like to follow her you can here:


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