Thursday, 13 July 2017

10 Things That Happen If You Follow Baby Led Weaning



Baby led weaning is probably one of my favourite things ever. It just feels like the obvious thing to do this time around, but with my first, it seemed like I was part of a revolution. Everyone around me was busy spoon feeding their babies purees and I was knee-deep in dropped salad in the middle of a restaurant whilst servers looked on at me in disgust. Revolution! 


I read all about it, I explained it to horrified friends as they tried to shield themselves from my hummus-hurling maniac of a baby and I felt it was a core part of my parenting belief (give the baby control of their own body, revolution!). This time, I just can't be bothered doing anything other than what I already have to do. Whatever your reasons for choosing to let your baby take charge in the weaning department, sheer laziness or an acute case of the sanctimommy, here are 10 things that will happen when you follow baby led weaning (BLW):

1. You will become a big fan of the five-second rule
Hell, why limit it to five seconds? Five minutes is probably fine. The floor is just like a plate only less round and with feet on it. Totally fine. No, it doesn't matter that the cat just walked on that floor. Yes, he had just been to the little tray. So what? The five-second rule gives you the green light. Yes, even for soup. 

2. All the vests will be ruined
Sometimes it is too cold to make your baby eat naked (yes, they shiver if you attempt this. No, YOU are a terrible parent). Sometimes, you just can't be bothered with getting them undressed. It's just beetroot, after all, it'll probably wash it. Pretty much all of my daughter's six-month vests are stained with a combination of pasta sauce, beetroot and orange. None of that comes off. Neither does hummus. Or peanut butter. Everything leaves a murky stain. 

3. Bananas will make you sick
Bananas are pretty gross anyway. Why are they mushy? Why do they smell like that? Why do deadly spiders hide in them? They are the worst fruit. They're also pretty good for you, so sometimes you have to eat them. And that's ok, as long as you haven't recently weaned a baby. There is nothing more offensive than a banana that has been sucked, squeezed and gummed for thirty minutes. It will be moist, slippery and browned. It will get stuck in the seams of the highchair and it will smell foul. It will put you off bananas for a very long time. 

4. You will become an expert in choking
Not because your baby chokes all the time, but because you spend pretty much all of your free time explaining to people why you're not worried about choking. You'll become an expert in the difference between choking and gagging and will point this difference out to every person (all of them) who tell you baby led weaning is dangerous. Even though you know the difference, and even though you've taken a first aid course especially, you will still shit yourself every time your baby gags. 

5. You will take 8,000 photos
I have a whole folder of photographs from when I weaned my first daughter. A folder full of photos of a naked baby, sat in a brightly coloured highchair, sampling various foods. I must have a photo of her eating absolutely everything for the first time. Avocado, grapes, madras, it's all there, tucked away in my computer so I can dig it out should anybody ever say "Can you show me photographic evidence that your baby once ate mushroom?" which, by the way, like, nobody ever says. This time, I thought I'd take fewer photos. I didn't. I now have a whole new folder full of a different naked baby smeared in first foods. 

6. You will learn to look to the crotch
It feels good when people appreciate the food you make for them. It's nice to see your hard work is appreciated. Occasionally, I will glance down at my daughter in my highchair to notice that most of her food is gone. Hooray, she loved her spaghetti, I think fleetingly before glancing down to her crotch and finding her entire meal discarded between her thighs. She hides everything there. Nothing gets eaten, only slopped onto her lap. 

7. People will roll their eyes
'Baby led weaning' is one of those terms that gets people's backs up. Much like 'breastfeeding' or 'I just don't think violence towards children is acceptable'. Major eye-roll from the Daily Mail. People hate it. They hate anything you can stick a label on, because apparently, that means you're judging them (even though them not liking you for doing it differently is them judging you, but, whatever). Half of these people will think you like making your life more difficult and the other half will think you're an idiot. 

8. Your kitchen sink will become a bath
For the first three months of baby led weaning, my kitchen sink was a second bathroom. The windowsill housed a collection of bubble baths and lotions and there was always a towel folded neatly on top of one of the breakfast stools as though I was running the world's shittest backstreet spa. There was too much risk involved in carrying a pasta-sauce covered baby all the way upstairs to get clean. It was safer to just give baths in the sink. 

9. You will consider buying a dustpan and brush to take out with you
It's terrible having to ask for a dustpan and brush each time you eat out. Most places won't even let you have one, instead, they insist on cleaning up after your feral food-hurling offspring. How big can you even make a tip? It would be easier to just carry your own dustpan and brush to restaurants. 

10. Your floor is gross 
In our first house, we had a carpeted dining room. Beige carpets that soon became rainbow splattered as my daughter dropped all manner of foodstuff on the floor. This time around, we're living the laminate dream. Our kitchen floor is a wipe-clean gift from the heavens. But, I still stand on a lot of tomatoes. Yesterday, I accidentally skated across the room on some abandoned guacamole. And, I've trampled more brocolli into my socks than I would care to admit. 

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