The start of something new
It has begun! It is the beginning of the end […]
It has begun! It is the beginning of the end of the era of boobie milk for Ben because he has reached the grand old age of (nearly) 6 months, and it’s time to wean.
It’s something we could have started earlier (and I know a lot of parents do), but with Ben being our first we try to follow the guidelines as much as possible—even though we know he has been ready because for the last month or so he had been watching intently when me and my partner eat, even mimicking our chewing.
I’ve been looking forward to this for so long.
I’ve been looking forward to it because the idea of the mess that comes with weaning makes me smile. I’ve been picturing Ben with mashed up vegetables smeared over his face and hands, giggling at how fun food is, butternut squash being found in between his toes, up his nose, on the floors and walls. Just writing about it makes me smile (and I also will gain the ability to blame my messy eating on Ben, which is kind of cool). But more than the mess that comes with it, I’ve been looking forward to weaning because I get to be more involved in feeding him after nearly six months of the occasional expressed bottle, as he has been exclusively breastfed.
What I didn’t know before we started was the amount of information there is out there about feeding … the foods that should be tried first and the reasons for it, the difference between baby led weaning and traditional weaning, when to introduce meals, and the reasons for it.
I didn’t know it was such an exact science. Even after six months, I’m still at times naive to this parenting game. I guess a lot of us feel that way sometimes.
But what I can say is: Thank, God, for the Internet! I’d be lost without it and the research I can do with it. Sometimes I wonder how my parents managed to raise me to be a (sort of) well-adjusted human being without it.
So, after a week of discussing it, we worked out that we were going to try Ben on a little butternut squash, with a bit of breast milk mixed in (as we read it helps with the transition).
Not that we had anything to worry about. My little boy likes his food.
As soon as the squash was on the spoon his eyes locked on, and as I just started to say the classic ‘”here comes the airplane” that was used to encourage me to eat he leaned forward and put the spoon in his mouth.
And then we held our breath, wondering which of these three he would do.
1: Would he lick the spoon?
2: Would he take the food and spit/dribble it out?
3: Would he choke a little?
It turned out he didn’t do any of these; instead he chewed it and then swallowed as if he’d done it a thousand times before. Then he moaned an “I want my own way” moan until we gave him more, which made us laugh. He ate another three teaspoons of food.
As Ben is now nearly 6 months, we are going through a new phase of lots of changes to how he is in the world and the things he can do. Often these changes are exciting and terrifying for me and my partner, as the uncertainty of how he will adjust to these changes is always in our thoughts.
However, if these new developments are anything like the first time he tried food, I’m sure we have nothing to worry about. But that doesn’t mean we won’t anyway, and although I look forward to these changes, I’m not wishing the time away. For it’s becoming very clear that our little dependent baby that I wrote about at the start of my blogging for P&N is growing fast into a beautiful little boy, who every day I cherish, but needs me in a different way.