How parenting after loss has affected my experience of baby led weaning
This post is relevant to all parents, as we all experience the highs and lows of weaning at some point. However, I do believe my journey has been affected somewhat, with me finding it particularly hard in the first few weeks due to heightened anxiety of something happening to Hudson.
I’m an overly dramatic person anyway, I find something to worry about in the most serene of circumstances – so when it involves Hudson trying something new or something that has even a minor risk involved with it … Well, I fall to pieces!
Baby first aid
When Hudson was first born, I went on a mini first aid course to get me up to speed with all things first aid should (touch wood) anything bad ever happen. I’d recommend this for all new parents as those first few weeks are a bit of a blur of worry that you have something other than yourself to keep alive and happy! Learning what to do should they stop breathing or show signs of meningitis etc had me leaving the day with a new found confidence that I knew a little bit more about how to handle a bad situation should it ever arise.
One thing which we really focused on the day was what to do should your baby start choking. This was the part of the day where my notepad came out as it’s always been a fear of mine, as unfortunately you read too many heartbreaking stories in the news about babies choking, especially on food.
It made me realize that something that should have been an exciting horizon for me and something which I’d always dreamt of (baby led weaning) might not be as fun as what I’d hoped when the time finally came time … my guesses were correct.
Not as fun as I’d imagined … initially
I’ve always said I’d baby led wean, but honestly when the time came and I handed over that first piece of food to him, I crumbled into a million pieces and before it was even half way in his mouth, I was fish hooking it back out (I’m laughing now looking back about how dramatic I was) but I just couldn’t shake the fear of him choking or having a severe allergic reaction. I genuinely thought Hudson was still going to be drinking milk at the age of 2 at this rate!
I ended up looking to one of the mummy forums I’m on for support as I knew I wouldn’t be alone. They offered some great advice to take it at my own pace and start smooth etc but they all still pushed me towards BLW as it’s so beneficial to Hudson. I felt so guilty that I wasn’t letting him explore the world of food and textures and was limiting him to soft purees and a spoon.
BLW gets easier!
The biggest bit of advice I can give is take it at your own pace, start smooth and change things up every 4-7 days once they’ve got used to it. Once I started to take this approach and build up a texture every few days I soon found he was on lumps and I was ready to give him some food of his own. A dear friend recommended Kiddilicious baby wafers as a starter for them as they melt in the babies mouth – what a treat this was as it helped me to get used to watching Hudson and the GIANT mouthfuls he likes to take!
I do often wonder what kind of appetite his sister would of had, and if she’d be as messy as he is – probably not!
Its been a learning curve for both of us, poor Hudson has had my hands in his mouth pulling things out a million times, but now a month on we’re practically at the point where he has meals with us and is having full adult mouthfuls of all sorts. Seeing his appetite grow is what has given me the confidence to let him lead – he loves food and it made me realize that I shouldn’t let losing a child in the past affect his way of life and his development. Now I absolutely love watching him eat, I get excited about going to new restaurants to see what new foods I can try him with, and its safe to say I haven’t found anything he doesn’t like yet!
There will be gagging, heaving, and even a bit of coughing – but its all normal and part of them learning to eat. You’ll get there, bloody hell if I’m now confident enough to just give him a plate of food then anyone can do it! Enjoy it, it really is amazing watching them get a taste for flavors and develop their motor skills!
One day at a time .. XO Nicole