So, let this post be a reminder to me to just stop stressing about any parenting things. Obviously, the time will come when worry and concern will be needed in my journey as a parent, but in my limited experience it is not when Ben is a baby. For, every time I spend hours overthinking anything, he just works it out in his own time without me. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I'm just along for the ride.
As you've probably guessed, this is as true for weaning as it for anything else. Just a couple of months ago, I was writing that weaning wasn't what I expected and I was a little concerned about getting started when he didn't really seem to be, well, eating anything. And probably two days after I posted that blog post, just to spite me, he started swallowing things of his own accord and has been a fairly enthusiastic eater ever since.
As always, relaxing about everything was really the best course of action - a lesson that I will probably never learn. I was determined to stick to Baby Led Weaning, and all of the books on it scream that you really must never feed them with a spoon yourself because you'll mess up their relationship with food, and you, forever more should you do so. But, after many meals of painstakingly letting him take a pre-loaded spoon from us, he worked out that it was far quicker if he just went mouth, rather than hand, first at the spoon and let the food come to him. And so, the decision was made that if he was happy to have us feed him, then we were happy to do so.
So, we've been taking a bit more of a relaxed, mixed method approach to the whole weaning game. I've been making some different finger foods for him to try, and experimenting with things like these fritters and fish pie bites. He's getting better and better at picking things up and feeding himself, and does seem to enjoy it. But, on the flip side, he's equally happy for us to give him something mushed up on a spoon.
I've been giving myself a break and doing half lovingly prepared, home-cooked food and half baby-friendly shop-bought stuff. He eats three meals a day and that is a lot of time to be spent chopping and steaming and blending - and ultimately, for what? So I can feel like parent of the year? I already know that I'm not winning that award - healthy neglect is my parenting style, after all - so I might as well let that go. My main aim is that he eats a mostly healthy diet with a mixture of different foods, but more than anything that he enjoys eating and has a good relationship with food as he grows up. There's no guarantee of how things will go, but I feel like relaxing about the whole thing is more likely to get us there than my previous approach!