I think weaning is probably the thing I've looked forward to the most, baby-wise, so far - and the time has finally come! It's obviously no surprise that I show my love with food - so being able to include Benjamin in that expression of love is something I've been waiting for since before he was born.
But, now it's here, I'm feeling a little anxious. We have been very relaxed when it comes to parenting so far, letting Benjamin lead the way on everything from how much milk he wants to drink to how much he wants to sleep and everything in between. That approach has been working well for us, and has really helped my anxiety and my tendency to overthink everything. I feel like we'd have been tearing our hair out if we'd done anything differently; Benjamin will do what he wants, no matter what your feelings on the subject so you might as well just get on board.
Weaning, however, feels slightly different. There are options and choices, for both you and for your baby, where there haven't really been before. I want to instil healthy eating habits into Benjamin as well as keep up that relaxed way of parenting as far as we can, but when faced with a whole supermarket's worth of things to feed him, I feel a little paralysed.
Baby-led weaning really appeals to me. I don't want to faff about making purees if I don't have to, and I like the idea that he can just eat whatever we're having, with a few exceptions and without the salt, of course. We've been trying a little bit of that approach, even though he's not quite at six months, because he gets very annoyed if you're eating in front of him and he can't have a bit. Cue me letting him gnaw on my pizza crusts at lunch whilst my friends whipped out lovingly prepared pots of baby-food for their little ones!
I've been letting him have a few fingers of things - he loved sweet potato and toast, but wasn't so fussed about banana or avocado - but he's not really 'ready' for food yet so everything ends up back on his highchair tray. And so we're stuck in a bit of a weird limbo at the moment, offering him things and waiting for him to actually eat them. I've been trying to do a bit of research so I can be as prepared as possible, but as with all things baby, there is conflicting advice everywhere you look.
It's not quite the fun start to our weaning journey that I had anticipated but I'm hopeful that in the next few weeks as he turns six months, we'll slowly get the hang of it together. I'm just trying to remember that he's taught me everything I know about being a mother so far, so it's probably best to let him take the lead again here.