I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about our start to weaning Freddy onto solids. Up until today, he’s just had fruit and vegetables which he’s hoovered up with delight. We haven’t had any issues with allergies and he really hasn’t rejected anything. I can tell when he doesn’t like something as much – i.e., he won’t open his mouth as big or shake and make grunting noises until you give him another bite (hello, bananas) – but in general, he’s eaten every single thing I’ve given him.
But of course, like all self-respecting mothers, I’ve been wracked with worry and anxiety about his eating habits. Why? Because why not?
I started to freak out today because I gave him chicken for the first time and he spit it out. Immediately, my mind went to that dark place…
“What if he never eats anything other than green beans and bananas and sweet potatoes? What if he doesn’t get enough protein? What if he is a picky eater?”
I gave him a cut-up boiled egg on his highchair tray for him to play with and eat. He stared at it. Didn’t want to touch it. Ate some of the yolk off of a spoon eventually, spitting out the bits of egg white, and his arms hung over the side of his high chair the whole time. We were more successful with a banana, but eventually he seemed uncomfortable with his sticky hands.
“What if I’ve ruined him by giving him purees for the first month? What if he never eats anything with his hands? What if he never eats anything with texture? What if I should have done baby-led weaning?”
Ever since I’ve started him on solids, he doesn’t want his bottles. It’s been a challenge giving him three 8oz bottles a day, which is what we are down to now from five 7oz bottles. He will usually drink half of the bottle, then pull away and refuse to take more. Over a half hour, I can maybe get him to take the whole thing. Before solids, he’d drink the bottle dry in about 10 minutes.
“What if he isn’t getting enough nutrients? What if he starts to lose weight? What if he’s starving and I don’t realise it? What if he’s really dehydrated? What if his tummy hurts from solids and it hurts to drink milk?”
Yes, I went all those places. With a first-class ticket on the New Mother Anxiety-Express to Crazy Town.
My Health Visitor gave me a sanity check today. Some babies prefer food to bottles, so you have to introduce meats, fish, and dairy earlier. I was also reading that babies don’t have great hand-eye coordination at six months, so baby-led weaning is great, but at his age he still needs a little help. In a couple of months he’ll really be able get a lot more into his mouth on his own. And also, eventually he’ll be an adult and won’t need his mother to spoon feed him Ella’s Kitchen banana puree.
He’s really doing so well, I need to give myself and especially him a break. My mom reminded me today that I used to hate chicken as well, so basically it’s genetic.