It’s now unfashionable to use a pre-made baby purée and in doing so parents and caregivers are being herded towards BLW at an (almost pushy) increasing rate. BLW or Baby Led Weaning is essentially ditching the spoon feeding and giving your baby the chance to feed themselves from the get go. This starts with fingerfoods at 6 months and by 9 months you should have a cave man in your dining room knawing meat straight from the bone and knowing which is the salad fork.
I cheated. I did both. Both have their advantages, purée packets are easy to shovel down (when the baby is being a willing participant) and generally mess free. BLW is easy because you just give them what you’re eating and saves a tonne of money. Both have their disadvantages – packets soon add up at 3x £1.50 a day (not counting having to open a new packet because Sir isn’t in the mood for peas and broccoli this evening) and the theory of BLW “have what you’re having” is fine if you’re not the family who has spaghetti bolognese or curry 6 nights a week. I don’t seem to have as much time to flare in the kitchen now that 80 percent of my day is chasing after a small Tasmanian Devil and stopping him from pulling a cat’s ear off or tipping the dog’s water bowl over for the 167th time. I tend to just bang out quick “one pot” meals for me and Frankie that take very little imagination. I was finding the variety hard to manage for River and ended up buying packets AND struggling to make a variety of different fingerfoods for him every evening, most of which ended up eaten by the dog.
I found River was confused, he didn’t want the mush and would close his mouth in protest and raspberry it all over me or I would have to distract him with Peppa Pig and then shovel it in whilst his inhibitions were down. With the fingerfoods, he would be so mad at my betrayal he would just swipe everything I made on the floor. Eating out in restaurants gave me palpations for the fear of being told I couldn’t open a purée packet in their establishment or worse River wouldn’t eat said packet and would be starving and scream bloody murder until I conjured another source of food out of my magic mum bag. This would usually be some baby crisps or biscuits. Anything to avoid a melt down.
I couldn’t get on board with the “let them pick, he’ll eat when he’s hungry” mantra because he’s a big lad and I thought I was doing best by stuffing up like a Sunday chicken but ultimately it was a battle I couldn’t win. By the time the protesting was done he was hungrier than when he began and I would be down another £1.50 as well as aged another 10 years.
This week I’ve made the decision to finally ditch the purée packets and just offer what we are having. So far so good, yesterday was a great day with him eating a cheese sandwich and some chicken and tomato pasta for tea. I’m aiming to save money and start River off on a happier eating path which doesn’t end every mealtime with me crying as I pull plain pasta from the dogs jaw.