With my first baby, feeding was the most challenging part of my early parenting journey. I battled to breastfeed and persisted against the odds until 6 months, but not without many hours of tears and anxiety. Once solids were introduced, I shifted that anxiety to how much James would eat. It was only when our wonderful nanny took over mealtimes that James’ eating settled into a more pleasant experience. I realise looking back that the emotional energy I put into each meal was not good for our relationship or his early feeding experience.
Working with moms and having my daughters has taught me so much about how the emotions at meal times are a critical part of the equation.
Weaning Sense is as much about nutritious recipes as it is about relationships and emotions. Looking back, these are the three things I wish I knew:
It won’t be perfect “Like mealtimes, parenting is a messy affair. Flexibility is the only way to make the journey fun and manageable. You set yourself up for failure when you expect perfection in any parenting task. Your baby is perfectly imperfect and so are you. You will fail and then repair the failure and he will recover and that is the foundation of resilience.”
Calibrations don’t count “The clinic scale’ measuring cups, formula scoops and mls on a feeding bottle are not your friend. The real measure of whether your baby is thriving is his mood, whether he connects emotionally with you and if he appears to be thriving (not measured but perceived by you).”
Slow down “With a baby, the days are long but the years fly by. Don’t rush each stage. When he starts to eat, follow his lead and amble down the weaning path – don’t rush towards the next feeding phase.”