Sometimes I think I am not reading enough. I feel like everyone I know is reading articles, watching YouTube videos and copying files from the newest and most revered parenting site to learn the ins and outs of their baby.
I don’t think that makes me better or worse than anyone else. In the beginning, I did read The Wonder Weeks and found it truly fascinating (still do) and the week by week book that friends passed on was certainly useful when I panicked that Mabel wasn’t getting enough milk on Day 3 and fun to read beyond that point too. But mostly, if I have a question, I go to my ever-knowing mom, my step-sister, those friends who I trust with babies and I ask them. Problem solved.
But what it does mean is that I don’t feel I fully understand some basic terms and principles. Case in point – Baby Led Weaning. Okay, I sorta get that you place food in front of your baby and – hey presto – she picks it up and starts eating and forever knows what foods she likes and, in fact, likes all foods and is magically the best eater known to man. Or something like that.
But as I have not read enough, I can’t proclaim to see how any of that is possible. Sure, Mabel has nibbled on some carrot sticks (read: thrown them on the floor) and even taken a bite of a cauliflower floret, but other than that, if I left her meals up to Baby Led Weaning (in as much as I understand it), she’d never actually eat any of the food.
Today, Mabel ate mashed sweet potato (ahhh baby’s first bite of starchy, carby goodness) and, as is hardly surprising given its sweet flavour and soft texture, she loved it. But what started off as bowl food quickly ended up in Mabel-knocked chunks all over her highchair tray.
So we tried “Baby Led Weaning” and left the chunks there and, low and behold, Mabel picked them up, put them in her mouth and ate them. All by herself. And not just one bite, but actually three or four. And she seemed pretty happy about it. As was I.
Perhaps there is something to be said for these fancy shmancy terms and reading things that might actually teach you things. I will certainly keep attempting to mix Mabel’s eating utensils up between spoons, fingers, bowls, plates, sippy cups, etc. Or perhaps, reading Google or not, eventually babies will naturally learn their own way, as will parents, just like our parents did before us and theirs before them. And so on.