As a new parent, there's nothing I find more annoying that 'been there done it' parents telling me to 'enjoy every minute, they grow up so fast'. It's not the sentiment, but the lack of originality that irks me. I've heard it maybe 200 times now and I'm six months in to this game.
What they really ought to say is; 'It may be ball achingly exhausting right now, but you've basically got six months before your little baby is replaced with a goblin, so enjoy it.' Then I'd have paid attention.
I have approached that six-month milestone and I've started to see a change. Not that anyone prepares you for it, they are too busy questioning if you will be weaning the old way (puree) or the new way - baby led weaning, a term so smug I knew I wasn't going to do it before I even knew what it was.
So here I am imparting my weaning wisdom with you...
TEN THINGS ABOUT WEANING NOONE TELLS YOU
1.They get clogged up
Babies are just small humans, they get clogged up, bunged up, closed for business - you know what I'm saying. To help them out I recommend two things, cooled boiled water and Ella's Kitchen's Prunes Prunes Prunes. Boy do they work, work work and they taste quite nice too!
2. Personalities start to come out
This is where the fun starts and personalities come out. Unfortunately for my baby it's 'resistance to change' I trait I sadly posses. Whenever I feed him he resists it, gives me a look of disgust and then a few spoonful's in realises 'oh, ok, that's not so bad actually'. It's very telling.
3. You'll contemplate a new diet of puree food
Puree food makes everything taste nice. I know it's not meant for me, but I had to try it. Take parsnips for instance, a food so torrid that I let Ella's Kitchen cook it, so I didn't have to. By sheer accident I ended up tasting it, and couldn't believe how good it was. I tried it again with my home pureed sweet potato and loved it, the same with carrots, pears and apricots. It was a revelation for someone who has always been a fussy eater.
4. Invest in a recipe book
'The answer is in the books' my Dad used to say. It drove me crazy. But maybe he had a point. If you're clueless it's a good place to start. I invested in baby food expert Annabel Karmel's Easy Weaning book. It gave me the confidence to get going, and before you know it you'll be pairing pears with pretzels and uploading photos to instagram under the hashtag #foodporn
5. Babies are like cats
No really they are. My son licks at the spoon like 'Sipsy' my late Nan's feral feline. It's amazing to watch a baby discover food. They are clueless as to what to do with a spoon, so they lick it like a kitty being given its first pouch of Whiskers. All together now, ahhh. Until someone sh*ts on you.
6. Buy some nice things
Get yourself some decent weaning gear. I found shopping for deals online much better than paying double in the shops. Invest in some decent baby spoons, a steamer/blender, freezer pots, a bib and bowls. A high chair will be your biggest purchase and will be kicking around the house for some time, so get something that you like, as much as it is practical. I'm not ashamed to say that the main reason I got my highchair was because it's stylish!
7. With feeding comes teething
Mother Nature's a bitch like that. So on top of learning to fix, feed and freeze food, you'll find yourself with a narky baby to pacify. Thank Boots for a homeopathic drug, commonly known to all parents as 'baby cocaine'. Probably best to ask your pharmacist for 'baby teething granules' though eh. And don't just buy one packet, buy 400. You will use them like WD40 to a squeaky door. You're welcome.
8.When in doubt, throw a toy at them!
It's a bit like having a 'safe word', I call it the 'go to toy', the one I magically produce to make all things right. This rotates on a frequent basis, but right now it's the Taf Touch Cube and it mesmerizes him to a hypnotic state when the tears start to roll. Get yours on standby!
9. The Milk still Flows
Mine was an early weaner (5 months), and I rejoiced at the thought of the money and time I might save on milk... oh how I was wrong. The milk still flows like it ever did.
10. Get ready for explosions
Oh man, if you thought baby poo was gross, you aint seen nothing yet! It goes from a korma to a vindaloo in a matter of days once you start weaning. On the plus side, you'll never crave Indian food again!