A week ago Rupert had never had anything to eat other than breast milk, today he had 3 solid meals. Last week he was showing the signs of being interested as he intently watched every forkful of food from plate to mouth. He’s 4 months old this week so we thought we’d give him a little taste and see how he got on.
He liked it.
This morning for breakfast he had a whole bowl of baby porridge, for dinner half a sweet potato. Quite clearly he is a food monster and growing fast. There is also very little mess with every last drop of purée sucked off the spoon each time. He’s even started shouting at us if we don’t feed him quick enough.
I always knew he would start earlier than the other 2, he is after all already as heavy as Matilda was when she was 1, but we’ve gone from no food to regular meals awfully quickly. It’s one of those milestones that make you realise how much your baby is developing and we’re clinging onto each one for as long as possible because we have no plans to do this again. It feels odd writing that down, I’m not tempted at all by a 4th child but for the last 4 years our life has revolved around babies and toddlers. Knowing that we are on the path (albeit only on the very first step) towards having children rather than babies is strange. Right now it’s hard to remember a life without children, a time when we could just pop out at the weekend without having to plan around naps or take a suitcase worth of things with us. Life was simpler and most definitely easier then but it wasn’t half as much fun.
For now though we can enjoy an immediate future full of messy bibs, purées, plastic cups and bowls and most likely needing to repaint food stained walls. Incidentally my top tip for anyone going through the weaning stage is to get a dog, makes cleaning up after a whole lot easier when the canine hoover has been sat under the high chair. I Imagine we’ll also be getting through quite a few sweet potatoes and bananas over the next few weeks also.
We have also been hoping but not daring to say out loud that maybe, just maybe he might decide to sleep for longer than 2 hours at a time. That perhaps the combination of some solid food and him coming out of the development phase he’s going through could mean he wakes just 2 or 3 times a night? Would that be too much to ask for? Keep your fingers crossed for us.
Oh and if you have any great suggestions for meals we can offer a 4 month old then let me know. We did baby led weaning with the other 2 so didn’t really get involved with the mush.
My daughter has seemingly inherited an awful lot of genes from me from her hair and eye colour to her happy and positive nature. However there are a couple of characteristics that the lady of the manor might have wished she hadn’t inherited, at least when it comes to meal times. You see Matilda is fiercely independent and wants to do everything herself, including feeding herself.
So while her friends were taking spoonfuls of puree from spoons she wanted to use her fingers to feed herself. It was like she didn’t trust what we were putting on the spoon and wanted to feel with her own hands first. So the idea of starting with puree’s was quickly abandoned in favour of baby led weaning. We have a freezer full of lovingly made cubes of puree as evidence of that.
Baby led weaning seems to have worked well though, it’s a slow starter and requires a heck of a lot of patience but once they get it they really get it. I love watching Matilda explore food and get to know what things look and feel like as well as taste rather than just a coloured puree on a spoon. As a bona fide foodie I was desperate to make sure that Matilda didn’t end up as a child that wouldn’t eat or even try things. Touch wood it seems to be going well so far.
Plus feeding this way means we know exactly what she is eating, we value eating organic dairy products and high quality meat and vegetables. So why would we give our children anything else? There are always Yeo Valley yoghurt’s and milk in the fridge and if we need snacks for when out we choose Ella’s Kitchen or Plum.
Her favourite foods now are smoked mackerel, cheese, sausage casserole and Shepherd’s pie (although not all at the same time). She’ll eat a whole fillet of mackerel if you give her chance and bounces in her chair when she spots food she likes on her plate. She’s just learned to use a spoon and can pretty much eat a whole yoghurt by herself, even if she uses the handle to eat off some of the time. We can take her to a restaurant and she’ll happily sit in her high chair and eat part of our meals (especially if it’s Wagamamma’s!).
It’s been pretty damn frustrating and times and also very messy which is where having a dog to clean up is ideal. But it’s also been a lot of fun, even if it’s just for the face she pulls when she eats something she doesn’t like. The next challenge is to get her using a knife and fork.
This post is my entry for the Plum Cookery school competition on the Tots 100 site, Plum is just launching a cookery school to help mums learn about weaning and give them advice on what to feed their children. Chef Rachel Allen is working with Plum to develop recipes and help answer any questions from parents.