Saturday, 21 February 2015

My Weaning Hell

Weaning, the process of introducing solid food to a baby. Baby-led, puree, a little or a lot, all babies are different. I have learned that the hard way!

Ewan was a dream to wean, he was longingly reaching for our food at about 4 months old (we have photographic proof!) And we weaned him at 5.5 months, simply because he wanted food. We did all the types of weaning all at once... Being first time parents and seeing the benefits of both ways, we went straight in with Annabel Karmel and the BLW cookbook.

Ewan was a dream eating wise, he would scoff most things i gave him. He was multiple protein intolerant so it took him a while to get used to meat and pulses, protein rich foods made him cry (more). He was already dairy free, I called the HV team more than I should have in desperate need of reassurance. Anyway, he is a hungry boy and likes 3 good meals and 2 snacks (more if he can persuade me). He is like many other toddlers, yeah he will eat leas and sweetcorn but pass him fruit and he'll refuse it. You win some you lose some.

Noah, on the other hand was smaller from the get go, so at 6 months when I tried him with some finger food, he wasn't interested. I was discouraged but I waited a week and tried again (with more pressure on mine and his shoulders). This continued until he was 8 months old, my PND was worsening and mealtimes with Noah were making me ill, and him cry. It was awful. Just awful.

He simply wasn't hungry, I couldn't get it into my head that he wasn't interested in food! I was deeply depressed at the time so I couldn't see the bigger picture, 'food is an extra, milk comes first at all times up until a year of age'.

I turned to baby food jars. 3 months of pureeing and making lovely fresh veg and snacks had broken my will to be all natural. For context, with Ewan, I thought I was better than using jars. I looked down upon them, having believed the blurb about causing obesity and picky eating. Anyway, the few jars that he could have (dairy free) I ordered regularly from that exclusively online grocers (The 'posh one').

I felt like garbage feeding him these jars. Until I read a post at (I have spent an hour searching for it...I'm blind!) Basically, along the lines of Lazy Mama Weaning, and it helped me to accept my choices and not to judge myself. And most importantly that all babies are different with their food likes and dislikes. Reading this blog post really helped me to reconcile and get over my nasty-self-judgmental inner monologue.

A PND support group led by health visitors threw up a book recommendation, 'my child won't eat' by Carlos Gonzalez really really helped to turn around nu stress and worry. It made me believe that Noah wasn't manipulating me, that children know what food their bodies need and may refuse fruit and veg because they are simply not calorific enough for their needs. If you are upset about weaning or your child's eating, I urge you to read this book to help to loft the weight!

It has taken until Noah's 23 month birthday for me to wrote this post and for the pain of the 'weaning failure' to ebb. Noah eats ok, he likes fruit more than veg but he will now eat most meals (he is very fussy, definitely needs to try things about 20 times) he won't eat curry or rice, or sweetcorn. But he will eat any kind of meat or fish, he likes pasta and bolognese and we can eat out with him withoit him causing a fuss. His appetite us loads smaller than Ewan's, but ewan is 75th height centile whereas Noah is 9th. *light bulb*

This little lovely post points out why pure BLW isn't perfect  (and Hurrah for Gin is a genius)

How was weaning for you?


  1. Aww, bless you. We beat ourselves up over everything as a mum, don't we? Yes, you remember correctly, both my boys were weaned on Ella's Kitchen with the occasional homemade purée. I feel no guilt about that whatsoever. As soon as they were old enough to eat meals with my husband and I, then they did. Both went through the same experience and one is picky now and one is not. I guess that's simply down to their personalities.

    You know, you can't be good at everything. I was the mum that took them out for long walks, played in the sandpit for hours, cuddled them as much as they wanted, let them nap on me, kept the house neat, and cooked every evening for my husband and I so we could catch up after his long day at work. So shoot me for not spending hours cooking and mashing food that would have a high percentage chance of ending up on the floor anyway ;)

    You're doing a great job. Play to your strengths. Spend more time on doing the things that you love with your kids rather than the things you feel you ought to xxx

  2. I'm so glad you wrote this! We are in the midst of it. Arthur is fussy and I struggle to get him to eat more than half a dozen foods. He doesn't eat much, usually. He's still having all the bottles. The NHS have made me feel completely shite about the whole thing so that I avoid the subject - I could see myself lying to someone's face about it if directly asked. He's perfectly healthy and a good weight. I am increasingly panicking that he'll be taking bottles of Aptamil to work with him as an adult xxx


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