The First Year

Finger food – the reality

Well weaning is an interesting journey of discovery not only for Peanut but for me too. We started with what may be seen at the more traditional way to weaning by spoon feeding purees – trying one vegetable at a time. Now we have passed the 6 months mark our weaning world has opened up to a whole new array of things it is deemed safe for her to try.

In a bid to follow the baby led weaning example I thought that now would be a good time to try finger foods and allow Peanut to try and feed herself. Well… was an experienced of nothing else. Trial and error play a big part in this. My advice be prepared.

We are not lucky enough to have a dining kitchen with lots of space for a high chair and wipeable surroundings (frankly we don’t even have a dining space – good old plates on knees in our flat). This resulted in my already questionable disgusting living room rug now being splattered with whatever attempts at culinary delights I thought peanut would like (safe to say the rug should probably come with a warning, it now has a lot of interesting stains and I ruined it with shake and vac).

In my wisdom (well what I thought might be a slight moment of wisdom – was wrong), I though broccoli was a great place to start. Peanut has no invented a new game. Squish broccoli into high chair table, sook broccoli til all the tiny florets come loose, smash broccoli off of high chair and drop off the side of high chair table. This ensures she is covered, her high chair is covered and aforementioned rug is covered. Short of throwing it at me up until this point I have got away with not being covered.

My next plan was to buy one of those lovely bamboo sectioned plates in the shape of an animal that suctions onto the high chair. Surely this would reduce the instances of food being unceremoniously dropped over board as it were. Nope. Instead we now have multiple different veg in the go, being smooshed, battered and the disguarded.

We continue to do a mixture of weaning dependant entirely on time,what’s in the house and whether or not I can take the clean up. You may question my motivation – trust me I do on a daily basis. It works for us. She loves food and I’m glad that she does, but I’m never going to be the homemade granola bars mum.

So with hindsight here are my top tips for getting started with baby led or finger food weaning:

1- Put the high chair on a wipeable surface – be it on a kitchen floor or buy a wipeable table cloth and put it under. Nobody wants to pick mashed food out their carpet.

2- Use the bibs with the plastic backing. They are going to get stained with whatever foods your little one attempts to put in their mouth, rather them than their clothes.

3- Be prepared to also get covered in food. It’s inevitable that you will be hit with a piece of rogue, wet, mashed something.

4- Marks And Spencers Antibac spray – it’s non toxic and can be used to clean food prep areas. Ideal for cleaning the high chair, it smells nice and is considerable cheaper that Method.

5- Try and enjoy the experience. I got stressed and ended up spending a lot of the time Peanut was smooshing worrying about my poor flooring. Mess is gonna happen, just give in to it.

From the exhausted mummy and her eye bags

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