Welcome to the Carnival of Weaning: Weaning – Your Stories
This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Weaning hosted by Code Name: Mama and Aha! Parenting. Our participants have shared stories, tips, and struggles about the end of the breastfeeding relationship.
Bub gets his first taste of solid foods in week one. By week two he’s eating them twice a day, week three, three times a day, and by week four, it’s whizzed up portions of Mum & Dad’s meals and a side of juice. Sure, he’ll like some things more than others, be hungrier some days than others, but essentially after a month it’ll be baby in a highchair spooning food into his ear, and Mum having a glass of wine with dinner. Hurrah!
We’re three months in, and the only things he’ll routinely unglue the lips for are bread crusts and baby cookies. Which is not to imply the process has been painful; on the contrary, the faces Finn pulls as he tries new foods are frequently so funny his father and I almost fall off our chairs laughing. And his enthusiasm for eating is curiously undimmed given how few foods he actually enjoys—he kicks with delight when we put his highchair into position and slaps his hands on the food tray as though to say, ‘Bring it on, Mum!’
The first item rejected was stewed carrot, which produced a look of such disgust you’d imagine we’d spooned pure poison into the poor little soul. He ate boiled sweet potato once, then refused to have any more to do with it. Rice cereal was tolerated once a day for a couple of weeks and then refused point blank. Pears and yoghurt are out, cooked apple is equally uninteresting, mashed potato mixed with boiled spinach was acceptable twice before the head began turning away in distaste, banana has been in and out of favour about four times, and sieved prunes are wonderful for smearing about the face and tray, but almost never to be eaten.
Reading about Baby Led Weaning led me to wonder if he disliked the mushy texture of these foods, so I switched to handing him whole pieces of banana, roast carrot, boiled parsnip and prune. While he was somewhat more likely to try these—after giving them a good squeeze & smear of course—he still didn’t actually eat them in any quantity. Certainly nothing like the quantities the babies in The Books apparently wolf down, several times a day.
Even bread was regarded with high suspicion at first. For a week he would cheerfully accept a piece in order to peer at it up close, hold it at arm’s length, turn it over, squeeze it as hard as he could, and finally drop it on the floor to gaze upon from afar. But taste it? The moment it neared his mouth he gave me a ‘You must be joking!’ look and clamped his lips shut. This from a baby who has cheerfully sucked on chair legs, licked the floor, and chewed on every toy he owns.
I am heartily in agreement with all those who recommend children be introduced to foods at their own pace, according to their own tastes, without any pressure or silly tactics like aeroplane noises or choo-choo trains. So I feel a particularly sheepish kind of guilt inventing all kinds of songs and games to get him to open his mouth to just taste a new food, not to mention sneak in a vitamin here and a mineral there by smearing one foodstuff (e.g. avocado) on another (bread). Sitting there with him at another failed meal, the small portion of something nutritious rejected after a quarter of a teaspoon has been sampled, it’s hard not to panic. This child will never eat! I’ll be breastfeeding forever!
Given this parade of negative reactions, I’ve been surprised by how little the various books and websites have to say about babies who don’t like solid foods. What to Expect makes the alarming point that it can take up to 15 tastes for a baby to accept a new food, which means we have 10-12 to go for everything he’s ever eaten (aarg
h!). Everyone else just counsels patience. So I’m trying to forget The Plan, have put thoughts of lovely dry German Rieslings out of my mind for another few months (sigh), and keep offering him something fresh before nursing during the day, hoping each time that we’ll strike gold with a new fruit or vegetable.Given this shaky start I’m eager to hear how other parents have helped their babies learn to enjoy solid foods. Did you start with fruits or veggies? Purée or solid? And did your little ankle-biter enjoy things once or twice only to reject them thereafter?
Thank you for visiting the Carnival of Weaning hosted by Dionna at Code Name: Mama and Dr. Laura at Aha! Parenting.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants (and many thanks to Joni Rae of Tales of a Kitchen Witch for designing our lovely button):
(This list will be live amind updated by afternoon May 21 with all the carnival links.)
- On Breastfeeding, Weaning, and One Mother’s Identity — Jessica at Natural Parents Network has been nursing one or more of her children since 1993 – breastfeeding is wrapped up in her concept of mothering and herself. She shares her thoughts on weaning.
- two tales of weaning — Aspen at Aspen Mama writes about their countdown to wean.
- Wean Me Gently — Tam at Please Send Parenting Books shares a beautiful weaning ceremony.
- You say potato, I say bleeeuuuuch… — Anelie at Mindcradle had read the books and knew just how to introduce her baby son to solids—unfortunately, he had other ideas.
- A Post Called Weaning — (Not) Maud at Awfully Chipper writes about how weaning her son took longer than she expected.
- On Weaning, Pregnancy and Emotion — Shannon at The Artful Mama talks about her mixed emotions as she allows her son, Little Man, to guide her through his weaning process.
- half of her life — Staci at Springpatch Jam looks back on her nursing relationship with her first born.
- Is it just this After Forty Mom or is it harder to wean when its your last? — Amanda of After Forty Mom shares her emotional journey towards the impending self-weaning of her toddler daughter.
- Nursing Limits — Jorje of Momma Jorje shares how she has weaned her toddler down to minimal nursing and her guilt about the decision to do so.
- Weaning Video Series #1: Preparation for the Weaning Process — Why is weaning such a taboo topic? Dionna at Code Name: Mama got mamas from across the blogosphere to start talking about weaning – on video. Come check out the first video in a series of five that she’ll be posting this week.
- Weaning due to anxiety — Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes talks about how she had to wean to preserve her mental health.
- When Will I Wean? A Guest Post — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama hosts a guest post from a mama who contemplates when her breastfeeding relationship will end.
- On His Own Terms — Momeeezen shares her heartbreak from when her son weaned much earlier than she anticipated.
- Our Weaning Story – Sudden, Surprised, and Embracing a New Season — Weaning doesn’t always go how we imagine. That Mama Gretchen shares the story of her daughter’s sudden weaning and how she has embraced this new season of motherhood.
- A Tale of Two Weanings — Valerie at Momma in Progress shares the similarities and differences of how her nursing relationships with her now six-year-old and four-year-old daughters came to a close.
- She Doesn’t Remember — Alicia at Lactation Narration finds that her 6 year old no longer remembers nursing, only one year after weaning.
- It’s The End of the World As We Know It — A story about the end of a tandem nursing relationship on Never Mind The Rain: A toddler moves on to a new phase in her life before mom is fully ready.
- A Natural End To Our Breastfeeding Relationship — With two self-weaning children, Jennifer at Our Muddy Boots does not know when the end will come, but that it will be natural and without regrets.
- Child-Led weaning: It’s Not Extreme; It’s Biological — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children explains why child-led weaning is based on biology rather than social constraints.
- 6 Years of Natural Weaning in 5 Steps — Jess at miniMum shares how and why she let her first child stop when he was good and ready.
- Is This Weaning?: A Tandem Nursing Update — Sheila at A Living Family bares all her tandem nursing hopes and fears during what feels like the beginning of the end for her toddler nursing relationship.
- Memories of Weaning: Unique and Gentle — Cynthia at The Hippie Housewife shares her weaning experiences with her two sons, each one unique in how it happened and yet equally gentle in its approach.
- Weaning Aversion’ — Gentle Mama Moon shares her experience of nursing and unplanned weaning due to pregnancy-induced ‘feeding aversion’.
- Three Months Post-Mup: An Evolution of Thoughts On Weaning — cd at FidgetFace describes a brief look at her planned (but accelerated) weaning, as well as one mamma’s evolution on weaning (and extended nursing)
- Weaning my Tandem Nursed Toddler — After tandem nursing for a year, Melissa at Permission to Live felt like weaning her older child would be impossible, but now she shares how gentle weaning worked for her 2 1/2 year old.
- Every Journey Begins with One Step — As Hannabert begins the weaning process, Hannah at Hannah and Horn‘s super power is diminishing.
- Reflections on Weaning – Love Changes Form — Amy from Presence Parenting (guest posting at Dulce de Leche) shares her experience and approach of embracing weaning as a continual process in parenting, not just breastfeeding.
- Weaning Gently: Three Special Ideas for Success — MudpieMama shares three ideas that help make weaning a gentle and special journey.
- Guest Post: Carnival of Weaning — Emily shares her first weaning experience and her hopes for her second nursling in a guest post on Farmer’s Daughter.
- 12 Tips for Gentle Weaning — Dr. Laura at Aha! Parenting describes the process of gentle weaning and gives specific tips to make weaning an organic, joyful ripening.
- Quiz: Should You Wean for Fertility Treatments? — Paige at Baby Dust Diaries talks about the key issues in the difficult decision to wean for infertility treatments.
- I thought about weaning… — Kym at Our Crazy Corner of the World shares her story of how she thought about weaning several times, yet it still happened on its own timeline.
- Celebrating Weaning — Amy at Anktangle reflects on her thoughts and feelings about weaning, and she shares a quick tutorial for one of the ways she celebrated this transition with her son: through a story book with photographs!
- Naturally Weaning Twins — Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings discusses the gradual path to weaning she has taken with her preschool-aged twins.
- Gentle Weaning Means Knowing When to Stop — Claire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl writes about knowing when your child is not ready to wean and taking their feelings into account in the process.
- Weaning, UnWeaning, and ReWeaning — Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy discovers non-mutal weaning doesn’t have to be the end. You can have a do-over.
- Prelude to weaning — Lauren at Hobo Mama talks about a tough tandem nursing period and what path she would like to encourage her older nursling to take.
- Demands of a Nursing Kind — Amy Willa at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work shares her conflicted feelings about nursing limits and explores different ways to achieve comfort, peace, and bodily integrity as a nursing mother.
- Breastfeeding: If there’s one thing I know for sure… — Wendy at ABCs and Garden Peas explores the question: How do you know when it’s time to wean?
- Five, Four, Three, Two, One, Two, Three? — Zoie at TouchstoneZ discusses going from 3 nurslings down to 1 and what might happen when her twins arrive.