I Don’t Have The Patience To Feed My Kids

baby led weaning

When my oldest was born, we instantly had feeding issues. Our breastfeeding journey was rocky and emotional and complicated. When it finally came time to start solids I wasn’t prepared for the amount of time it takes to spoon feed a baby. The spit-it-out reflex that causes babies to push their tongues out at anything that hits their pallet caught me completely off guard, as you can tell by the very official name I gave it. We saw a feeding therapist who helped us work through our breastfeeding and bottle struggles, as well as learn to use a straw and transition to table food. 

Having endured a battle with the bottle and at the breast, I was exhausted when it came time to tackle the highchair. During my breastfeeding journey, I felt chained to my baby. As a first-time mom, I didn’t have the skills, coordination, or confidence to breastfeed on the go, so every feeding took place in my living room rocker/glider and nowhere else. Due to my son’s feeding issues, taking the breast or the bottle was an hour long event every time he ate. When it came time to transition to table food, I had high hopes that everything wrong with breastfeeding and bottle feeding would suddenly just ‘click’ in the highchair. Spoiler alert, it didn’t. 

Full disclosure, baby food isn’t for my motherhood journey. The idea of feeding my baby canned meats just didn’t sit well with me. I couldn’t stomach the smell of those jars, so I wasn’t about to get him hooked on something that repulsed me at every meal, turning our feeding journey into something even worse than it already was. I don’t condemn baby food jars; my mom fed me first foods from those little Gerber jars (and she would still eat them today if I kept them around for my kids, nobody tell Pam I let her little secret out). Baby-led weaning started popping up around my mom circles, so I did more research because I couldn’t go on feeling chained to my child. 

I wanted a break and my mental health needed a win, so when I put bananas on his highchair tray for the first time and he went to town, I cried about our most successful feeding experience to date. Actual tears from relief of just being able to feed my child without issue for the first time in his life. It was the win I needed right when I needed it. Not every highchair feeding went as successful. Like us, babies have preferences to taste and need to try things multiple times, so the struggles didn’t end, but I knew I could keep going off of this first win. 

Since then I have welcomed baby boy #2 and have started the transition to the high chair for him as well. At four months, he got his preference, rice cereal with cinnamon, and then when that morphed and matured, he fed himself grits, eggs, beans, rice, bananas, noodles, and more. Baby boy #2 gets the benefits of a more mature, seasoned mother and the entertainment of big brother at the table. While we have our challenges in other areas, he doesn’t have a problem eating. I don’t have the patience to feed my kids, so I let them take the lead. 

If you’re interested in Baby Led Weaning, I highly recommend going at the pace of your baby. Let them try foods, and try them again and again because they need multiple exposures to really know if they like a food or not. I have referenced this website as a resource when I needed some suggestions. As a safety measure, I got infant CPR certified before my kids were born, and highly recommended it to make sure you are prepared for any scenario at the table or otherwise. 


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