As my little munchkin turned 6 months last week my excitement grew. Even though for a few weeks now we have been letting her play with finger food, I truly believed that she was now going to start devouring all the meals we laid in front of her. I was so wrong!
Our baby has loved eating some foods, especially banana, but this week it has been more of a struggle to get her to try new things. I decided to sit her in a high chair for three meals a day and get her into a good mealtime routine. I realised after a couple of days that she was not as ready as I had hoped.
This week our munchkin has thrown her food, whined, cried and generally been very frustrated. It didn’t take me long to realise that I was not listening to her and the whole point of this experience was to remember that it is ‘baby led’. After watching her closely I noticed that she was becoming very frustrated that she could not handle all the foods to the ability that she wanted. Some foods like noodles and mango kept slipping out of her hands, this frustrated her as she was desperate to eat it.
So I have now taken her out of the high chair and we now either sit on the floor (picnic style) or she sits on my lap/the table. This has meant that the pressure is off for her to eat, she picks what she wants and I don’t thrust anything in front of her. She is so much happier and even if she does not try any food, I am just happy that she is sharing my meal times with me. This week she even sat with a friend, in a restaurant and enjoyed sharing some of their salad and frittata. It is lovely to be able to enjoy a meal out and that she can be involved.
So my first lesson learned is to remember that this is baby led and even if I am ready for her to be gobbling up whole meals I must remember to watch for when she is struggling and adapt my approach. I must remember to be patient.