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Baby Led Weaning - doing it all on my own

(10 Posts)
Mapal Thu 29-Oct-09 20:06:45

Hi there,

My DS is 22 weeks and not quite ready to start weaning but I don't think it will be long. I'm really keen to do BLW.

But, my OH doesn't get in from work until 9 twice a week, 7 twice a week, and maybe 6 on a friday if he's lucky. This is really depressing me because I can't create the family dinner atmosphere that I would like DS to experience. It's basically going to be just me and him at most meals. I'm sure there are plenty of you out there in similar situations!!

So, how do you manage to juggle everything? How do you cope with doing all the cooking and cleaning up on your own?? I barely manage to brush my teeth most days!! I'm dreading having all the meal prep to fit in too.

Also, as BLW sounds pretty messy I'm feeling a bit put off by this as I just can't imagine keeping on top of everything. I'm imagining meal times taking hours with the cooking, then allowing DS time to try eating, and then all the clean up after.

HELP!! How should I organise myself?

Horton Thu 29-Oct-09 20:24:26

My DH doesn't get in until around 10.30pm six days a week so DD has had to get used to amusing herself while I cook. When she was v little, I found a sling invaluable. Later on, CBeebies and half an hour of recorded Night Garden or Teletubbies was enough to let me get the vast majority of the food preparation out of the way. Now that DD is three, she plays nearby or comes into the kitchen and helps me do stuff like shell broad beans or mix cornflour and water for gravy.

I don't think BLW is significantly messier than any other kind of weaning, really. It's all a bit messy. Just lay in big stocks of wipes or flannels that can be moistened and don't stress about the mess too much.

As for a family meal atmosphere, if you eat with your baby it will be a family meal even if one member of the family is not there. Your baby will enjoy watching you eat and listening to you tell him about the meal.

We have a dishwasher which really helps with the cleaning up. If you don't, maybe your DH will help with the washing up or drying when he gets home?

cara2244 Thu 29-Oct-09 20:30:57

Me and BB end up eating evening meals alone 5 days a week as OH eats a big dinner at work and isn't always home in time. I think that as long as he is getting a family meal (even if it is just with mummy) that's fine.

A snack while you're getting the food ready can help!

I often end up finishing the clearing up after his gone to bed. yes, a pain, but not the end of the world if done with a cuppa and some music on.

DrCosyTiger Thu 29-Oct-09 20:34:31

Hi Mapal,

Don't despair. I can't say it's easy, but I found that I quickly got into the routine of it (and I worried a lot about how I would cope beforehand). I do teatime on my own most days as DH rarely home in time. In the early days of BLW I mostly just steamed or roasted veg, cut up bits of fruit, made toast etc, none of which take very long. I either ran downstairs and did the prep while DD was napping or (more common, naps being a bit problematic in the Cosy Tiger house) sat DD in her chair in the kitchen while I was preparing. She was usually reasonably happy to sit there for a short while and watch me. If she wasn't (and she's never really been one of those "sit passively in the bouncy chair" type babies), I just had to prepare stuff while I was holding her hmm Now we've been doing BLW for a month or so, I've graduated to trying to give DD pretty much what I'm having and this is a real plus as it doesn't take any extra cooking at all! How sophisticated this is depends on how much time I have had to cook. On bad days it's a baked potato and cheese, or toast and roasted tomatoes, but on good days it's maybe shepherds pie or a lentil dal or some pasta and tomato sauce and cheese. Roasted veg are still a big standby if I'm pushed for time and lacking inspiration. What I do now is sit DD in her highchair with a couple of breadsticks or ricecakes dipped in philadelphia cheese or hummus and it keeps her quiet for long enough for me to get something more substantial sorted out. She usually has at least one decent nap a day now (although not always sad), so if I'm making "proper food" (dal, shep pie etc.) I do it then and reheat it later.

It is messy, I can't deny it! But not unmanageable. I bought some long sleeved bibs for DD and have an old shower curtain down on the floor. After we've finished eating I wipe DD down with a flannel and once she's asleep I come back down and shake out the shower curtain (or put it in the washing machine if it's really yuck). It really doesn't take too long, although I admit that if bedtime had been a bit of a trauma it is a bit disheartening coming down to a messy kitchen. And I do seem to spend my life permanently covered in lentils and discarded tomato skins. I've kind of stopped caring about that! But honestly, it is all completely manageable. And if it makes you fel better, you could always keep a couple of jars/sachets of commercially prepared baby food in the cupboard for emergencies when you've had no time to prepare anything. I admit that I bought some Ella's Kitchen sachets for this purpose blush as I was very anxious at the start that I'd be faced with a hungry girl and no time during the day to prepare food for her, but I've not had to use them yet.

Good luck and come and join us on the BLW threat when you're ready smile

DrCosyTiger Thu 29-Oct-09 20:36:45

Or even "thread" (oops blush)

ScarySpangleMaker Thu 29-Oct-09 20:41:09

Hi, I'm in the same boat as you as DH works 6 days a week and gets back at 7.30pm. DS is 30wks, but was a month early and only just getting into it, so we're still finding our feet.

I generally sit DS in the bumbo on the table (blush bad mummy) while I get the food together, or leave him to play within eyesight if it's something that takes a bit longer. Breakfast is fairly easy as we have something quick like toast, a piece of fruit or porridge, and DH is around so we can sit together. Lunch is usually something quick too like omelette. For DS's tea I usually heat up something I've saved from the night before's meal and I eat a little bit with him so he's not eating alone - although he actually doesn't seem to mind and in fact often likes to have a go at things while I'm not standing over him.

I've started doing a 'proper' meal for the 3 of us on Sundays so there is at least one opportunity for us to linger over a meal as a family.

BLW is messy, but it's not too bad if you can put something down on the floor to catch the bits. I generally do a quick tidy up while DS is occupied by a toy and save a proper clean up until later.

I did worry before we started about how we'd fit things in but it's been better than expected, as the food occupies DS rather than me having to! Also now we have lunch together I can MN do other important stuff in his lunch time nap which I used to reserve for having my meal.

The one thing I'm still struggling with is finding 'proper' food for DS to eat. It's easy to keep giving him things like toast or fruit which saves me time but isn't really giving a good range of food types to try. In fact I'm on here tonight looking for inspiration smile <hopes someone will come along with some good ideas>.

MrsJamin Fri 30-Oct-09 20:53:32

I'm similar in that DH doesn't get back til 7.30 - we try and eat together at weekends, and I vary eating with DS and DH every evening - always feel guilty not eating with one of them per day! In the early days of BLW I'd just sit with a cup of tea but generally now (he's nearly 2) I'll eat with him, most of the time. TBH I generally MN when he's eating and I"m not!

mrsfossil Sat 31-Oct-09 19:55:48

Hi we are doing mainly purees but are trying to move onto blw now dd is nearly 7 mths. I gave her a scotch pancake today and turned my back for a sec to put kettle on and when i turned round dd, her chair and floor were covered in a pile of crumbs. Can't believe how much mess from 1 pancake and we hadn't even started lunch.

So I reccommend getting a dog! Our pooch hoovers up all the bits off the lino, and i just take him for extra walk so he doesn't get fat. So i get a bit more excercise and dd loves going out in the pram.

BertieBotts Sat 31-Oct-09 20:11:45

My DP works late too - I started off waiting until he got home to feed DS but he was just getting too tired, so now I keep back a baby sized portion of our dinner each night and give it to DS at about 5 the next evening before he goes to bed. It means I don't have to wait for it to cool which is good. I tend to do the washing up/potter about cleaning in the kitchen as he eats which gives him a long time to feed himself. He eats lunch, breakfast and weekend dinners (at least once a week) at the table in a family environment so I don't worry too much.

Then I would dip a flannel into the hot soapy washing up water (or make some clean if it was horrible) and wipe his hands, face and hair, if he was covered I'd just strip him off and give him a bath in the kitchen sink. I did this until he was too big and tried to stand up in the sink. Now I spoon-feed messy things because I think he's done the baby-led bit, seems a bit backwards, but he self-feeds everything which isn't too messy and is trying to use a spoon and fork himself too so it works for us

BertieBotts Sat 31-Oct-09 20:14:54

Oh and as for cleaning up - I used to feed him in the kitchen then after bath/cleanup shut the kitchen door blush so I didn't have to look at it! Then I'd clean it up when I had put DS to bed or DP would clean it up if he got back while I was doing the bedtime routine. It's fairly simple to clear up if you just put a big shower curtain down (and even if not - kitchen roll quick wipe round for sloppy foods, dustpan and brush for mostly solid stuff, then wipe over with a weak bleach or washing up liquid mixture)

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