Eating time seems to be a source of frustration for everyone at the moment. Mr. A and I are used to feeding Master X while he is cradled in our arms, nestled into the crook like a little baby, but with one of his hands hidden behind the small of our back, and the other hand pinned next to his side with the our hand of the arm that is holding him. I know that this goes against all baby led weaning and encouraging him to eat independently, but we were looking for a way, at four months, to engage him in food getting into his mouth.
Not all feeds are like this though.
Don;t get me wrong, Master X does have opportunities to eat ‘real’ food and the like during snack times. Cut up celery and cucumber, cooked carrot sticks and fruit in a feeder. But for his main puree meal we prefer to feed him.
This week I graduated him to a high chair for food feeds. This is messy, but I get slightly better results in terms of quantity than I did when trying to cradle feed him. Master X likes to look around at the things in the room when he eats, so his head is always turning, like the clowns in that game with gaping mouths and the aim was to put balls in each gaping mouth each time that it turned. That game was really just preparation for feeding a baby in a highchair, only with more mess.
This game of feeding is a source of anxiety as I am concerned that he is not getting enough food. His food intake has dropped along with the quantity of his milk feeds meaning that he is waking up more often during the night for feeds. It used to be once, and now it is three. But we will keep playing the game, enjoying the mess and exploiting the routine. Because what baby follows a routine and does what you need them to do? Or really, what we perceive they need. I probably just need to trust him more, but the scars from early feeding – lack of supply and weight gain- all come back to haunt me too quickly.