consumption management 101 – making improvements

I was away most of last week, and have found myself getting a bit irritated when I don’t manage Dominic’s food intake well.  Let me rephrase – baby led weaning isn’t really about management, but presenting of opportunities and I feel that I haven’t been offering him the opportunity to eat at the right time always.  We’re in the middle of weaning from breast to bottle, and have settled into a rough routine of 2 breastfeeds & 2 bottlefeeds most days (sometimes more).  Seeing as we don’t have much of a fixed routine for anything feeding can be a bit haphazard – milk feeds run late, then he’s not hungry for solids, then I offer lunch late. While we were away, we might have been out and about in the car, and while me and my mum ate lunch, he was only due a bottle. Or we’re not organised enough in the evening and I end up making do for his dinner and we don’t all eat together. Making do is usually natural yogurt and or a fruit pot.  I think this would be fine if we were doing a good structured ‘protein lunch’, but I’ll be conscious he might only have had a couple of nibbles on a bit of cheese or toast at lunchtime. There’s the added pressure then, when you’re trying to prove something to someone (that blw is a good idea) and you can’t seem to get him to eat at all.  Repeat to self – he’s not eating up for me, he’s eating for him.

So this weekend, I resolved to do better. The freezer is our best friend. I made my very first lasagne, ever. People often find it odd that a vegetarian doesn’t make veggie lasagna’s often, but for years it was about the only thing on offer in restaurants. (Now its wild mushroom risottos & goats cheese tartlets…don’t get me started) A few weeks ago I made lentil bolognaise and had frozen enough to make up the lasagna. This is the recipe I used, but I added a layer of passata into the mix also. I’m not sure how authentic that is, but I love the sweet tang of tomato, and it was a nice contrast to the bechamel. I didn’t realise how easy bechamel is to make, now I can’t believe you can even buy a jar of the white stuff. In the interests of full disclosure, Mark did spoonfeed some of it to him for lunch as I’d been a bit worried about Dom’s weight gain. (This happens sporadically and after a good days eating, sense has kicked in) After a few spoon swooshes and aeroplane noises, the mouth started to clamp shut.  He won’t put up with that for long – he’ll watch your act for a bit, but as the spoon comes close he bats it away or wants to grab it himself.  But we weren’t in any hurry, so I just sighed and dumped the rest of the food out onto the tablecloth, kinda expecting it to hit the floor momentarily. But in it went – mushy strips of pasta coated in sticky sauces and lentils.

On a roll, and after planting snowdrops & crocuses (croci?) and baking banana bread (yes! really!), I decided to try soup for the first time today.  I make soup relatively often, but having had a reasonably good summer, this was the first batch in a while.  While I can’t automatically turn to the Annabel Karmel recipes,  I have a few reliable sites I look at for ideas (links on left) and My Daddy Cooks is always good for a laugh and for inspiration.  I’d thought of soup for him before, but just wasn’t sure how to get it into him – I like to avoid doing too many pre-loaded spoons.  This soup video had me foraging in the fridge, and I ended up with carrot & parsnip soup with potatoes for bulk.  I needed it to be thick to have any chance of it going into Dom’s mouth.   I used big hunks of brown bread, so they’d hold together nicely when soup-sodden.

The wee fella was having a bit of a meltdown by the time the whole lot was ready and cool enough for him.  He was only up a while from a nap, and he’s quite predictable compared to a couple of months ago in terms of his milk feeds.  Not even the sight of the 2 cats playing with a feather in the back yard could quiet him.  I can only come to the conclusion that he may have finally made the link between hunger & solids – if this is the case then great (but I won’t get away with skipping meals anymore!)   I wish I could capture the face he makes when he tries something new.  His whole face screws up like he’s eating lemons, and he’s really unsure and then just when you think you’re going to get a spit out, it’s like: hang on, this is the weirdest taste/texture ever, but wait!  I LIKE it. And in he tucks.

Given the gusto with which he tackled his soupy dippers, I’m guessing he’s into the whole soup thing.  Good thing too, there’a about 5 cups of it going in that blessed freezer tonight.

So I’ll leave you with this thought – every joyful moment, every new meal Dominic gobbles up,  is marred only by the thought of the clean up afterward. Curses… I wonder can you train cats like house-elves?

– Jill


9 thoughts on “consumption management 101 – making improvements

  1. Great progress, it gives me hope (again!!). Love the lentil Lasagne. Must try your recipe links. :). We’ve been using a 100 page PDF of blw recipes someone off a mailing list sent me. I’m pretty sure they’re all from as the banana bread and wakey wakey cake are in it.

    So now for the question part of my post. We’ve had some difficulty moving from breast to bottle (or cup, or doidy, or sippy). We had some little success with a shot glass (let’s hope that’s not a sign of things to come). I suppose we should just ‘pick one’ and stick with it. I’d been kind of hoping one would just speak to her and she’d gulp away. Did Dom always take the bottle for you or is this a new development? Back to work in 3 weeks and any Advice much appreciated 🙂


  2. Hey Cecily, it is a lovely feeling when you’ve a good run of meals – he did well yesterday on more lasagne and more soup and again on his dinner this evening too so that gives me hope its not a fluke, and it might actually be working!

    I wonder sometimes if switching around different types of cups is confusing too – we’ve a sippy, a free flow & a doidy. I try to use the sippy one with the valve out and about and the others at home. He’s still not taking any decent amount of water, though I offer with every meal & out and about in his pram sometimes – there’s a definite improvement in him trying to hold doidy cup in the last week or so. He holds it properly (and me too at the same time!) I’m hoping it’ll just ‘click’ like the eating because I guess he has to drop milk feeds at some point.

    Unfortunately for you (because it doesn’t really help you) I expressed semi regularly from 6 weeks on (stopped expressing at 6.5 months) and he never refused the bottle. We used Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bottles, never tried anything else. Mark always gave him the bottle until we moved to some formula. When I gave a bottle for the first time he lorried into it and I shed a little tear thinking he should have pushed it away and only accepted the boob from me. Oh well, good in the long run I suppose! I know we were lucky cos I know a few people that have had difficulty with the bottle.

    I’m back in 4 weeks…starting to have the fear now!


  3. It’s great he’s doing so well on the blw. Am seriously thinking of combining a bit of spoon-feeding now for two reasons: the sleep has gotten out of hand because of B.’s association with boob so we’re going to have to night wean and teach her to sleep without it! Which consequently means I need her taking in more during the day, but with me back at work and no success with bottles or cups it may have to be spoonfeeds! Unfortunatley ive had the feeling something was going to have to give for a while now. We’ll combine approaches for a while and hopefully return to full-time baby led in a wee while.
    Re the bottle I honestly thought it’d be ok because the insisted on formula top ups in hospital and she took it there no probs but when I expressed 2 weeks later she screamed blue murder every time the bottle was put near her lips. Same ever since! 🙂

    Love reading about dom’s foodie adventures. 🙂 and blánaid says thanks for the bib tip. She loves her new bibetta. Much less annoying than the one we were using. 😉


  4. That’s exactly how the girls eat their soup too!!! I don’t know why I have so much cutlery in the house. They seem to consider it superfluous…


  5. Cecily I wouldn’t feel bad about spoon feeding, if you want to get food into her then its the way to go. I think if you’re going back to work and going the creche route like we’re doing you have to not be militant on the BLW. It just saves stressing to give in to it. I know creche are most likely going to spoon feed him though I will explain what he’s at, they’re not going to have the time to sit with a 9 month old who will take a half hour over lunch most probably. I have that time now so I do it. You’ll have evenings and weekends to get the good food exploration done!

    Allowing spoonfeeds meant my mum gave him breakfast while I slept last week, safe in the knowledge he was having food scraped off his chin & shovelled in. I slept soundly too 😉

    Thats 2 people have bought & loved bibetta’s on our recommendation. yay!

    Lisa I’d say the girls are slightly neater eaters though and can actually lift soup on a spoon


  6. Very cute pictures of Dom having his soup 🙂

    The cleanup is a bit relentless isnt it, some days I feel like all I do is clean the baby, the floor, the table and the highchair, over and over again ;0

    Still Jamie is definitely eating more these days so some day the balance will tip from food on floor to food in tummy….

    About drinking from a cup, we are still plugging away but Jamie still only has the teeniest sips of water. Today at dinner we made a big show of drinking our water and it really worked, he copied us and had lots, yay. I have 12 weeks til I go back to work and am getting worried too, I am still exclusively breastfeeding and Jamie has never had a bottle. No idea really how I will convince him to take enough from a cup…

    As for timing of meals, we always do breakfast and dinner but lunch is a bit hit and miss, it depends on where we are and it might just be a few rice cakes or a rusk or some grapes, whatever non messy things I have remembered to throw in my bag 🙂


    1. clean hands, face, remove bib, clean bib, remove child, clean table, clean floor, clean chair, ad infinitum

      lunch is definitely our skippable meal. well it has been, i wonder what would happen if i tried today…

      i must try that with the water. he’s definitely better and now holds his doidy cup properly, and i steer it, still with an iron grip though because he will have it everywhere…


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