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Beta ek aur spoon le lo..One more spoon.. okay???
Every mother's favourite dialogue. Never understood why The Exttttra Spoon? How much can that extra spoon help? And I have forever resisted that extra spoon. And have always criticised my mother for telling me to have that extra spoon. And she still does it and I still mock her. I know she does it out of sheer love, a desire to see her daughter fully satiated. But, size of the stomach can't be proportionate to mother's love.
Soon history repeated itself. Once my baby started on solids, I started the same ritual. I would love him to have that extra spoon of food. At that time, he was too young to tell me when he was full. And being a new mother I lacked the experience of understanding, as to, when he was full. And somehow the mother in me would tempt me to feed him that extra spoon. But pretty soon I realised that not only I was doing the wrong thing, but was also killing the appetite of my baby. That one more spoon, may be the die hard desire of a mother, but, may be a very unwanted and unapproved spoon for the baby.
Weaning your baby is very tough, unless you have given birth to a food lover. Sadly in my case, I have not. My baby doesn't like to eat. I have tried all possible tricks to make him eat. Tried new new dishes everyday. Experimented with food (as much as you can with mashed food). But have never surrendered to unhealthy, non nutritious food. I have always tried making the best dishes I could, with all the nutritous food. But, nothing worked. And I was strictly against feeding a wailing baby (Imagine a situation where you are crying and someone is trying to put a spoon full of food in your mouth. Not good na??).
Someone even suggested that don't give him food until he is hungry, let the baby realise his hunger. Very hesitantly and with a heavy heart I tried that, just for once and felt so guilty after that, that I never repeated it ever again. But, this too, simply didn't work. He took a spoon or two with interest, which raised my expectation bar, but the next spoon was out rightly rejected.
From the time I had started weaning him, I made it a point to offer him food almost at a fixed time daily. And then I started offering him some distractions ( TV or toys). Which after sometime did the trick. He started eating something (Kindly don't consider it as a solution, try to feed your baby without such distraction, if possible). I was finally happy. Like any new mommy I did read a lot about the ill effects of TV on a baby, but at that time my priority was to maintain a healthy weight. Even the paediatrician told me that if the baby doesn't have a healthy weight than chances of his falling sick would be higher. So out of desperation, I seeked help from the idiot box. But, I limited the time of viewing. He could watch it only during the feeding sessions and not a second beyond that. Luckily, till date it had worked perfectly.
But like any mother, the desire for an extra spoon kept popping up every now and then. And it made the situation even worst. That extra spoon started making my son vomit his whole meal. Initially, I couldn't understand the reason. I thought may be he did swallow some chunky food. But, after sometime I realised that the extra spoon was the culprit.
So, no matter how tempting that extra spoon is, I have started refraining myself from forcing it on my son. He still is not a big fan of eating, but off late he has developed a taste for few things. Which definitely has made the situation somewhat better.
Now when he tells me no mumma, I get it. No more of that extra spoon. He may eat a bit less sometimes, or may not finish his milk/meal at times, but its okay. We also do it, so the miniature version of us should also be given this privilege. As long as the ideal weight is well maintained and he is getting a nutritional diet, there is hardly any reason to worry.
For a first time mum, like me, its more like a learning process. And with time you get seasoned, you learn the tricks, and even if you don't come out as the champion of the weaning battle, you are definitely not a looser. A child will eat only as much as he wants. Force feeding only worsens the situation. So try to understand the cues your baby is giving and work accordingly. (As in my case, my baby would scratch his head, once he was full, or at times push the spoon away. So until, your baby starts telling no, try finding the cues your baby is giving).
With time we all learn to eat, some of us are thin, some are fat, some are okay. But as long as our eating habits are not endangering our health, I guess we all are doing just fine. And the same thing goes for all the babies. So, if not essential, avoid that extra spoon as much as possible. Food is not the only way of showing your love.