The things I'd forgotten about babies and solids

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 Photo: Getty Images

Since becoming a mum second time around, five years down the track from having my first son, there are many things I'd forgotten about motherhood and babies.

I'd forgotten just how easily babies sleep when they first arrive – and, subsequently, how much they don't as they grow.

I'd forgotten that I'd boil the kettle 500 times a day, yet only drink one full cup of tea – and even then it would be cold.

I'd forgotten how the cutest of onesies only fit for the shortest amount of time, and, no matter how much you attempt to keep squeezing your baby into it, their nappies and chubby legs will still burst through.

And I'd forgotten just how quickly each phase passes before the next rolls in.  

For example, I swear that I blinked and the newborn stage was over. I turned my back and he started to roll. 

And I took a bite of my sandwich only to look into a pair of expectant eyes and an open, bird-like mouth which I knew could mean only one thing … time for solids.  

And here are all the things that I'd totally forgotten about that …

The mess

Imagine placing a whole heap of vegetables into a blender, turning it on full speed and forgetting to put on the lid. 

For extra measure, imagine that at the time you turn on the blender you're also walking around the room holding it, just to ensure that every square inch of the room is covered by said contents.

THAT is what it's like feeding a baby solids.

It doesn't matter how hard you try to confine the mess, how much you cover them in food-defying outfits and bibs of gigantic proportions, you will STILL end up with mush everywhere. 

It will be all over every work surface, all over their face, on clothes underneath the food defying bibs and most definitely in your hair.  

And is it just me, or is 99 per cent of baby food orange in colour regardless of the contents?!

The skill required

Have you ever tried to feed a carved swinging pumpkin? No? Well, clearly you're not at the 'feeding of solids' stage yet because, if you were, you'd relate to the picture I'm trying to paint.

No matter how much you try to keep them focused, babies have an uncanny knack of being able to turn their mouth away from you JUST as you're about to put food in it.  

Either that or they do the typical 'now's a good time for me to arch my back and throw my head to the ceiling' move.

Alternatively there's the 'raspberry blowing right at ya' move, or 'lips permanently closed' move.

Aeroplane motions, train impersonations and even the best bird impressions have yet to aid me in avoiding this inevitable part of feeding my son.

The food wastage 

In the early days of feeding your little one, it can be hard to know exactly how much they'll eat, and generally this varies day to day.

If you catch them in the minute window of opportunity that exists between hunger and tired meltdown, you may find they'll eat a full dish of whatever delight you're serving. 

Yet produce the same quantity the next day and you might be lucky to get only a teaspoon in before it gets refused, spat out or a meltdown ensues.

Therefore, the amount of food wastage can feel quite significant, particularly when you've spent an age on the pureeing production line making it all.

The baby's reactions to new flavours 

Eating such a varied diet, it's hard to imagine personally how something new would taste for the very first time. But it's very different when it comes to your baby and the saying 'the face says it all' pretty much sums it up.

A negative reaction usually prompts pouts, shudders, scrunched up eyebrows and what can only be described as 'zipped up lips'. There's also a high chance that food may be returned your way via highly dramatic raspberry blowing.

Favourite flavours, on the other hand, cause much hand waving, open bird mouths and noises of an enthusiastic nature. This is also usually accompanied by a determined desire to grab the spoon EVERY time.

Regardless of the above, feeding my son solids isn't all bad. It's great to see him trying new foods and developing into his own little person.

Even if the kitchen does get painted a new shade of orange mush every time he eats!

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