Parenting has enough unavoidable stresses on its own, without the ones we as a sociey have created. If we uncover the myths and choose to ignore them, we can focues our energies on the more important things. Suddenly, parenting becomes far more fun and far more conflict free.
Parents spend so much time worrying about when the right time to wean is, questioning their baby’s development and fretting that they are not getting enough nutrients. They prepare elaborate baby food and then get frustrated when their baby refuses to eat any of it.
But guess what? Weaning is a socially constructed (unnecessary) concept. You do not have to spend your time worrying about their food intake and when to wean. Believe me when I tell you that when they are ready, they WILL let you know. Your own food will begin to mysteriously disappear from your plate, little hands will grasp and grab at what you are eating. It will likely be a slow process, at the beginning they may only explore the food with their hands, bringing it to their mouths for tentative sucks and chews.
Looking down at your little angel, warm, fed and sleeping peacefully in your arms, you silently edge forward towards the warm, soft mattress. Oh so gently you lay your precious bundle carefully down, slowly easing your hands from his warm little body.
Or is it? His eyes spring open and before you have even taken your first step towards the door, that familiar cry rises up, as your baby signals desperately to be back in your arms.
A familiar story to many parents, and often the cause of much angst and concern. But why do our babies want to sleep on us so very much, and what should we be doing about it?
When I first became a new parent, it seemed everyone had a little bit of advice that they simply had to share with me. Trouble was, not one piece of advice correlated with the other, and a lot of the things I was told made me feel uncomfortable. On top of that, my own background as a childcare professional working with children right from babies up until their teens, had put me right in the path of hearing over and over again differing and confusing advice.
Baby led weaning has hit modern parenting with a bang, and the trend is growing fast. As a Continuum parent, I love the concept behind BLW and the huge step it has taken in respecting our children and their bodies.
We trust them to know what they need and how much, and we respect their decision when they choose not to eat any more of a meal.
We can let them help themselves from our plates, and mealtimes become a time for being social and interactive, rather than strained and baby centred as we huddle over a high-chair trying to spoon feed a reluctant child.
The toddler stage is a time when our little ones are being bombarded with new emotions from all angles. These emotions can be strong and bewildering to their fragile minds, and often become overwhelming, resulting in meltdowns and behavioural issues. Pent up frustrations can lead to an angry child who is difficult to cope with, and who struggles with any boundaries put in place.
So how can we help our children through these tough times?