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Baby lead Weaning

Let’s lose the ‘versus’ mentality

A couple of months ago I was out with a friend and pulled out some pureed fruit to give to my bub, who had recently started solids.

“So you’re feeding her purees,” was the remark, not so much a question as a statement.

Oblivious to the tone I nodded enthusiastically and told her I was hoping to come up with some finger food ideas too as she seemed to be wanting to grab food.

“Well that’s why I’m practicing baby lead weaning,” came the response.

As I began curiously asking questions about baby lead weaning, it suddenly dawned on me – the patronizing responses and grimaced smile giving it away.

Despite having already had two other babies, I’d not realised that the war of ways extended to first foods as well.

My initial reaction to someone taking a different route to me is usually ‘great! I love hearing about new things/food/activities/techniques.’

I also love learning things I didn’t know before – after all, knowledge is not always instinctual, sometimes it has to be acquired and what better way to achieve that than for mums to share ideas and information?

But as times goes on I realise that many others simply don’t feel the same way.

It’s either one way. Or the other way.

And if it’s one way, then you must be anti the other way.

And if someone else is doing things the other way then they must be ignorant/stupid/cruel or some other similarly unpleasant adjective.

So as I naively contemplated different healthy foods my baby might enjoy, unaware there were specific food philosophies to adhere to, others were decidedly in the pureed camp or the baby lead weaning camp.

And the latter clearly looked down upon the former.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could get away from the ‘versus’ mentality – breast versus bottle, working versus stay-at-home, home cooked versus store bought, strict parenting versus free range, baby wearing versus pram use, attachment versus routine, the list goes on.

We all have preferences and personal leanings towards different philosophies, and sometimes these opinions and beliefs change with newly acquired knowledge.

I know I made plenty of mistakes with my first baby – I remember buying so-called baby baked fruit bars, naively assuming they were healthy early snacks because they were bought from the baby isle!

New information and experience have created numerous changes in my parenting philosophies over the years – though they remain fluid as I continue to learn new things.

Except in extreme cases, there’s really no right or wrong way. Just different ways.

So instead of harshly judging another woman’s choice, wouldn’t it be great if we all shared the knowledge we do have and opened our minds to new ideas.

In doing so, perhaps we’d be helping new mums instead of making them feel inferior, and maybe – just maybe – you’ll learn something new yourself.

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