One the biggest messages when it comes to weaning which I would like to convey is that it isn't something which should be rushed!
Both my children have taken their own time, and at different speeds to each other when grasping the various aspects which come with learning to eat solid foods. Whether it be from learning to first find their mouths to using their fork for the first time, it has all happened at different times. In fact, I am not going to quantify these milestones with a date or age at which they did things, I don’t think this is helpful or important – they took their time and that time was precious as their brains were amazingly learning a life skill – so why, rush that?!
One of my children took to using a fork much quicker than the other (see – I'm not telling you which one or how old they were – it doesn't matter!) One took to drinking from a cup much quicker than the other. One has taken longer to learn to love broccoli than the other, one will not eat tomatoes no matter how much I try.
Quite often we get asked “At what age should my little one be….” And in the majority of cases, there isn't an age that a little person “should” be doing anything when it comes to weaning – it will be dictated by when they are ready.
Think of it like this, will they be going to school eating purées for lunch, will they be drinking milk from a bottle at 5 years old as they can’t use a cup, will they still be using their fingers to eat as they can’t use a fork – the answers is – probably not!
So, take a step back. Let them learn this incredible new part of life and the skills that come with it at their own speed.
Don’t compare them to other children, don’t worry that they seem to taking longer to find their mouths, chew and swallow than their friends, don't worry that they can't use a cup for water just yet and don’t lose sleep over the fact that they still like their milk even though they are having 3 meals and 2 snacks each day.
When your little ones are older, you’ll look back and realise that worrying over what they “should” have been doing was a waste of time! When rushing things, we miss the experience. So why miss this incredible time in their lives? I don't know about you but I love every minute, each meal time makes me smile and each camera moment makes me laugh. Don’t plan how things should be, just sit back and go with the flow, your little one will do things when they are good and ready and not before.
P.S – if someone can tell me why Jack is way behind his peers in potty training – I like to know! (Joke!)