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The 7 stages of feeding a baby

In a baby’s first year, there are so many firsts that parents are keen to see happen. When I had my little one, he showed an early interest in solids and I couldn’t wait to get out the blender and make him some purees.

However — and I’m finding other mums seem to agree — that initial excitement quickly wanes when you realise how messy it gets every single time and how trying it can be when they discover their likes and dislikes.

Here are seven stages you might find yourself reaching when you start to introduce your baby to solid food (tongue in cheek, of course).

1. It’s time to change it up, kid

Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, at some point, you start to wonder what it will be like to mix up the feeding monotony with a little rice cereal breakfast or pumpkin puree lunch. Whatever it is, you start to get keen for the solid feeding fun to begin and you get a bit bored with the milk feeds.

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2. Let’s get started

It’s that first moment when you realise your baby is watching you move food from your plate to your mouth, and he’s wondering what’s going on. So, you eagerly pull out the steamer, blender or specially-made “baby food” contraption to get to making the purest food (“No jars here! No preservatives thanks!” you proudly tell yourself as the carrots and pumpkin boil away).

The Muppets Popcorn on Make A Gif

GIF credit: You Tube/The Muppets Popcorn

3. Get the camera

Just about every time your baby tries a new food, you are excited about the possibility of them making one of those cute little faces. They screw up their noses, scrunch their eyes, push the food back out and make a myriad of snap-worthy faces. At this point, you are still thrilled and calling on your partner to get the camera or whip out their phone. It’s just cute, cute, cute.

4. Back in the kitchen

Then you reach a turning point. Your baby has tried every possible vegetable puree combo you can think of and now you’re back in the kitchen making another meal. On top of that, once they start eating, babies can quickly progress to wanting a full suite of meals, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, with two snacks in between. Seriously, how does such a small thing eat so much? No wonder it feels like you’re spending pretty much all day in the kitchen.

GIF credit: You Tube/The Cosby Show

5. Forget the camera, get the wipes

Yes, every meal was a photo opportunity and now suddenly that cute face you watched keenly is spitting food, blowing raspberries or, even worse, is emitting those purees at lightning speed via a big sneeze. As babies get more confident with their eating skills, they also get more playful and you’ll be reaching for lots of wipes rather than the camera (in fact, it might be best if you keep valuables well out of spitting distance).

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6. Don’t want it

Just as you’re getting into the swing of the feeding routine, the little eater suddenly has other ideas. Don’t think fussiness is reserved for the toddler days. Even from early stages, babies will let you know what they like and what they don’t. There will be lots of attitude, mouth clenching and head turning, all while you sit there exhausted from cooking all day, begging them to please eat it.

GIF credit: You Tube/Modern Family

7. I’m done

And, yep, there will eventually be days or even a period of time where you just get over the whole cooking, cleaning and feeding for one, and will just rip open a pouch of store-bought baby food. If that means a little sanity for you, then there’s nothing wrong with that.

More parenting tips

Getting baby to sleep through the night
Breastfeeding in public: The good, the bad, the ugly
The 8 milestones parents never share

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