Mum to mum
Carly’s demanding tot is milking mealtimes for all they’re worth…
While my baby girl giggled in her Jumperoo bouncer, I sped around the kitchen, chopping and peeling fruit and veg.
‘This is a carrot,’ I purred to eight-month-old Ava, holding up the knobbly stick.
Stretching out her miniature hands, Ava’s tiny blue eyes followed me around the room, and she licked her lips.
‘This is encouraging,’ I smiled. ‘You only managed a few morsels yesterday, and Mummy barely got 40 winks last night.’
She had me up all through the night suckling.
It was July this year, and for the past few weeks, I’d been working on weaning Ava on to solid foods.
But it wasn’t going as well as I’d hoped.
The problem? For little Ava, food is no match for the boob.
It wasn’t always like this. When she was born weighing 7lb 11oz, she turned her nose up when I tried to feed her.
‘She won’t latch on,’ I fretted to her dad John, 40.
But the midwife was amazing.
‘Don’t worry,’ she said, ‘some babies just need a bit of help. If you stay in for one more night, I bet we can get your baby feeding for Britain.’
She was right. With a bit of guidance and patience, Ava started sucking eagerly at my breast.
And she’s barely come up for air since!
It’s exhausting. ‘When she turns six months, we can start introducing some baby food,’ I yawned to John.
A few weeks later, Ava’s tasting menu was ready – a bowl of sticky, gloopy, watery baby rice.
‘Open up,’ I said, guiding it towards Ava’s mouth.
With that, she licked at the spoon, but crinkled her nose at the taste.
‘Oh, no, she doesn’t like it,’ I sighed, wiping her mouth. My little girl is seriously attached to my boobs!
‘Don’t be daft,’ John said.
‘I bet all babies do that the first time they try something new. She’ll get used to it.’
But even after a few weeks, she’d only eat a few spoonfuls.
She gives me a look of disdain every single time – like Paul Hollywood inspecting a soggybottomed cake!
And there was no sign of her letting up on her milk feeds.
Now I’ve got her on three little meals a day, but nothing seems to please her as much as the boob.
I’ve tried lots of different tastes and flavours, but Ava’s just not that fussed.
While I’m comforted that milk has all the nutrition she needs, and she’s continuing to put on weight, I really want to get her to eat more foods.
Is there a way I can encourage her to gobble more solids and stop milking me dry?! Carly Hamilton, 34, St Austell, Cornwall
‘AVA BARELY COMES UP FOR AIR’