At five months, the plunket nurse told me I should start the baby on solids, or I'd end up with a "milk baby". I nodded and smiled, thinking "what the hell is a milk baby?"
I had a vision of a milk-flavoured jellybaby, a strange cross between a milk bottle lolly and a jellybaby:
Surely not. Enter google. According to Dr Hull.com a "milk baby" is "a toddler (usually a big chubby one) who is allowed to drink an inordinate amount of whole cow milk (32-40 or more ounces per day) to the exclusion of other foods." Apparently allowing your toddler to drink massive quantities of cows milk can cause iron deficiency.
Okay... I'm picking that the plunket nurse didn't know that this was the technical definition of "milk baby" - or perhaps she did and it's her private way of calling her clients cows. Noooo, surely not. Or should that be mooo, surely not.
I didn't reeallly want a milk baby, but then, I also didn't want to rush the inevitable routines that solids would bring. Boobs are just so much easier - there's no preparation, cooking, pureeing, freezing or defrosting (unless you're a bit kooky and do strange things with your boobs), and they're slightly less messy (though in my case only slightly - but we won't go into that little problem here). Being a lawyer I am also inclined to follow edicts from reputable sources like the World Health Organisation, so I put off introducing solids until said milkbaby was six months old - last week.
Then we were faced with the choice of baby led weaning (in simple terms, baby feeds himself) or mummy led weaning (aka purees and mush). We've chosen a bit of a combination - baby gets some food to eat himself, while I clumsily aim a mush-filled spoon in the direction of his mouth, and hope he swallows a mouthful or two. While I wouldn't use the expression "like a duck to water" to describe our food-eating exploits thus far, I can say we're getting there... slowly. On days when it looks like the bib has ingested more than the baby, I can't help but wonder what my milkbaby will turn out like.