As my babe turns 5 months on Friday, I'm already thinking toward next month when he could potentially start solid food. As a first time mom to an exclusively breastfed baby, the thought of solids is a little overwhelming! I know there are varying opinions about rice cereal - his pediatrician suggests it because of the iron content, but I know it's debated as far as whether they really need iron supplementation. What are you all planning to introduce first (and for moms on their second or more, what have you done in the past)? Can you suggest some resources that might offer a sample "schedule" of when to introduce certain foods, how much to give, how often, etc...all of this is new to me!
Not sure what this LOs first food will be. A fruit or veggie of some sort though. We delayed grains until closer to 12 months.
I didn't worry too much about spacing new foods out. The first few we did a day or two between each one but we were pretty casual. And because we did BLW we let her regulate the amounts. We just gave her some food whenever we were eating.
If you google baby-led weaning the website has some info on how to introduce solids. And kellymom probably has something as well :-)
I'm actually in the same boat (5 months old on the 9th, EBF) and I've been looking for resources so I'm excited about this thread. I really like the idea of a baby led process of introducing food- the thought of shoving baby food down her throat bc her tongue is still pushing it out and she's not into the texture or flavor is really not what I'm aiming for. So ive started doing alot of reading about baby led weaning which I guess is the UK term for introducing solids and not specifically weaning from breast milk? (though obviously they're connected right?).
I've started reading / hearing about this idea of iron/ protein rich foods for first foods versus anything carb based, things like scrambled eggs or bone marrow broth etc. Does anyone have any experience or exposure to this material?Thoughts/ opinions? Good idea/bad idea?
Thanks for the help and ideas!
My two older children were ready for solids around the six month mark. With my first I gave him rice cereal for about two days then never again. The stuff taste awful and I didn't see the point.
If I recall correctly there is a recommended schedule, for example yellow foods first, green foods second, then meat etc. I followed all that with my first. On my second child I ditched the rice cereal and the schedule really. I gave her mashed avocado, sweet potato, carrots, squash, the fancy organic mixed veg/fruits with no problems. I held off on the meat until later (which is also yuck). I tried to give them them a variety of foods hoping they would not be picky eaters. DH and I will eat just about anything and I am not a Mom who will cook something different because you do not like what is served. Both of my kiddos are good eaters and rarely turn down anything. I guess my advise would be to do some research and then mold that to what you feel comfortable with doing.
oh, the solids... yeah well ;)
we also did baby lead weaning with our first two and will do the same with this little guy. DS1's first food was mango too but we lived in Thailand back then. DD started with steamed carrots and then soon she got to try a little from whatever we had. Both my bigger kids never really got their main nutrients from solids though up until they stopped BFing. They are both non-picky eaters and will try pretty much everything. And I breastfed both of them until they were 18-20mo (both times I weaned them because I was pregnant again and my milk production just stopped entirely).
I once went to this seminar on starting solids, out of sheer curiosity. It just all seemed so... complicated! I figure when the best food for them is breastmilk then this is what they should have for as long as it feels right and natural. I think all this starting solids thing is way overrated but I do see that moms who can'T afford to stay with their babies until they are mature enough to naturally wean and stop depending on momma milk need to find another way. I agree that it is all about instinct and sometimes it is really hard to tap into that inherent wisdom we all have somewhere inside of us. I too tend to rather consult the internet than follow my guts, but fortunately I have found this platform early on into my days of motherhood and felt more encouraged to trust my own instincts again :)
I also don't believe in preparing extra meals for the kids and I find that both our children have a healthy appreciation for food and for the person who cooks it. Btw. I also never took any vitamins or supplements during my pregnancies but just ate the way I always do, balanced and healthy enough, I guess.
I found these two articles on KellyMom helpful:
Right now my baby is 5 months old but I don't think he's developmentally ready for solids and he seems perfectly satisfied with just breastfeeding. He likes to watch us eat, though. And in yesterday's heat wave I made him a milk granita and fed it to him with a spoon. He liked it and wanted to grab the spoon himself!
We did baby led weaning with DS1 and will so it again with Everett. It made DH nervous but DS1 never choked on anything! Basically he ate what we did, scrambled eggs and fruit for breakfast, veggies, fruit, cheese, beans for lunch, and whatever for dinner. He didn't eat a lot until 7+ months since his fingers weren't coordinated enough to grab or hold a lot.
Ds1 has an excellent diet to this day. For lunch he ate a pbj, spinach salad, cucumbers, and apple slices. Have no idea if it's because his first foods were this same thing basically or just what he likes! Hopefully he'll stay an adventurous and healthy eater and Everett will be the same way.
A friend referred this website as a good resource when you start solid foods! It has a ton of info on which foods are best to start with, their nutrient values, allergies if any etc.
We plan to EBF until the 6 month mark. This is our first so we are new to the "starting solids" game too! The grand parents on both sides are so excited and very eager to start solids. They have been pestering me to start solids since LO turned 4 months old. So far with DH's help I have been able to put my foot down and say NO.
DH and I are adventurous eaters and will eat just about anything. And as many of you plan to, I don't intend to cook different food for kids just coz they wont eat something which is cooked for us. I plan to start simple with mashed carrots, avacado, ripe bananas, sweet potatoes etc. But eventually it is going to be - experiment and eat a little bit of everything that is on our plates for this LO.
I plan the more baby led approach. One sil started with finger sized strips of the meat they were eating. Her kids nurse till toddlers and eat well. They're also very healthy. I want to read up on it more and talk to my Dr. Because of my allergies, I don't know if I should start with what I'm not allergic to and never was, or what. I might make an appointment. Esp since my Crohn's is bothering me and hubby's asthma season is starting.
I won't even think about it until after six months and then go very slowly. There is nothing anyone can feed my baby that is healthier for him than breastmilk.
I went back to work and he is still really struggling with a bottle.I think we started after seven months or so with the last one. Then it is real food, mix of purees and BLW. #1 only liked purees and then had a solids strike 9-11 months. At almost six he would probably happily be spoon fed. #2 always hated solids and only like to feed herself.
Easiest way to prepare purees: eight quart pyrex + microwave + stick blender + dishwasher =)
Now that Luthien is five months old and 17.5 pounds, I've received a lot of unsolicited advice from family, friends, and even a few patients about introducing her to solid foods, although she's not showing any of the signs of readiness. A family member who recently visited observed that she "looked hungry" and was nursing "too frequently," although she's actually been nursing less frequently lately, as she's become a more efficient nurser. (He was a baby in the era when people started babies on solids a lot earlier than the consensus would suggest now.) My mom keeps on gently pressing me to supply her with some "squishy squash" to experiment with. (This was what I called squash when I was a little girl.) We're interested in the child-led solid-food introduction process and so, when she's sitting on my lap or her dad's, we move our plate close enough for her to grab food if she's interested, even if just to smear it on her hands and face rather than taste it. At this point, she's just shown visual interest but hasn't tried to grab any, although she does grab other things and puts them in her mouth. I think her first solid food may end up being guacamole, as we like eating at a local Mexican restaurant, where the guac comes in these little cups, and she did stick her hand in once. Then she flicked it off. I don't know why so many folks are so eager to get her eating solids--while we're certainly not stopping her, we're not in any hurry for her to go from non-smelly breast milk stools to stinky solid-food poops!
junis is going to be six months old this week and we have started letting him explore a little. In my opinion he is still too young to actually 'eat' anything much, but he gets to try. He has shown a lot of interest in food and is teething too, so he loves to chew things. I find it interesting to see how much he enjoys actually 'sitting' at the table with us and participating in the family meals. Much more than my oldest did and a bit more than DD did too. He has two siblings to look up to, so it doesn't really surprise me.
So far he has tried steamed carrots, brown bread (dried chunks, he can soften up himself and chew on), a strawberry, bell pepper, salad, avocado, cucumber and he loved the nori sheets he got to try today. DH dug them out of the pantry where we kept them for making sushi again sometime (haven't now for a while) and decided to have them as a snack. The big kids loved them and I spontaneously decided to offer Junis some too and I think he actually swallowed most of it after sucking on it for quite a while.
Needless to say: our kitchen floor looks like a battle field after each meal these days ;)
I love the baby lead weaning approach so much because it feels the most natural to me. I know that he will get all the nutrients he needs from me for as long as he needs to and doesn't have to depend on solid food but can actually explore it and get to know all the different tastes and textures in a playful way without the pressure of needing to eat in order to get full.
Anyone NOT excited to start solids? Kaelan will be 6 months on the 15th. I've always loved breastfeeding my babies, but I am enjoying it more than ever with this little guy and I have zero desire to start on solids. He seems very satisfied with breastmilk and has made no attempts at getting his hands on my food, which is generally how I start my babies on solids. They sit on my lap during mealtimes and once they start helping themselves to my plate, I figure they're ready. I've been doing this for years but only found out recently that it's actually a "method" of feeding solids and has a name, LOL! So, apparently, we do "baby led weaning" around here. ;-) In any case, Kaelan hasn't made any attempts at my plate, so I don't feel particularly bothered. I love each new milestone, but I'm not anxious to get to them, if that makes any sense.
Our ped recently told us there is new research suggesting that starting solids closer to four months actually helps reduce allergies, completely contradicting what have previously been told. I read the research myself and found it interesting but it had one major flaw that made it not applicable to our situation: it didn't control for exclusively breastfed babies. They study found that babies started on solids a little earlier tended to have fewer allergies, but didn't account for which babies were EBF, which were FF and which were getting breastmilk supplemented with formula. To me, that makes a big difference. Breastfed babies are exposed to foods in their mothers' diets (which is why mothers occasionally have to avoid certain foods when their babies react to them). Formula fed babies are not. If the idea is, early exposure to potential allergenic foods actually reduces the incidence of allergies later on (as per this particular research), then I can understand why formula fed babies seem to do better when solids are introduced a little earlier rather than a little a later. But I don't think this would necessarily apply to EBF babies, who are already getting exposure to a wide variety of foods from mum's diet. I would like to see the results of EBF babies fed solids earlier vs. later, as I think, if their theory is true (early exposure reduces incidence of allergies) then exclusively FF babies would skew the results.
In any case, I laughed when the ped suggested we could go ahead and start solids if we liked. I said we did not like and we would not. He did mention that parents in mediteranean (sp?) countries laugh at northern parents and their anxiety about starting solids too soon and give their babies solids much earlier. So much confusion and contradictory information on the subject. I just follow my kids' cues. The field on nutrition in general is riddled with contradictions. For every piece of advice "do this" there is another saying "DON'T do this!". Meh.
We sat on the couch to eat super Saturday. I stuck a frozen roast and a jar of salsa in the crock for about 12 hrs and pulled it apart, served over rice. Easy. I had a bowl it and Ana next to me. Three different groups of people were due in 30 min. One was a guy coming to look at a puppy. He called in the middle of the meal because he was lost. Very lost. Like another county lost. That's another story that made me want charge him double for the stress.... So I'm trying figure out where on earth this man is and annoyed that hubby, who literally grew up on this property, won't take the phone. Out of nowhere comes this little hand into my bowl, grabs a fist full and shoves it into her mouth.
I tapped hubby, who looked but saw nothing. Whatever. A few min later, still talking to the man who can't follow directions. Two little paws flash across my lap and into my bowl, then get crammed into her mouth. This time I smacked hubby and jerked my thumb at her. Finally he notices and laughs quietly but heartily. He took her wiped her up some. I probably still have food in the couch. Not how I planned to start all that!
I have her a stick of homemade pizza Sunday. She didn't like it but she loved my stevia lemonade.
Friday we have a family appointment with the Dr. He's also an NFP so I questions for him about starting her on solid officially and regularly since I've had such allergies.
Guy has been grabbing food out of our hands since 3.5 months, he's insane. I gave in and let him have homemade oatmeal with breastmilk after 4 months, which he loved but ultimately had a reaction to after the 5th or 6th time (projectile vomiting). I've since tried other foods and it's only oats he's had problems with. I'm doing baby-led weaning too, to a lesser extent. He's still breastfed for all his meals but to keep him calm so WE can eat, we are giving him bits of things to keep him entertained. He's phenomenally good at feeding himself out of nowhere in the last week, and on a whim I even tried him out on a straw - he totally knew how to operate that, not sure if it was a fluke or what. It was kinda exciting since straws are supposed to be better developmentally than sippees.
I tell you what, this kid loves avocado. I put some in a mesh type feeder and when I took it away to refill it he SCREAMED until I gave it back. He was totally green all over after that meal. I assume I'll let him eat more things once we hit 6 months, I dunno. I might just keep on like this since BFing is going mostly well. Keep solids as entertainment vs nutrition.
As to his suggestions on solid food, he said due to my allergies, he'd like to see me start slowly, leave gluten and strawberries and acidic fruit till a year and eggs till 2 1/2 if possible. That will be hard! It would be harder if she ended up with allergies though. Sigh. But he was fine with starting her now since she is interested. Just take it slow to watch for reactions.