An exciting time for a mom is when we finally get to feed our baby food rather than just milk. Something important to remember is your baby’s tummy is VERY small! What may look like one bite of food to you is actually a lot for them, so it’s important not to over-do it.
The recommendation for starting solids is between 4-6 months (says the World Health Organization). A popular trend right now is called “baby led weaning”, also known as BLW. Baby led weaning means you don’t give your baby solids until they can actually pick up the pieces of food themselves, put it in their mouth, chew, and swallow. While I get the point of BLW, I don’t necessarily agree with all of its terms. My main concern with BLW is choking. I personally feel that a baby shouldn’t be given anything but milk until 6 months at the earliest. Some people swear their baby needs to eat by 4 months, but I just don’t agree with that. Their digestive systems are too immature then. Also, at 6 months, your baby will most likely be WAY more advanced than they were at 4 months, so overall, I feel like it’s safer.
I felt pearl was ready for solids at 6 months because she lost her “tongue thrust reflex.” If you put food in your baby’s mouth, and they push it out with their tongue, that’s a sign they’re not ready. They lose this reflex till around 6 months. If your baby is spitting out half of the food you’re putting in his or her mouth, it’s too early! Don’t be in a rush, relax, and enjoy the easiness of only having to feed baby milk for now!
If your baby is ready, here is the format I’ve used for starting solids:
The first two weeks:
- Breakfast: First, a bottle or breast, then 1 tbsp. of pureed fruit or yogurt
After the first two weeks, you can introduce a lunch solid:
- Breakfast: First a bottle or breast, then 1 tbsp. of pureed fruit or yogurt
- Lunch: First, a bottle or breast, then 1 tbsp. of pureed veg or avocado
After two weeks of doing the breakfast/lunch combo, slowly (if baby wants it), add another tbsp. of food to their meals. The whole point of this is to slowly adjust them to eating. You don’t want to give them a bunch of food at first. Take it SLOW. It will reduce fussiness, upset tummy, and bowel issues. Also, I highly recommend adding “Udo’s Choice Infant Probiotics” to your food or milk, as it greatly aids in digestion.
THE 4 DAY RULE:
Wait 4 days after introducing a new food. WHY? Because you want to make sure baby isn’t having an allergic reaction to it. This makes it easier to pin-point an allergy if you space it out well. After you know your child isn’t allergic, you can start mixing 2 foods together.
When your baby has been eating solids for a couple months, your goal is to get them to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. By 8 months, baby should have a food schedule that looks something like this:
- Breakfast: Bottle—> 2-3 tbsp. of food
- Lunch: Bottle—> 2-3 tbsp. of food
- Dinner: 2-3 tbsp. of food—> Bottle (It’s switched here so baby can have bottle before bedtime, you don’t have to do it this way)
A typical food day for Pearl looks something like this: (she only eats breakfast and lunch right now)
- Breakfast: Bottle—> 1 tbsp. of pureed pears, or apples, or prunes, sometimes I do 1 tbsp. of organic goat milk yogurt
- Lunch: Bottle—> 1 egg yolk mashed with goat milk, or 1 tbsp of mashed avocado (both to a pureed consistency), or 1 tbsp squash, carrots, peas, etc.
What should you feed your baby first?
A great starter food is avocado. They are high in fat, creamy, and delicious, as well as super digestible by baby. Take a slice of ripe avocado and mash it with breastmilk or formula till it’s nice and smooth. When starting solids, make sure to feed baby in the MORNING. I made the mistake of feeding Pearl first at night, right before bed, thinking it would make her “full” and sleep better. OH MY GOSH, worst idea, ever. She fussed all night.
Another great first food is egg yolk. They contain DHA and ARA, 2 essential fatty acids for brain development. They are low on the allergen list as well. Egg WHITES are the ones you want to stay away from at first since a lot of kids are allergic to the proteins. Hard boil an egg, take out the yolk, and mash it with some breast milk or formula. Great for baby and easy to digest.
Fruit is a great option in the morning since it aids in bowels and it’s light. Some fruits that are safe are pears, apples, bananas(can be constipating, so if you notice this, cease banana eating!), prunes, and melon. Veggies include peas, carrots, green beans, squash, sweet potatoes, and yams.
By 9 months, your baby will probably be able to put soft pieces in his or her mouth and mash them by chewing (much easier if they have 4 front teeth). But, by all means, puree your baby’s food till YOU feel comfortable about giving small pieces.
The most important thing is that you give your baby organic, wholesome foods! No pesticides, and no genetically modified stuff, please. Also, your best bet is to make your own baby food. It is MUCH cheaper, and your baby will be getting the best of the best. I will be posting a video on how to make homemade baby food with my BEABA Babycook. It is so easy it will blow your mind! And remember, NO BABY CEREALS!!!!!!!