Starting Solids

The idea of learning how to eat solids doesn’t seem so strange to us adults who have been doing it for many years, but put yourself in a baby’s shoes (or socks).  Babies drink nothing but milk for at least 4-6 months or more and then all of a sudden are given a spoonful of runny mush and are expected to be excited about it?  True, some babies are.  Some babies can’t get enough.  My baby isn’t such a fan.  Refer to exhibit A…

Ok, so maybe she doesn’t look so unhappy (the girl pretty much always has a smile on her face, she can’t help it! ps: do you just love the bed-head).  But as you can see, there is more food around her mouth than actually in it.

When it comes to feeding baby’s solids, there are a lot of different opinions on what age to start them, what to start them with, and how often to feed them.  I appreciate all the information that is available on this subject.  I, however, have chosen to allow Harper to lead the way.  This is called, Baby Led Weaning.

It took me a while to get to this point because I was listening to what other people were saying, mostly my pediatrician.  No disrespect to her knowledge and expertise, but since I became a mother, I have found a superpower that overshadows any Ph.D…its called a mothers intuition.  That coupled with responding to Harper’s needs helped us conclude that indeed Baby Led Weaning was the best route for us.

Harper’s first solid food experience actually started as Baby Led Weaning.  I was eating a banana on the floor with her and she grabbed it out of my hands and shoved it in her mouth.  She was only about 4 1/2 – 5 months at the time so I was worried that she would choke on the huge piece of banana she just scarfed down.  The next day as I was eating my salad, she reached over and snuck a piece of avocado off of my plate and started exploring it with her tongue.  After that I was sure she was ready for solid foods.

I was so excited to make her homemade baby food.  I got out the Cuisinart and started cooking up all sorts of fresh, organic baby food concoctions.  I would steam the veggies and then puree them and portion them out into little Pyrex containers.  Then I began to feed them to her and here was her reaction…

However, my pediatrician told me this was totally normal and that she would just have to get used to it.  Well, it has been 4 months and she still makes that adorable “what the heck is this” face and refuses anymore after about 2 bites.

So instead of continuing to torture my daughter and put myself through the stress of having her try every fruit and vegetable under the sun while spending the time to puree and prep it, I started to use a self feeding mesh bag like this.  Harper seemed to like that better but still wasn’t using it to eat her food, and found the handle way more interesting to chew on than the actual food.  But when she got a hold of that yummy plum she went to town!

After the success of the mesh bag, I decided to go all out and start handing her slices of food, carrots, apples, plums, etc.  This has proven the best route.  Harper is able to explore the tastes, work on her chewing (without teeth mind you), as well as decide how much is enough.

I am grateful to have found the information on Baby Led Weaning.  It has taken the stress out of introducing solids, and seems to make the most sense overall.  I stumbled upon a lovely blog the other day after an experience with an acorn squash and it put my mind at ease.  So I thought I would share it with you.  Check it out!

So I guess the most important rule I continue to learn as a new mom is that there are no rules.  The information is out there.  It is up to you to decide what is best for your child and your family.  And from there, chances are there will be people who share your same philosophy that you can turn to for support.  Knowing that makes motherhood so much more enjoyable!

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14 thoughts on “Starting Solids

  1. Big, huge, gigantic jumbo fans of BLW here :) Itty Bitty is over now so we don’t get as many shocked faces. I loved the look on people’s faces when a 9 month old ate an apple to the core and destroyed mango spears deftly. LOL At my DD first birthday my grandma asked me, “Won’t she choke!?” And I blinked confused, “On a date?” She was eating a soft coconut rolled date mashed into a fist sized cylinder LOL

    You can also check out: http://www.babledweaning.com (there’s a link to Gil Rapely’s Article there too)

    And there is also a facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/2855840155/

    Happy Hot Food Eating!

    • inherchucks says:

      Thanks eliminationcommunication for always keeping me in the loop. I love that we share so many similarities in raising out little ones. It makes life a lot easier when you have people in your corner. I enjoy hearing of all your successes. Thanks for linking me in. I will check out the link and will definitely join the Facebook group. The journey continues :)

      • Yes, it is so nice to have like minds and not be the odd-one-out all the time :) I’ve got so many pictures of Itty Bitty doing BLW and I never got around to getting that blog together. I’ll have to work on it one of these days.

        The hardest thing for me was the visuals. What does BLW really look like? What behaviors were normal and expected? Why did Itty Bitty get annoyed with me when I panicked over a simple gag (boy was that a hard thing not to interfere with)?

      • inherchucks says:

        I look forward to your blog on BLW. It is always fun to share stories and learn from one another :)

  2. Courtney says:

    I love the 3rd picture of her, her “look of disgust” is absolutely adorable (but every one of her faces are)! I am glad you are letting her take the wheel and navigate the journey to solids!

    • inherchucks says:

      Thanks Courtney…its so fun to discover ways to raise Harper that seem to fit just right. Harper definitely knows what she wants. Im excited for this journey and grateful to have the support of friends/sisters like you :)

  3. sasha says:

    this is very pertinent for us at the moment, so i was very happy to read about this today!!! robin pretty much refuses to accept anything from the spoon. but when i give him slice of something im eating (mango, pear, or pizza tonight!!) he is much happier with that and will suck and try to eat it. this BWL is the way forward for us, i wish we had started it sooner!!!

    • inherchucks says:

      I am glad this resonated with you sasha. I felt the same way…but the good news is its still not too late. I am grateful to have access to this type of information and to know that there are other options. It is amazing how cultural this whole thing is. If you think about how babies are introduced to solids in other countries its in line with baby led weaning. Glad to hear Robin is enjoying some delicious dishes. Lucky boy!

  4. naturallymum says:

    Thank you for referencing my site, I feel really honoured with your kind words :)

    We tried that food net thing but it was a bit of a disaster!

    • inherchucks says:

      Not a problem at all. I was so grateful to come upon it. Your words are so genuine and heartfelt. I appreciate all of your insight and can’t help but share your thoughts with others.

  5. Stella Mae's mama says:

    Thanks for sharing pretty mama! I was sure there was something wrong with Ms. Mae not really wanting anything pureed at this point. She does like to gnaw on carrots and suck on zucchini so maybe this is the answer for us.

    • inherchucks says:

      So glad you found this helpful Stella Mae’s mama…its funny how some things just make sense…i am grateful to have found other routes to introducing solids to our little ones…carrots are one of harper’s favorites :)

  6. I tried to wean Christina when everyone was telling me to, she cried bloody murder!!! (That lasted about two days before I gave in) at eleven months, she weaned herself, with NO fussing or trauma.

    When I found out I was pregnant, I wanted her to be use to sleeping in her crib before the new baby came so she didn’t feel like the new baby kicked her out of the bed. She screamed for HOURS, and never cried herself to sleep like everyone said she would. A little while later SHE decided she WANTED to sleep in her crib, and never turned back….

    Babies are way smarter than we give them credit for, they know when they are ready for new things, and the transition is so much smoother and healthier if you wait on their readiness instead of our own selfish desires. (Babies are smart enough to play us too….we just have to be smart enough to see the difference between their sincerity and when we’re being played :P )

    • inherchucks says:

      Thanks for sharing Charisse. I agree with you that because all babies are different, it is best to follow their lead when it comes to transitions. As a new mom I have found that there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to parenting. The key to success is to be in tune to what our little ones are telling us.

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