20

Oct

how to know when

baby food

Elizabeth posted a little “how to know when your baby is ready” question in her 10 Ivie Things today and it got me thinking about baby’s first food.  lately, I’ve been thinking Wolf might be close to being ready for a little intro of solid foods.  Wolf is no longer being breast fed, he’s exclusively on organic formula.  {when I went back to work, my already low supply just disappeared but that’s for another post.}  so I’m wondering… would he be ready to start solids a little early?  he’ll be 5 months old next week and I know most sites say to wait until they are 6 months old but he’s been reaching for our food for weeks now and he’s had a few tastes.  it’s been fun to watch his reaction on little tastes of our morning smoothies and last night’s tongue-on-the-pickle was the most hilarious thing I’ve ever seen.  from what I’ve been reading, he’s not quite physically ready for solid foods though.  he’s still thrusting his tongue a little and he’s not sitting up by himself yet, but he’s so close!

baby led weaning?  what’s your take?  I guess the main concept is that it allows the baby to eat however much he or she wants to eat.  it encourages the baby to lead the way.  but there’s something so traditional about purees and mashes that makes me long to create tasty little blends for Wolf.

so let’s talk babies and food.  I’d love to hear your thoughts and when you started your wee one on solids.

Comments:

  1. 20

    Oct

    lena said:

    first off, wolf is seriously cute.

    i liked the concept of baby led weaning, but it felt more natural for me to mash up food for eli (usually things we were already cooking for ourselves). i started a little before 6 mo, but i was giving him tastes before then too. one thing i found really easy, was using a large garlic press (we already had a larger than usual one), and i would put some sweet potato, or cooked carrots, or whatever else, in and puree it that way. or just mash with my fork. no need to use a Cuisinart to make labor intensive purees, i think! it’s so fun feeding a baby, i love it.

  2. 20

    Oct

    jamie said:

    i love lena’s style of puree-ing!

    that said, BLW feels SO natural and right to me.

    because we are EBF, i have not been in a hurry. so even though H is sitting up and reaching i have (selfishly) held fast to the 6 month rule. (which, incidentally is tomorrow.)

    i’d say if you do purees, go for it! if you do BLW, wait till he can sit up?

  3. 20

    Oct

    jamie said:

    (and how adorb is your post)

  4. 20

    Oct

    jenni bailey said:

    My oldest started with cereal around 4 months and was on to homemade purees, whipped up in a blender with formula to thin, around 5 and a half months. I had no idea about infant nutrition at the time so I just went along with what our old pediatrician advised.

    With my second, I was much more conscious of waiting until she was ready. And, for her, that was close to 7 months. No cereal, straight to fruit. She also rejected my purees. :( So she gets the fancy Earth’s Best kind.

  5. 20

    Oct

    mjb said:

    I stressed over each step too, but they do tell you what they need in their own way. We started solids (pureed sweet potatoes) at 5 months when he was reaching for our food and showing a lot of interest. It only took about 2-3 days for him to get the hang of it and love it, and we only did it once a day to start. We started with such small amounts but increased as he would complain when he was done. Eventually he wanted to feed himself finger foods (around 8 months). Now I’m stressing about when he’ll start using a spoon, but all in good time, I’m sure.

  6. 20

    Oct

    Kat said:

    Hello! My friend Claire tweeted you a link to my site where I have just launched a little BLW section.
    If he is reaching for food and you’re letting him try it you’re on for BLW. As it is led you can make up the rules and if you want to include the odd puree, why not?
    So long as you are all happy with what you do go with your instincts.
    Kat x

  7. 20

    Oct

    Janelle said:

    All my kiddos were first offered solids around 5 months. My older son (who LOVED the boob) just wasn’t interested in food and it was too much of a hassle to mash or puree foods that he was only going to take a couple of bits of. So he didn’t eat solids regularly until he was almost 8 months old. Your son will just let you know what’s best I’m sure. I don’t think there’s any harm in feeding at this age. They used to tell mothers to start at 4 months….

  8. 20

    Oct

    Rebecca said:

    Such a timely post for me I literally just finished making my little man’s very food (sweet potato puree) that he’ll be trying when he wakes from his nap. He’s almost 6 mos old now. Our pediatrician recommended waiting until he became interested in food. She said we’ll know because we’ll start feeling guilty about eating in front of him. I think we may have started a little early with rice cereal (about 3 weeks ago) but we were fairly eager to get him going. I don’t know why really but we were. He hasn’t had much but seems to enjoy it. I’m anxious to see how he does with the sweet potatoes. Sounds like Wolf is showing a lot of interest so it probably wouldn’t hurt to get him going. If he hates it then just stop and wait a bit longer. Trust your instincts!

  9. 20

    Oct

    (The same thing happened to me when I returned to work.)

    Also, my baby was reaching for our food around 4.5 months. She really wanted to eat. We started off offering her some pureed fruits and veggies. For the first few weeks she would only eat a few bites at a time, and that was cool. All of a sudden, one day, she was ravenous and ate an entire container.

    We let her lead us. When she turned away, didn’t open her mouth or otherwise seemed disinterested, we said, “Dinnertime’s over!”

  10. 20

    Oct

    Claudia said:

    First of all, what is EBF (Jamie’s comment)?

    Second of all, silly but I LOVE to make purees. Our little mom group get together and we make purees during 2-3 hours…it is so much fun! My freezer is full. So far it works well with Alice but eventually I will try BLW (so many abbreviation) ;)

    • 20

      Oct

      Alyson said:

      I think she means “exclusively breastfeeding”

      • 21

        Oct

        jamie said:

        yep! sorry guys. i think i spent too much time reading the AP (attachment parenting) message boards and got carried away with my acronyms. ;)

        • 21

          Oct

          alyson said:

          ah! and here now I need to go GOOGLE AP myself. all this new information – overload.

  11. 20

    Oct

    Claudia said:

    I looked it up and it is Ecological Breast Feeding (hey, I’m doing it without knowing it had a silly name like that). Why do we put names on everything…man, it makes things so stressful! Like I realized that I’m into Attachment Parenting stuff without knowing it was an actual thing! I don’t really like to put label…anyway, pumpkins puree is very popular with Alice ;)

    • 21

      Oct

      jamie said:

      ha! now i see i inspired your post. i will comment/defend myself there. ;)

      actually, i did mean “exclusive.” i think this is the more common usage. though i do see that there is a website about EBF- ecological…

  12. 20

    Oct

    Meagan said:

    My doc said rice cereal at 4the months was fine, then gradually thicken it until it reaches the consistency of phase 1 foods, then ok to introduce them as well. The rice cereal box doesn’t give an age, but says “assisted sitting.”At Ender is still sticking his tongue out a little, and I’m not sure how much he’s actually eating, but it’s fun to feed him. :-) I guess it’s more just practice now than nourishment. (Ender is June 1, a few days younger than Wolf I think.)

  13. 21

    Oct

    Lauren said:

    Just like everything else, the baby let’s you know when, if he’s reaching for food, go for it! If you are looking forward and will enjoy making the purses, go for it! Whatever method you choose, blw or the traditional way, guess what …he will learn how to eat by himself with a fork spoon and knife all types of food, ha that we do know! I guess we do a combo, I feed him thick purred now, but I also put food on his tray to feed himself. I’ve heard lots of my moms in my playgroup say their babies started refusing the spoon fed pureed around 1 year and only want to feed themselves after that.

  14. 21

    Oct

    julie said:

    so cute! we are starting vegetables this weekend… he’s been interested and has even taken some rice cereal from a spoon. wolf is crazy adorable.

  15. 21

    Oct

    Kerry said:

    Thanks for a great post and for all the fabulous comments. My little girls is almost 5 months and we have been thinking a lot about this very issue in my house! I appreciate the tips and support!!!!

  16. 21

    Oct

    alyson said:

    thanks everyone!! I think we’ll celebrate Wolf’s fifth month birthday with a little something for dinner. :) I’ll report back how it goes.

  17. 21

    Oct

    celia said:

    hey alyson! i’m actually writing a post about this next week, so i won’t get too into it here, but i wanted to tell you that we started cheech on solids at 4 1/2 months. i feel that as mothers with formula-fed babies, we might have a different perspective on this than others? anyway, she started with purees, and at 6 months we took on some blw. so, we do a combo of both.

    i say if he’s really showing interest, go for it! xox

  18. 21

    Oct

    barret said:

    Our pediatrician said to start with rice cereal but we just mashed up some avocado with breast milk a couple weeks ago (saxon is 6 mths today!) and he was totally into it. Pure food just sounded better to me to start with instead of something processed. He had been staring at us eat and you could just tell he was ready for more. I have been pureeing my own food but to be honest, he slurps up the Earth’s Best Organic stuff like it’s going out of style. I think because the consistency is so soupy (my patience to puree runs out too fast) that its easier for him to get into. And now he eats breakfast and dinner with us and I can’t put into words how much I love our little family of three all chowing down together. Dinnertime together is a cherished time for me and I am so excited to be starting the tradition. Eventually I will just end up mashing up what we are eating…my mom did that with me and said it made making dinner for everyone so much easier. Love reading what other moms have done!

    girlobsessed.blogspot.com

  19. 21

    Oct

    Liz said:

    1. i love your blog and i love you on babble
    2. BLW is pretty interesting … a british gal in my mommy & me group brought it up the other day … apparently it’s big in the uk.
    3. go with your gut. i know babies who started at 4 months … others who didn’t start till 7 months. my 4 1/2 month old isn’t the least bit interested in food yet … and i still feel a bit too lazy to start making food (though earth’s best is supposed to be perfect) … so we’re going to wait a bit
    4. i think the main thing about starting solids is to keep it fun and exploratory … it’s not about filling up your baby’s tummy, it’s about letting them try out new things
    5. keep up these great posts!

  20. 21

    Oct

    Jiyoonie said:

    My twins are just 7 months old and we started them on solids a little before 6 months. I know people who totally swear by baby led weaning but the thought of them starting with non pureed foods freaks me out! I knew they were ready when they would stop everything they were doing and stare at me like they hadn’t been fed in days whenever i’d eat anything!

  21. 22

    Oct

    Kathleen said:

    With my first, I followed the 3month guidelines to introduce solid foods. After that, I followed the child’s lead, which usually meant they would grab the food from me or another sibling! It is very fun to have that little chubby hand pull your spoon into his/her mouth. I almost always had the baby on my lap when I was eating and I think they get close to the food and are curious. Enjoy your beautiful baby!

  22. 22

    Oct

    Adele said:

    we found a fantastic book called The Petite Appetite Cook Book. it had a lot of helpful information about introduction order and how to cook fruits and vegetables to maintain maximum nutrients. also milestones etc. even though i already knew most of this it was helpful to have it collected and within easy reach during that sleep-deprived first year. it goes on to have some great recipes for toddlers too, including some of the best muffin recipes i’ve ever come across and a veggie pancake recipe that turned my sprout into a life-long broccoli lover. it’s available from amazon and still in my cookbook arsenal four+ years later. even my hubby likes some of the recipes.

    we went really traditional, a mini chopper to puree the cooked fruits and veggies and ice cube trays to freeze a week’s worth at once.

    we also tried adding some spices after the first few weeks. a bit of curry power here, some grated fresh ginger there, a dash of miso (when soy is appropriate). it really did seems to develop the palate so that now, as a toddler, my daughter is pretty food adventurous.

    we absolutely let her eat when she was ready. but we reminded ourselves that foods often have to be introduced three or four times.

    good luck! and don’t worry, he’ll let you know!

  23. 23

    Oct

    Daniela said:

    We started at 4 months with small tastes. I think it’s great. I am actually really tired of reading websites so I have decided that I want to follow my instinct. Like Claudia, I agree, there are way too many labels for everything. Why do we have to make parenting so stressfull? Anyways, sorry for venting on your blog ;P
    I love solid feeding. It is so awesome to see all the reactions with the new tastes. Sky is the limit! Some foods are more popular than others, but so far, fruits and cereals are a great success. Peaches, bananas, pears, apples, avocado (not so popular), pumpkin, summer squash! Oh there is so much! It’s so much fun!
    Good luck and have lots of fun!!! :D

  24. 24

    Oct

    heather said:

    my first child–I read too much, was too cautious…she is a picky eater…my second…no idea….she tried everything…i didn’t over think-she mostly ate what we ate–my oldest fed her a chocolate chip cookie at 6 months (woops!)..I let her taste things i was cooking on the stove….sure-tomato soup gave her a rash at 7 months, so we waited on that…but she was fine..and now she loves tomatoes anyway. the only thing i was cautious about was nuts (obviously). she is 18 months now–eats everything! I’m so glad I loosened up….if he seems interested–go ahead try a little!

  25. 24

    Oct

    Jen said:

    I think for me, each child was different. When they show interest in what you’re eating – then it’s time to maybe try. Rice is what we started with, then I added greens, because they are least likely to like green veggies of any kind. I made all of the food, pureed and put each in an ice cube tray. Each serving was an ice cube’s worth.
    But all of this went out the door with my second who wound up being a mammoth of a child. He was eating mac and cheese at 6 months.
    My third, she was content hanging onto my boob for 2 1/2 years. So really what may work for you one time, may totally change with the next. :)

  26. 26

    Oct

    Jo said:

    We waited until our L was 6 months and started with cereal mixed with breastmilk and then started apple sauce. He gagged and vomited on the applesauce – so if you buy it in a jar (we got some organic stuff from trader joe’s) thin it out A LOT. I even re-milled it on the finest setting.
    Pear sauce was way easier on his tongue and tummy. I think each baby is different, but I would wait until the tongue thrust goes away and Wolf can sit up by himself.

    I started by introducing spices early too (cinnamon, cumin, cardoman (with mango puree…mmmm)
    I have the OXO food mill, which is cheap and fabulous. I also loved the Smitten Kitchen baby food page for ideas:
    http://smittenkitchen.com/baby/

    And for later (L is now 11 months and eating like a champ), I have been recording our baby meal hits on my blog (http://sooperfarmerjo.blogspot.com/p/baby-food-recipes.html)

    • 26

      Oct

      Jo said:

      PS. Nancy’s whole milk organic yogurt is like baby crack! I always mix a new puree or food with it if L wasn’t that into the new flavor. Pretty soon he is gobbling it up!

  27. 27

    Oct

    patricia said:

    I just discovered your blog and thistimely post. My daughter is almost 6 months and I believe she’s ready to start solids I ‘ve just been lazy bc we need a booster chair and a blender. Ilve been stressing over weaning too. I love to nurse her and it’s the only way to put her to sleep that’s why I ‘m considering not doing forcing it myself but letting her do it. We also do cloth diapers so solid food intake would meanmore steps to get them clean. I know it’s a serious case of lazyness.
    -