Hey everyone! Ariel here.Guide to Introducing Solids
If you’re like me, you were (or currently are) totally overwhelmed at the idea of introducing solid foods your sweet little baby. Guide to Introducing Solids
The sad reality is that our sweet little humans will grow up and they will need to start eating solid foods in order to get all of the nutrients they need to grow up strong and healthy, even if your mama heart is so NOT ready for it. But where the heck do you even begin?!Guide to Introducing Solids
There are two different routes that you can take when it comes to introducing the first foods to your baby; purées and traditional baby food, or baby-led weaning.
We chose to go the purée route. This article is going to focus primarily on that journey, but stay tuned to the blog for an upcoming post all about baby-led weaning!
These are just my personal tips for starting your solid food journey. Please bear in mind that you and your health care provider both know your child best, so please make sure to seek professional advice prior to starting solids with your little one.
This conversation occurred for my family in our 3 month check up, and we were given the okay to begin solids at 4 months old. Every family and baby is different. There is no one-size fits all answer for when your baby will be ready, so don’t stress too much about it!
Now that we have gotten that out of the way, let’s get to the goods…
SIGNS THAT YOUR BABY IS READY FOR SOLIDS
This is a tricky one. When discussing with my family doctor about when to start introducing food to Dawson, she gave me a very general and generic answer and emphasized that every baby is different.
Some of the signs she told me to look for were:
- Baby is extremely interested in watching you eat. Generally, they will follow your fork with their eyes and stare during mealtime.
- Baby gets fussy every time they see myself or my partner eating, like they want some for themselves.
- Baby no longer seems satisfied after regular formula or breast feeding sessions.
- Baby can sit well unsupported, and are able to swallow well. They also shouldn’t be spitting out any food we are trying to give them, as that could be a sign that they simply are not ready.
At about 4 and a half months old, Dawson would watch us eat like a hawk. It’s like the fork or spoon that we were using was some magical unicorn and she couldn’t take her eyes off of us.
When both my husband and I independently remarked that she was super interested in dinner, we decided it was time to give solids a shot.
WHERE TO START
When trying to decide what food will be the first thing other than formula or breast milk that your baby eats, you want to make sure whatever you choose is rich in iron.
While the baby is still in utero, they build up a store of iron from the placenta, and that starts to deplete after birth. Breast milk and formula are both very rich in iron and help to keep those stores fully stocked. Any food that you introduce should do the same.
We chose to give Dawson the Baby Gourmet Tasty Smooth Oatmeal as her first meal. We mixed it with my pumped breast milk to bulk up the iron in it even more.
She ate this once a day for about 2 weeks while we watched closely to make sure that she was not only swallowing well, but that she was enjoying eating food! Definitely don’t expect this to be a neat and clean experience. Wasn’t food made to be messy?!
Once she was comfortable with that, we slowly moved on to puréed vegetables, fruits and meats, which leads us to…
STORE BOUGHT OR HOME MADE?!
That’s the age old question; do you buy your baby food at the store or do you make it yourself at home?
At the end of the day, both are perfectly fine options, so don’t feel like you’re a better or worse parent just because you chose one or the other. This article outlines some important things to consider when deciding which route to go; CLICK HERE to read.
We personally decided to make all of our baby food ourselves for a couple of different reasons.
First, we wanted to have full control over everything that we were putting into our daughters mouth.
As a family with allergies, and people who are very aware of what we eat on a daily basis, this seemed like the best way to make sure that we could jam-pack her meals with all of vitamins and nutrients that she would need.
Secondly, making homemade baby food was also really cost effective and eco-friendly for us.
We buy all of our fruits and vegetables at Costco and make her food in large batches that we then would freeze in purée molds. Once the purée was frozen, we would simply remove it from the silicone mold, put it in a labeled freezer bag and then wash as re-use the mold for a different type of food.
This made it virtually WASTE FREE! Yahoo!
We try to do everything we can to be as eco-friendly as possible with our young one, and this blog post has some other AMAZING tips.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO GET STARTED?
There are definitely a few things that you want to make sure you have on hand when you’re ready to start that solid journey with your baby, so check out the video below so I can walk you through some of my favourite things that my family uses;
Now that we have gone through the basics of getting ready to give baby food for the first time, you’re ready to set out on this journey yourself!
What are your biggest concerns with feeding your baby? What are some of your favourite foods to give baby if you are already giving them solids? Share them in the comments below!