|Image by pbboss|
Welcome to this week’s edition of First Years Friday! After spending several months covering breastfeeding, today marks the start to a 10-post series on starting solid foods!
When I became a mom in 2008, it seemed like everyone had an opinion about everything when it came to raising our daughter.
“Let her cry it out!”
“Rock her to sleep!”
“Breastfeed! No, bottle feed!”
“Start putting cereal in her bottle at 3-4 months! She’ll sleep better!”
Some words of wisdom I followed. I let others go in one ear and out the other.
One of those was the whole “put cereal in the bottle” advice.
Now, I’m NOT saying anyone who did or does practice putting baby cereal in a bottle for their infant is wrong in doing so. I believe every parent should research and PRAY about what is right for their own family.
After prayer and research, I just didn’t feel right introducing solids at such a young age.Because I was exclusively breastfeeding, I felt like I could safely wait until at least 6 months.
And then start Little Girl on rice cereal. (Because that’s what everyone.else.did.)
So, I bought some Happy Bellies brown rice cereal and mixed it with my breastmilk.
She took a little but wasn’t too impressed.
Hmmmm….Maybe she isn’t ready, I wondered.
And, in fact, I don’t think she was.
With Baby Girl, I decided I would wait as long as possible to introduce any solids. I wanted to be absolutely sure she was ready.
It happened that she probably was more ready around 6 months. She would practically beg for table food when the rest of us were eating!
I ended up stretching her out until almost 7 months. Her first food was banana.
|Image by mwookie|
When to Start
Next week, I’ll write more on what foods I believe are best to start with.
Regardless of the food choice, I believe it’s best for baby to show all of the following signs before starting solid foods:
- can sit up and hold head unassisted
- is interested in food
- has doubled in birth weight
- still appears hungry after nursing/giving bottle
Great post Erin! Just found it through your link on Facebook. I also waited until all the signs you listed were present before starting my baby girl on fruits and veggies. Even then, she was so, so ready for some kind of solid by 4mos. She would sit in her booster and just stare so fixedly at us eating dinner, and if we teased her by holding out a fork she’d go right for it like a little bird! I’d hoped to breastfeed exclusively till 6mos but ended up starting her on solids a little after 4mos. I was initially worried that she’d wean way too early, but she’s 10mos now and still nurses 6-7 times a day in addition to eating 3-4 big meals. She’s just a hungry hippo! Moms should definitely trust their own instincts when it comes to their babies, rather than stressing over what others say. After all, nobody knows your baby better than you!
I started my son on solids at 6 months, after he met all the readiness signs that you mentioned. I also proceeded very gradually, as I believe that breastmilk or formula are more important then solid foods in the first year of life. I think mashed banana was the first food I tried. I would also give him mashed avocado, unsweetened applesauce, and some of the jarred fruits and vegetables. By 8 months old he was eating two meals/day, and he started finger foods at 9 months. At 12 months I added a third meal each day, and by then he ate mostly finger foods and didn’t have many spoon feedings.
It sounds like you fed him very similar to how I did my girls!
Similar in some ways, different in others. He was bottle fed, due to being adopted (I know that some adoptive mothers breastfeed, but I chose not to for a variety of reasons). And his solid food meals were separate from his bottles, because he was a tiny boy with a tiny appetite, and there is no way he would have been able to eat right after having a bottle (unless I cut him off after an ounce or two, and I didn’t want to do that).
It sounds like you did an awesome job!!
Thanks Erin! He was somewhat of a picky eater when he was younger, but now he loves fruits and vegetables and eats a very healthy diet. So it was all worth it in the long run!