As I am writing this, today is Lincoln’s 6 month birthday! Publishing this a few weeks after – hah! To me six months is a landmark more than the other months. I am more healed from the birth (which you can read about here) and from my hernia surgery. Linc gave me a pregnancy parting gift of eight (yes, eight!) hernias if you didn’t know. I don’t think I am completely back to *normal* but I recognize that my current body is healthy, strong and went through creating and birthing a human being. Sometimes it blows my mind that this time last year I was newly pregnant and hardly showing yet.
We have always maintained that Lincoln is ahead of his time. Always eager to grow and move (literally) on to the next thing. When we started food at four months (after talking with our doc) he immediately loved it and wanted more. There are a lot of mixed messages out there about when babies should start food and what type. Whether you start with purees or wait until closer to 6 months and do baby led weaning, you do you! At four months Linc was drinking four, 8-oz bottles if he was away form me plus he started snacking on another 4-oz in the morning. This is partly why we wanted to start getting other foods in his tummy.
That being said, we opted to start with purees and oatmeal around four months. Lincoln was very interested in holding the spoon, putting it in his mouth, and was sitting up unassisted. Initially, we kept things fairly liquid-y by adding a little breast milk or water. I wish I was a super pumper but I’m not, so we moved to water quickly so I could prioritize my milk for his bottles.
See his incredibly happy face holding his spoon on the first try with food!
Next, I mixed in an oatmeal and quinoa cereal and added various fruits and veggies! My goal is to get to 100 different foods by his first birthday. Here is a list of what he has tried so far:
First 25 Foods
Oatmeal, quinoa, Pumpkin, peaches, sweet potatoes, apples, butternut squash, peas (he did not love these!), roasted red bell pepper, blueberries, pears, spinach, cherries, strawberries, carrots, green beans, acorn squash, bananas, prunes, white potatoes (did not love these either), avocado (bought plain guac from Aldi – little to no sodium added), mango, purple carrots, pumpkin pancakes and zucchini.
What I did to make it easier is used simple veggies and fruits as much as possible and I bought some store-made purees to mix-in for simplicity. For squash, potatoes and some fruit I just threw them in the crock pot and mashed them up when they were cooked. I used an ice cube tray to freeze the food into portions to avoid waste. This helped me serve about 1-2 ounces of fruit/veggie per meal and learn when he was still hungry or when we had hit a sweet spot.
Now that he’s six months + old, I plan on incorporating more solids, proteins, grains, etc. We have pumpkin pancakes under our belt as his first grain/grab it himself/BLW food. Though all of the foods he eats with a spoon and grabs the spoon to feed himself! We’ve loved watching this whole thing progress and can’t wait to continue watching him feed himself.
If I had to give you any advice, it would be to keep things simple. You do not need to wait in between new foods. This is an old recommendation BUT if you have a family history of allergies it may still be wise. Talk with your doctor and decide what you’re comfortable with. For a week of solids to start, pick out one to three different fruits or veggies and know that it’s okay if baby eats the same *meal* multiple days in a row. Also, remember that if they don’t like it once it does not mean they hate it. Let them try it over and over and over again – mix it up with different things.
My other advice is to watch some videos about gagging vs choking and make sure you know what to do if baby is choking. Luckily, we have not had to practice this but I felt more confident knowing what to do just in case.
I’ll write some more about the advantages and safety methods to baby led weaning, my advocacy for blending both and more updates as we work towards 100 foods by 1 years old! Questions? Share them below!
As much as I had thought I only wanted to do baby led weaning, I’m glad I started with purees and have gradually let them be thicker and thicker. It has given us time, patience, a chance to learn, and a little more peace of mind. I will say though, there was a research study done (you can read it here) that showed babies do not choke more often with baby led weaning vs traditional purees.