Starting Baby on Solids
Today’s post is courtesy of Laura Wong, a Bright Horizons employee and new mom to baby Kayla.
As a first time mom with an almost 6-month old, I feel like I just recently got the hang of life with an infant. (Yeah!) But my daughter has been, as any baby does, changing by the week (and sometimes even by the day). It’s so much fun for my husband and me, and equally terrifying at the same time. Each new milestone brings us both excitement and fear, like when she began rolling from back to tummy all day and night, which meant I was up all night glued to the baby monitor to make sure she was doing okay (that was a fun week!). For the most part, I’m doing what most parents probably do – going with the flow and learning as we go.
On to Kayla’s next milestone, starting solids! My daughter has been a good eater since birth (it’s in her genes, thanks to her mom and dad!). She started to show interest in what my husband and I were eating around 5 months, maybe even a few weeks earlier. I couldn’t bring myself to start her on solids quite yet. There’s so much information and controversy around when to start your baby on solids, but ultimately I focused on the fact that solids are more for fun than nutrition before age one, so why rush it? Once my daughter started sitting up assisted and would lean forward to reach for the food off our plates with drool spilling down her chin and onto her cute belly, well, who could resist?
We started by getting her into her high chair to join us at the table for lunch on the weekends. I wish I’d given her a spoon and bowl to play with as well, but I was strictly of the Baby Led Weaning (a method where the child feeds himself from the get-go rather than starting with pureed food), and didn’t really have tableware in mind. I’d postponed our start a couple of times out of fear. What if she had allergies? What if she choked? What changes should I expect in her diapers after she starts solids…It also gave me more time to read up on the best first foods. As I mentioned, I was a fan of the baby led weaning approach, and was eager to start with avocados, but hadn’t really thought of anything beyond those.
The day came for my daughter’s first taste of solid foods. We got the cameras (yes, plural) ready, set her up in her high chair with her bib, and let her dig into her half an avocado. She made a mess! I was prepared for a mess, but not a smearing of avocado on every inch of her tray, face and clothes! I really don’t think she ate much, but she certainly had fun with it, and so did we. In fact, we didn’t stick to our plan at all after that first try since we had so much fun.
Kayla did so well with the avocado that we tried banana the next day along with the mashed versions and moved into purees of squash and sweet potato from there. Turns out a mix of baby led weaning and purees worked best for her. She’s loving purees, but I will still try baby led weaning as I can to make sure she gets used to the different textures of what my husband and I are eating (and hopefully it’ll help keep us more mindful about making healthy choices!).
Do you have any tips for starting solids or favorite baby food recipes? Feel free to share them in a comment below.
Editor’s Note: For many working parents, another part of starting baby on solids is figuring out how to best bring homemade baby food to daycare. Our blogger Amy shares her tips on the topic here.
I’m a first-time mom, employee of Bright Horizons and a foodie who loves to cook, travel and laugh. In my free time, I like to pretend I know how to use my DSLR like a pro and do basically all things creative (major DIY-er here). I’m excited to share some of the ups-and-downs of parenthood as my husband, two dogs and our newest addition explore life as a family of five!