Skip to main content

Baby eats

In my parenting group, almost all of the other parents have started giving their babies solid food. I think they all started with rice cereal. This is what I had initially planned on doing as well because I had heard that that's the best first food because it's bland and easy to swallow. However, there is little nutritional value. Then, a friend of mine said, "You should look into baby-led weaning." The first time I tried to look it up online, all I found was information on extended breastfeeding. Then, I stumbled across some information on a forum that I frequent and learned what it's really all about. I also got some information from the British (I think?) website As far as I've been able to determine, the main ideas behind this theory of baby feeding are that, when babies are developmentally ready, you can give them finger foods and they will have control over what they eat, helping them to eat healthily to meet their own tastes and needs; they also start out with real foods, which is what they are typically interested in anyway; fresh, whole foods are the most healthy; and it saves work and stress for the family. Sounds great, right? But for some reason when it came down to actually starting food I still wasn't totally on board. (See my previous post.)

Last week Sweet Pea turned 6 months old. She has achieved all the typically-listed signs of readiness (sitting, interest in food, etc.) except for teeth, so I have been thinking that it's time to try some food that she can actually eat, rather than just lick. On a few different days over the last two weeks I tried sharing some home-made, mashed or pureed, baby foods with her. We tried avocado, then sweet potato, then applesauce, then peaches. Yes, I was totally breaking the rule about only one new food every four days. There are no allergies in my family and these are low-allergen foods, and of course I carefully watched her during and after trying to feed her. With each of these I set the food on a tray in front of her, and took a taste myself to show her, then Average or I tried giving her a fingertip bite. She tasted at least a little bit of each, but the only thing that didn't get a 'yuck' face and quick spit-out response was the applesauce. I've heard it can take up to ten tastes before a baby will like a food, so wasn't worried, but was a little disappointed that she didn't seem to enjoy anything.

Then, one night I ate dinner a friend's house and Sweet Pea was reaching for everything on our plates. My friend held Sweet Pea in her lap and let her grab some of the leftovers from the plate. Sweet Pea grabbed and put in her mouth: baked potato, watermelon, and a corncob. She was enjoying herself and seemed to be enjoying the food a little and actually eating some of it, so maybe there really is something to the baby-led weaning idea of self-feeding regular adult food! It looks like I'm swinging back to the baby-led weaning side. I'm not in a rush to get her to eat a lot since she is gaining plenty of weight just on breast-milk and is still only waking 1-2 times/night to nurse. So, my plan is to continue to slowly introduce new things, in sizes that she can grab and self-feed.

I hope the frozen peaches and sweet potato purees don't go to waste. I can always cook with them, I guess. Or maybe she'll like feeding herself these eventually? But I don't think I'll miss skipping over the spoon-feeding purees stage, begging and/or tricking my baby to open her mouth to stick food in, as I've seen people do sometimes.

I am discovering that with parenting, the best laid plans are not always what actually works with an individual baby. So, I might be updating that I've totally changed my mind again in a few weeks. What did you do with your baby? Or what do you plan to do with your future kids?


  1. We started solids at 5 months even though I said I wanted to wait until 6. He just wanted food so much! I make all his food and it is so easy and cheaper. I do keep some gerber that I get on sale around for those times I run out and don't have time to make more. I have been increasing the solidness of the food to get him use to more texture. He never spit out food! He's always been a good eater. We started with sweet pots and avocados.
    I think you just have to watch your baby and see when they are ready. No one knows your baby like you do!

  2. This BLW stuff makes a lot of sense to me. I'd never given any thought to it other than thinking I'd probably prefer to puree my own baby food, but it does seem like a fairly traumatic and trying experience to do the forced spoon feedings. I'm interested to hear more about this!

  3. Melissa - Thanks for sharing your experievce. That must be so much fun to try the different foods! I guess maybe Sweet Pea is just not ready yet? Just like everything else, I am learning, it varies so much from one child to another!

    Ann - I will keep updating as I go. There are some crazy (interesting) videos out there of babies feeding themselves broccoli crowns and whole fruits. Such a neat concept, to me.

  4. Look at Sweet Pea go! Rose, you are just amazing. And the blog is looking wonderful! I definitely feel like I get a lot of interesting information and thoughts to ponder when I read your blog. You rock!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Woollybottoms Giveaway

I am hosting my first giveaway! I have been wanting to do this for a while, and I'm so pleased to have it finally planned. The item I chose to give is a new pair of Woollybottoms - wool pants for babies. The retail value of these is $29.00. I have been really into the wool pants thing lately, as you may have noticed from my recent posts (about Nifty Knickers , and my baby blue longies ) so this seems like a good fit. Wool pants can be used as a cloth diaper cover, or just as snuggly warm pants for the winter or for bedtime. These ones are "footies" so they should keep your baby toasty! The pair I am giving to one lucky winner is light blue with fish fabric for the footie part. Maybe a little more boyish than girlie, but Stella would definitely wear these if we got to keep them. They are size medium, and have the following measurements: 8" waist (elastic) 9" rise 18" length Here they are: To enter, simply comment below and let me know why you wan

End of May and the Garden is Planted!

This week has been extremely wet here in western Oregon. By Thursday morning, the rain was really getting to me. I was worried my new starts were going to drown and that the seeds I'd planted last weekend were going to rot. Luckily, there was sun that afternoon and when I went into the backyard I discovered many of my seeds had sprouted, and everything other than the two lemon cucumbers was still looking fairly healthy. We now have nearly everything in, except for the corn. From left to right, our beds contain: 1. thyme, rosemary, lettuce, broccoli, cilantro, oregano, and cabbage. 2. carrots and potatoes (planted late - just a couple of days ago) 3. 8 tomatoes and 2 peppers 4. strawberries 5. half of the bed is strawberries (which we might move to join the other bed to give us more room for other things), cucumber, one lone eggplant, and a couple of echinacea 6. empty for now, but it will be soon filled with corn - we are doing seeds in containers and will move them one they

Baby Blue Recycled Wool Longies

The first time I made recycled wool diaper covers, I made "shorties" that fit like little shorts, or a more typical diaper cover. For that project, I bought several wool sweaters at Goodwill and followed a pattern I found online that basically consists of cutting a triangle out of the sweater, cutting off the sleeve cuffs and neck, and sewing it all together, using the sleeves for the leg holes and the neck for the waist. I can give more specific instructions if you'd like, just ask in comments, but unfortunately was unable to find the site that I originally got the pattern from. To size the sides of the triangle, measure your little one's waist and add a half inch. Katrina's Sew Quick blog has some great patterns for a variety of types of wool diaper covers. Here is one of the first ones I made, clearly it is a little bit big at this point. You can see another photo of my handiwork in the bottom photo of my " Diapering My Active Nine-Month-Old " po