As of a last Friday, Owen is 8 months old! He’s crawling around, pulling himself up on the ottoman, babbling away and annoying Oliver. He’s keeping us much busier and constantly on my toes. I told Rob we desperately need to get a new coffee table with less sharp edges.
One of the most fun things about him getting older has been introducing him to food. I love to cook and eat and meal time was a special family bonding moment for me growing up and I want that to be a part of Owen’s childhood too.
It’s so special to watch him explore new things, learn how to pick up pick and small pieces and slowly learn how to eat and actually get more food in his mouth instead of his hair. I love watching his facial expressions when he tries new foods and tastes like sour and sweet! More and more of that little personality seems to emerge every day.
When it comes to solids, there’s different theories on how to feed babies, and at the end of the day, you’ve got to do what’s right for you and your baby. Here’s how we’ve approached solids in our house!
When to Introduce Solids
At Owen’s 4 month appointment, our pediatrician said we could start trying solids, but I wasn’t ready and had read a lot of different articles that had me convinced it was worth waiting until 6 months. Most of my friends also said to wait until 6 months because feeding a baby is messy and time-consuming and would just make my life more hectic! So, we waited until he was six months old. Actually I think he was 5 months and 3 weeks when we first attempted puréed sweet potatoes, which he didn’t seem to like, but close enough!
It was a mess at first, but we kept at it and at 8 months, he eats much more efficiently and is less messy (though still pretty messy) than he was at 6 months!
How to Introduce Solids to your Baby
Your pediatrician will tell you this, but introducing your baby to allergens is important to do around six months to help avoid food allergies later in life. I honestly have no idea how much science there is to back this, but it’s still good to know if they are allergic to something before you send them off to daycare or pre-school.
Our pediatrician suggested giving him each of these foods in separate instances. So, for five days, we’d try eggs once a day. If after 5 days he had no reaction, we could clear that food as an allergen. Then we’d move onto the next one.
We tried yogurt (cow’s milk) and all kinds of different veggies first. I waited until the weekend when Rob was home to try things like eggs, peanut butter and shellfish. So far, so good! I did have a brief scare in thinking he was allergic to eggs because the first time he ate them, he threw up in the car later that day. I think it was just motion because now he eats them with no issue.
BLW vs. Purées
Before having Owen, I had no idea there were different styles of introducing solids! Baby-led weaning seems to be the new, trendy method, and the other one is to start them on purées. We do a bit of both. When I give him purées, yogurt and soft things, he actually eats a lot of it. When I give him big pieces to explore his own, most of it ends up on the floor or in Oliver’s tummy.
I like doing both though! I know he’s getting in some calories, veggies, protein and healthy fats when I feed him. And, when he feeds himself, he’s working on those fine motor skills, chewing and the basics of feeing himself! Eventually we’ll move to just letting him feed himself, but we’re not quite there yet.
What We Fed Him
When it comes to purées and soft foods, we’ve been feeding him HappyBaby pouches, Siggi’s Whole Milk plain yogurt, and Earth’s Best multigrain oatmeal. In the morning, I’ll give him some oatmeal with the Apple, Blueberry and Oat pouch. For lunch and/or dinner, he’ll get a pouch with more veggies and some yogurt.
I’ve been working in one meal a day, usually dinner, where he feeds himself. It’s nice because I can put his high chair in the kitchen and get our dinner prepped while he eats and entertains himself with whatever is on his tray.
When we let him feed himself, some of his favorites are bell peppers, peaches (he LOVES these), eggs (I scramble and then cook like a flat omelet and then cut into slices), breakfast sausages, and cucumber. I’d love to hear what other kinds of food your baby loves to gnaw on, so please share—we need some more ideas!
How Often He Eats
I feed him breakfast every morning, a small lunch, and then dinner. Sometimes if we’re out, he won’t get a real lunch, but he often doesn’t eat that much then anyway. I know as he gets older, the three meals will be more set, but it just doesn’t happen everyday. If he doesn’t get lunch, I’ll sometimes give him a mini bottle in the afternoon, but he’s usually he’s full!
This stage has been so much fun! It’s been amazing to watch him grow and learn so much! One of my biggest tips is to just have fun with it. Doctors say that food at this stage of their lives is just for fun! They’re still getting the majority of their calories from breastmilk or formula and this is just a learning experience for them.
When did you introduce solids to your baby? Did you do purées, BLW or a mix of both?!