Every baby is completely different when it comes to eating. In fact, every baby is different with almost every milestone in life but we'll stick to eating on this blog post. My son, Joshua, started eating around 4 months and loved pureed foods. I was also pretty terrified to feed him solid foods and he didn't truly start eating solid foods until he was around 10-11 months. Looking back, he could have started earlier but you live and you learn. My daughter, Juliana, started her eating journey around 5 months and even then she wasn't as interested in food as my son was. She's finally enjoying eating a variety of food and I'm excited for this new milestone.
I've done so much research on food for babies and all the different methods and honestly it stressed me out. There is so much information out there! I've always done what I think is best for my kids (as everyone should) but here are some foods and methods I've tried. I have included some links at the bottom of the page of items I use.
How Do You Know Your Baby is Ready?
- at least 4 months of age (most babies are ready between 4-6 months)
- can hold their head up on their own
- shows interest in foods ( by reaching for the food or watching you eat your food with excitement)
- able to open their mouth wide
- your baby's pediatrician may also suggest they are ready if they observe their tongue thrust reflex is gone.
With all of that said, my daughter pretty much met all those milestones at 4 months except showing interest in food. She did not want to even taste food at four months so I waited until she was around 5 months when I noticed she was watching my take every bite of my cereal one day. Again, every single baby is different.
How to Introduce Solid Foods?
I attempted to feed one of my kids by having them on my hip and trying to get the spoon to their mouth was impossible. I don't know what I was thinking! Let's just say I didn't do this with my first child and I must have thought I was a pro at parenting. Wrong. It also wasn't very safe!
- Make sure your baby is sitting upright and strapped into a high chair or a baby feeding chair.
- I tend to feed my babies 1.5-2 hours after they've had their bottle. I know some parents feed their baby solids before a bottle/nursing. Feeding my children solids before a bottle hasn't been successful for me because they're still learning to like food and if they become overly hungry then I have a fussy baby. They may not eat as much of the solid food later but thats okay to me because it's still a new concept.
- Get a bib and avoid putting any clothes on them that you don't want to spray stain remover on after every meal. I know some parents that put their babies in just a diaper in the high chair and let them go to town on the food.
- Use baby spoons that are soft for baby's gums (silicone or plastic) and also bowls that are silicone or plastic. The bowls will most likely end up on the floor (even if they are suction) so choose wisely if you don't want dents on your floors.
- Don't force your baby to eat. If they don't seem interested then be like Elsa from Frozen and let it go! Try again later.
REMINDER: Babies can be allergic to certain foods so avoid trying a bunch of different foods all at once. Try one every 3 days. Ask your baby's pediatrician (before starting the feeding journey) how to handle situations in which the baby does have an allergic reaction if you aren't sure on what to do.
What Foods To Try?
The first food I introduced to both of my babies was sweet potato puree. I tried it for about a week with both of them and they both strongly dislike it. It could be because I don't like sweet potato but there's no scientific evidence to back that up. Go figure.
Texture: This is a touchy subject for many parents. Some parents are strongly opposed to purees and prefer to start their babies on the baby-led weaning process others prefer strictly purees and some parents like me do a mixture of both. I tend to start with a puree for the first couple of foods and then start to thicken the puree or feed semi-solid food.
All the research says...veggies first!
- sweet potato
- green beans
Apparently, most of the research states you should start with veggies and not fruit so the baby won't get accustomed to sweets too early but I'm not sure that holds true for every person.
Plain oatmeal is also a good start.
I also introduce yogurt when my kids turn 6 months.
THERE IS SO MUCH INFORMATION!!! AHHHH!
Around 8-9 months most babies have the pincer grasp mastered and can start finger foods!
Some good foods to introduce at this age are:
- scrambled eggs
- meat or tofu (remember to start small)
My children's pediatrician recommended starting peanut butter early on to avoid the baby developing a food allergy. This is a highly debated subject so you can do your own research here on the AAP's website.
Things To Keep In Mind:
- the baby will spit out some food - that doesn't mean he/she doesn't like it. They are still learning.
- be consistent with the feedings so the baby has more opportunities to learn
- Never leave the baby alone while eating. Choking is silent.
- Start with small pieces and small portions
- Make sure to know potential choking hazards for infants and children (whole grapes, raw carrots, raisins, popcorn, nuts, hot dogs) -- more foods listed here on the CDC website.
- No honey for babies under a year old! Read this article.
What Foods Is My 6 Month Old Eating?
- started with sweet potato - she didn't like it so I stopped pushing it.
- Pureed Butternut Squash
- Avocado (started in an infant feeder by mashing up the avocado into the feeder)
- Banana (spoon fed by mashing up the banana myself)
- Applesauce (spoon fed)
- Pea Size Portion of Peanut Butter with Oatmeal
- Carrots (puree)
- Whole Milk Yogurt
I'm excited to try more foods with her! I feel like I'm still attempting to ease her into it. I think I am going to try mashed potatoes and cooked carrots.
Products I Use (click on the picture to view product)
Baby Bowls With Suction
Self Feed Baby Utensils
I hope you were able to learn something new from the post! As always, I'm available for whatever questions you might have via my IG or email...