Firstly I find that there is alot of information available for this stage but like all the stages it can be conflicting and a confusing time for mums! Often when we feel confused, we tend to have some anxiety around the process. What to start with? Is he ready? What are the signs? Some mums tell me to wait, some mums tell me to start, my doctor says something different, start with purees or finger foods etc…
So I’m going to outline how we started, what I did and what our 6/7 month current solids/milk routine is now!
I had done a lot of research, read articles and books and I decided to start baby Xavi at 4 months of age. He was showing signs that I was looking for and he had doubled his birth weight. He was reaching for food and drinks in my hand and looking at me when I was eating or drinking. So I decided it was time to start him.
I chose to use organic produce to start with. I used pumpkin, butternut pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots and baby porridge. The first day I tried him at lunchtime and over the next few weeks we continued that. I used my finger first, then a soft tipped spoon. The amount was 1-2 teaspoons at first and then he started to take more. I fed him until he told me to stop. Signs to look for are avoiding the spoon, arching back, ignoring you, clamping their mouth shut or crying. He took to solids really well! We stopped often to give him cooled boiled water to help with constipation. Soon he had worked his way up to two feeds per day at a few teaspoons per sitting.
We unfortunately encountered constipation to which I tried all the remedies, I was unhappy after two weeks of it so I decided to stop solids and keep him on breast milk until it subsided. I did this for two weeks then I started him back. In hindsight I would not do this again, as he refused the spoon when we started so I had to go to finger foods! Xavi baby still has issues on and off with hard stools but we manage it the best we can with extra water and fruits (Prunes, Pears, Plums, Peaches etc) and probiotics.
Every baby is different, some are ready when you try them, some are not, some get constipated, some don’t, some love your cooking and some don’t. It’s all a learning curve and as long as you remember not to take it too seriously you will both have fun.
I started to add in meat and tried him on the usual allergy type foods (eggs, peanut butter, fish) before he was 6 months as the research I had done specified it may reduce their risk of allergy’s if tried before 6 months.
After the first few weeks of adding in different vegetables each day, I decided to mix it all up and get creative. I cook 90% of his food and we use organic food sachets also. I have lots of fun creating dishes for him and now what I cook myself to eat I l give him some as long as I haven’t added any salt or sugar.
We do fruit and cereal (with added iron) for breakfast, vegetables for lunch and meat/fish for dinner. He is currently on 4 hourly milk feeds
Here is a typical day:
- 6.00am Wake and Milk feed
- 7.00am Breakfast
- 8.00am Nap Time
- 10am Milk feed
- 11.30am Lunch
- 12.00pm Nap Time
- 2.00pm Milk Feed
- 3.30pm Nap Time
- 4.30/5.00pm Dinner
- 6pm Milk Feed
- 6.30pm Bed
So I leave 1 hour at least between milk and solids. During the day its milk first, then solids. Before bed its solids then an expressed bottle after bath time.
This is working great for us and he is now on about 3 tablespoons of food per sitting plus 2 snacks during the day. I also give him finger foods at every sitting so he can play, eat, learn and explore textures. I steam up different fruit and vegetables, grate cheese, soft pasta etc
I hope this helps some mums out there starting out with solids!
Remember just have fun with it and enjoy the process.