Ever wonder what you are supposed to be doing and where to start when you’re told to begin “introducing solids”?
It sounds easy: give food to your baby. But which solids should I start with? Are pouches better than purées? What about starting with finger foods? How big should those pieces of food be for my baby to pick them up but not choke? Does brand matter? How come Gerber has different food items for sitters and crawlers? When should I use a sippy cup of milk rather than a bottle? The list goes on and on.
Now that I have tackled these questions, I’ve got some answers to share. I went the purée route. At first, I tried baby oatmeal with breast milk, and that went well. Then I made my own applesauce and puréed sweet potato. Then I tried mashed avocado. I realized I needed to introduce more tastes than that so I started buying puréed fruits with the plan to replicate the ones my kiddo liked. It turns out there weren’t any purées my kid liked—especially the meat! So, for a time, I was serving avocado and sweet potato. I briefly tried banana but that seemed to give my kiddo GI issues. So, dairy was next on the list—yogurt, egg, tiny pieces of string cheese. Then little pieces of everything I ate at every meal. Hot dogs were tricky—I cut the skin off and made sure the pieces were really small. For a time I cut up macaroni as well, but found that it was safe to eat whole. Feeding my child what I ate was helpful for me to eat better since I was motivated to give my kiddo a balanced meal!
I also started experimenting with sippy cups and offering water or breast milk at each meal because I knew that eventually that’s how meals would work. At dinner time, I made a mix of formula and breast milk with the hope that my kiddo would sleep longer at night (that hasn’t seemed to matter). Finding a sippy cup that was able to stand up against my teething child was hard. I really liked NUK for no leaks but I had to keep replacing the nipples because my kid chewed holes in them within days. Fortunately, I found bite proof sippy cups with handles and the problem was solved! I also introduced a sippy cup with a straw to get my kiddo used to sucking. This led way to puréeing my own food and putting the food in pouches for my kiddo to suck the food out of in addition to finger foods.
I would say we have been successful with introducing varied textures and flavors despite feeling uncertain about how to navigate the wonderful world of solids. Bon appetit!
Leave us comments below on tips and tricks you used to introduce solids!