Figuring out when to start your baby on solids can be frustrating and scary, regardless of if you’ve decided to start with purées or baby led weaning. Most of you are probably saying, “what the hell is baby led weaning? ” – in simple form it’s a method of not offering purées but waiting until baby is a few months older and offering whole foods/solids instead. Letting them learn to feed themselves, not spoon feeding them. We didn’t strictly do baby led weaning from the beginning. We started Rori on purées when she was four months old, she really would only get through a half a serving a day. Most of the time she was just pushing the purée around her mouth and then out, getting used to the new movement of her tongue.
I don’t believe that there’s a strict rule to this besides looking for readiness signs from your baby.
- baby can hold head steady when sitting up without support
- baby is reaching for your food when you’re eating or won’t stop staring at you eat
- baby is between four and six months old
Some babies aren’t ready as soon as four months old and that’s definitely normal. Either method you choose, starting your baby on solids is very important for their fine motor skills.
Once Rori hit six months old we started baby led weaning. We started with strawberries and scrambled eggs. This was new to her so she was doing the same thing, just moving the food around with her tongue and then letting it fall back out of her mouth. It’s important to be consistent and not get discouraged if your baby does this. Keep offering solids to them because they will eventually learn to chew and swallow.
So when I said earlier that we weren’t strictly doing baby led weaning, I meant that we would still give Rori purees from time to time, because she LOVED them! She even started grabbing the spoon herself when I would get near her mouth. Around 7.5 months is really when we started giving Rori bigger cuts of food. I would slice up banana or avocado so it was easy to grab and she would bite off a piece and keep going. We of course introduced her to puffs which is a great starter solid because they are quick dissolving. We did decide to switch to cheerios because they aren’t rice based which can cause constipation in babies.
Baby led weaning absolutely makes meal time easier and less stressful for the parents. No spoon feeding and trying to hit a moving target aka their little mouths. Rori eats completely on her own now. We usually give her a good size portion of whatever we’re eating, sometimes she eats it all and wants more and sometimes she’ll eat a little bit and stop when she’s full. At this age she is still getting 24 oz of formula a day which is where she gets most of her nutrients from.
A lot of moms come to me and tell me that they’re scared to give their babies big cuts of food because they’re afraid of them choking, which is completely understandable. Of course, keep an eye on them and only do what you’re comfortable with. Every baby eats differently. Every baby will take to each stage differently.
Just before Rori turned nine months, we started serving her meals on a suction plate to get her used to eating from a plate and not just right off of her tray.
Take it one day at a time. They’ll get there. Don’t rush it. Soon they’ll literally be eating right off of your plate. Oh and, get ready for some weird, smelly poops.
Xo Mama Fusco