Starting our babies on solids was something my husband looked forward to from day one, and something I dreaded. I was terrified of choking, not looking forward to the messiness, and sad about my babies no longer exclusively breastfeeding. It was a lot of emotions!
As it turns out, feeding babies solids wasn’t nearly as hard as I’d thought it would be. It’s definitely a lot of mess, but it’s a fun kind of mess. We all love it!
Our journey to solids started when my babies were five and a half months old, or four months adjusted. They were a bit on the young side to start, but we had our doctor’s permission and they were so ready! We didn’t have high chairs at the time, but we’d hold them on our laps during meals. They would get so excited every time we took a bite of food! Leaning forward, arms out, mouths open. And then when they realized they weren’t getting a mouthful… well, they threw some pretty dramatic tantrums.
So we launched into solids.
I wasn’t prepared to start right off the bat with baby led weaning. I hadn’t researched it much and just didn’t feel comfortable with it. The very first food I gave my babies was mashed avocado. I even fed it to them off my finger for the first few weeks! They loved it an we quickly invested in some baby spoons and branched out into some other purees: sweet potato, banana, applesauce, butternut squash, carrot, and mango. We also bought some silicone mesh feeders and filled them with fresh melon, frozen mango, strawberries, and chunks of apples. My babies loved those feeders at first! The only other thing I gave them at this time was small, pea sized pieces of scrambled eggs. We didn’t have any high chairs yet, so I’d just hold them on my lap and place the bits of food directly in their mouth.
We did this for a little less than two months, until Finn and Eli were around seven months old (5.5 months adjusted). At that time, they abruptly lost interest in any kind of pureed food whatsoever.
When they stopped eating purees, I decided it was time to go ahead and try baby led weaning. I bought an amazing book that really helped me understand how to safely prepare foods, and we launched into BLW!
Finn and Eli immediately regained interest in solid foods. I allowed them to feed themselves everything, and they loved the sensory play involved with touching their meals!
For breakfast, we gave them fried eggs cut into strips, oat pancakes, oatmeal mixed with yogurt, french toast sticks, sliced kiwis, and banana spears. We gave them a variety of easy finger foods like cheese quesadillas, toast with hummus or nut butter, avocado rolled in ground flaxseed and sliced celery for lunch. And for dinner, we gave them whatever we were eating, things like well cooked ground beef, rice pasta mixed with hummus, roasted sweet potato spears, chicken drumsticks, salmon patties.
With so much variety to enjoy, they quickly wanted to eat three meals a day, and some snacks on the side. They were eating slightly modified versions of what my husband and I were eating. It was so much easier, and a lot more fun, than preparing a separate side of baby food for my twins!
We have been doing BLW style meals for two months now. Sometimes my babies aren’t hungry and don’t eat a bite, sometimes they just play with a meal, and sometimes the eat absolutely everything on their plates and want seconds!
Baby led weaning is a journey and a learning process. It’s messy and hard and sometimes seems a little wasteful, because a lot of that food you spent time preparing goes on the floor. But it’s also an amazingly fun opportunity for babies to learn about textures, flavors, and how to coordinate their bodies!