When Sophie was just shy of six months, we started introducing solids. Even knowing as much as I do about food, I still found this phase nerve-racking. I am writing this post because it's a topic I've been asked a lot about, but I want to caveat that if you've done things differently, please don't feel guilty. I know as moms we are all just trying to do our best and kids thrive on MANY different ways of eating (just like adults). This is simply our experience.
I wanted to hold off until six months so that Sophie’s digestive system was as mature as possible before starting solids. She was showing all of the signs (could sit up, was showing extreme interest, etc) so I started just before she was six months.
By six months of age, Sophie had had two major rounds of antibiotics from a kidney infection she suffered close to four months. That, combined with being a C section baby, meant I wanted to do as much as I could to give her the best possible gut health. That factored in to my methodology with introducing foods. Below is a rough month by month guide - I should have written more down because in typical mom fashion, my memory is a little foggy on the exact timing of everything.
Overall Sophie has been an incredible eater. Some foods she hasn’t liked the first time, but it can take up to 14 exposures for a child to like a new food, so if she didn’t take to something, I served it again a few days later and she would gobble it up. In terms of quantity, it's only recently (9 months) that she really started eating what I would call a lot. Previously it was 1-2 TBSP of food at a meal. (Now she has been known to down half an avocado in a meal!) I've been told when she hits the 'terrible two's' that things will be different, but for now I'll enjoy the good eater we have!
In my experience if she ever got really agitated in her highchair, it meant she was done or didn’t want that food. I tried to respect her cues as much as possible and got her out and ended that meal. Oh, and sometimes I just had to make eating a bit more fun and we played a game of peekaboo to get her laughing in her highchair (and then eating more)!
I used a number of resources in advance of feeding Sophie:
For the most part, everything I introduced in these early months was as nutrient dense as possible. Babies eat sooo little (at least Sophie did) that every morsel counts in terms of getting the nutrients they need!
Lastly, I had every intention of doing baby led weaning as I loved the concept (in theory) but after all of the gagging (often Sophie would gag so much she’d throw up which seemed very counterintuitive), we QUICKLY stopped that. At first I really worried Sophie would have texture issues since we were feeding her purées, but now that she’s almost 10 months I can say she’s happily eating more solid food with no issue. We just moved gradually from purées, to chunky purées, to small pieces of food.
I started Sophie with puréed chicken liver, bone marrow whip and bone broth for the first couple of weeks she was eating. I did this for a few reasons. Bone broth is incredibly nourishing and healing for the gut and chicken liver is one of the richest sources of iron that exists. It’s also an excellent source of zinc (which babies need lots of) and vitamin A. Bone marrow whip is also high in iron and also tastes darn delicious and it helped make the liver more palatable.
Bone marrow whip is really intimidating the first time to make and then you realize how easy it is!!
**This keeps in the fridge for a good couple of weeks, or you can freeze it.
I felt very hypocritical serving liver to Sophie when I had never eaten it myself haha! But, knowing how nutrient dense it was, I quickly got over that and also started eating it myself with this recipe which is TO DIE FOR. Here’s what I did for the liver and Sophie loved it.
It took me a bit of time to figure out how to get her to actually get some bone broth. I tried in a bottle but when it wasn’t milk (like she expected), she didn’t want it. Eventually, friends recommended the Zoli Cup and it only took Sophie a day or two to learn how to get bone broth from it. We’re still using it for water and bone broth 4 months later. Highly recommend!
Put simply, doing a processed food as Sophie’s first food didn’t feel right given everything I believe in!! But, to give you a bit more information:
After a couple of weeks doing bone broth, liver and bone marrow, we also introduced:
For high allergen foods (eggs) I did leave 4 days until I introduced another food to make sure there wasn’t a reaction.
Around seven months, we kept doing the same as six months, and then introduced the following foods:
Around eight months, we kept doing the same as six and seven months, but started making the purées chunkier and even started having chunks of regular (soft) food chopped small, and added:
In general, they are similar to the way Adam and I eat, just chopped up much smaller. For example, last night she had some of this bolognese sauce we made, with steamed broccoli and yam and parsnip mash. The other day for lunch she had sardines (yep!), steamed spinach, squash and avocado.
I hope you found this useful. Comment below any questions you might have on introducing solids to a baby!