15 answers

Strategy for Starting Solids

I'd love some advice and guidance from all you experienced mommies! My 6 month old has started rice ceral mixed with BM this week. We have been exclusively nursing up until this month and will continue until she can drink cow's milk. Anyway, my pediatrician suggested that this week I take the week to start her on the cereal, then next week add a "lunch" item into the mix (yellow or green veggies) and then the week after that a "dinner" item. So basically she will be eating these solids 3 times daily (with nursing in between when needed) by the time she is 7 months. I am thinking I may need to go a little more slowly with the food since she is just getting used to the whole thing-but maybe not? I understand I need to give her the same thing a few days in a row to make sure there are no allergies, but I feel like I need to get her used to the cereal before I move on to another meal. And by "get used to", I mean, eat a little of it and not spit it out!!! She has nursed after eating this each time so far. Any thoughts would be helpful. We are making our own baby food as well-I am thinking of starting with carrots and then peas-any suggestions with food?? Thanks!

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I started earlier than you. My ped said anytime after 4 mos if he had all the telltale signs of being ready. When he was almost 5 mos he was just starving one day and no amount of nursing would cut it. So after a couple days of continuous nursing, we did cereal. I did cereal for a month before doing fruits and veggies, once a day for a couple weeks, then twice a day.

I started with veggies- yellow and orange. Squash and carrots. Then zucchini. I made my own food and I kinda went by the guidelines but also by what looked good in the store. I did probably 8 veggies before fruits. I started out with one meal a day of veggies in addition to his cereal meals. So I did lunch to be easy. After a few veggies, I started giving them to him at dinner too. I did the 4 day wait, so it would have been several weeks before I increased the amount of feedings. But really I just followed his cues, when he seemed hungrier at dinner I added it in instead of just nursing.

Once I did lots of veggies, I started fruits. I would then mix the fruits in with his cereal and that was breakfast. Around nine mos I introduced yogurt and would mix that with fruit for his breakfast. I still do this for my 2 year old- oatmeal and yogurt mixed with frozen thawed fruit. I use PLAIN yogurt mixed with fruit. I wanted to do as much organic as I could afford, and the cost of YoBaby was outrageous, but the big container of plain wasn't. Then I looked at the sugar content of the YoBaby and yikes! Yoplait would be better on sugar than that stuff. He has had it a couple of times when I needed something in a small container and he thinks it is pudding.

When you make your own, it takes so much longer to get through all the fruits and veggies available since you have to wait a few days. I never thought I'd be done trying them all. What I did for that was for one or two meals a day I would give him something we had already cleared, and introduce a new thing for the other meal.

I used the Super Baby Food Book. It was a great help with hpw to prepare and introduce things. I didnt follow the whole book (I never made my own yogurt-ick). But I still refer to it sometimes.

I loved these websites:
http://www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com/index.html
http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/
http://weelicious.com/index.php

I would also go more slowly than the doc recommended, but I also started earlier. So I guess he was up to 3 meals a day around 8 mos. I think she will let you know if she wants it more often. Mine did, and I just added them in as he seemed to want them, not worrying about the time frame. We still nursed in between but had set meal times. I think I would also go slow until she is good at getting some of it in, but with my son, as soon as we did the first veggie, he scarfed it. He was the cleanest baby eater I've ever seen. Another thing that is really important to your milk supply- nurse BEFORE you feed a solid. Let her get her fill of breastmilk, then about 20 mins later do the veggie/fruit. If you wait too long between it will stretch out your feeding and drop your milk supply, and if she fills up on food and doesn't nurse as much, it will drop your supply. When first starting solids it is a kind of precarious time for your milk. So always nurse before, not after. Sorry this is so long, hope it helps some.

2 moms found this helpful

Don't think about it too much. At 6 months babies are being introduced to foods. She may take a bite and that's it. She may eat the whole thing. We started out with pears and prunes. Then we mixed pears with rice cereal. Then we introduced green beans and squash a little later. My son could not eat the carrots or the sweet potatoes. They made a red ring around his anal area. It looked like diaper rash. He still does not eat those two things and he is almost 3. Just have fun and introduce one food at a time so that you can tell if it bothers her or not. Also, if you want to continue to nurse, I would have her nurse first and then an hour later try some food. Some babies will eat so much, they don't want to nurse as much and right now she needs to nurse more than she needs to eat. Green beans were not my sons favorite at first but then they were. So just because they spit it out the first time doesn't mean they won't eventually love it. I also used to mix applesauce and squash. Pears with peaches etc. My son also liked his fruits mixed with oatmeal cereal or rice cereal because they were too sweet maybe? When she is older you can mix the babyfood with yogurt. My son still eats baby oatmeal mixed with applesause and Yobaby yogurt.

1 mom found this helpful

Go with your gut. Perfectly ok to go slowly and see how it goes. I introduced solids to my girl at 6 months, but in retrospect, it was too early for her. She was just not interested at all. We started w/ rice cereal for a week or so. I always nursed after so that she could get all she wanted/needed after the solid. Some of the first foods we tried were sweet potato, bananas, carrots. I tried avocado. She HATED it. I actually tried it several times. At 10.5 months, she'll tolerate it now. Yogurt is also a big hit.

I found the book Super Baby Food very helpful, if you're interested in making your own. She won't like everything, but there are good guidelines, recommendations, suggestions, recipes, etc. in there. I tried making the porridge out of there, instead of using boxed cereal. NO GO with my daughter.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

That sounds really fast. I started at around 7 months, I wasn't in a rush, and tried the cereal. My son HATED it, he would spit it out and cry and have none of it. I was so frustrated. My ped told me to go ahead and move on to veggies. They suggested veggies first, and then fruit. I started with one or two veggies, which he actually ate. After a couple days of no reactions, I would add another. I really only did this as it fit into my schedule. I can't even remember when we were finally up to 3 times a day. This is really to practice eating and get used to textures, not for nutritional needs, so I think that going from nothing to 3 meals a day in just one month seems extreme, unless that is what you are comfortable with. Follow your gut and let your daughter guide you as to what she is ready for. I did also make my own food, but I also had some store bought to try out some of the flavors before making a whole batch myself.

1 mom found this helpful

I didn't read the other responses so someone may have mentioned this: I'm not sure your pediatrician meant to have you replace feedings with solids three times a day. I introduced one new food at a time, just to let my daughter get used to the flavor and check for allergies. For example, I first offered some rice cereal. The next week, I offered peas (maybe mixed with the rice cereal). The following week, I introduced carrots (again, mixed with rice cereal). I think by "lunch" item and "dinner" item your ped. might mean carrots, peas, then maybe sweet potato, lentil, etc.
Just some thoughts....
Best wishes.

1 mom found this helpful

We did rice cereal for a month before we started any other food. I think she was about 5.5 months old. And I didn't give it every day at first. I wanted her to figure out how to eat first before I thrusted on her all these other foods. Then did bananas and went from there. I think we were up to 3 meals a day when she was 8 or 9 months. There are no rules to follow as to what to feed when, do what works for you. I made all her food as well and it was super easy. You should continue to nurse her after each feeding. The majority of her nutrition should come from BF until one year of age. The food is just extra.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter was breastfed exclusively for 8 mos... then foods. I know I could've started earlier, but she was very well nurished (some may say chubby!) and sleeping well. She also spit the cereal out for the first few weeks - and it took her a while to get the hang of it. Don't rush it if she is doing well. Give her more as she is ready. When you start more than cereal, I would defintely go for at least a few days w/ each new intro as you said. Squash is a great first food - very squishy and easy to make too. More water in it than carrots, so I'd start there. Then move through the organge stuff - carrots, sweet potatoes. Then on to green beans, peas, etc. Then fruits later (theory is they won't prefer sugar over the veggies). One way to into the fruit was to mix sweet potatoes and applesauce - one of my daughters favorites! Trust your insticts and go slow.

1 mom found this helpful

Yes, I would go more slowly with the food. It should not replace breastfeedings. Food at this stage is a supplement and gives very little nutrition - your baby gets the nutrition she needs from your milk. Two meals of solids a day is sufficient at this age and food should be given after she's nursed, not before.
Good luck!

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