Tuesday, April 26, 2011

And the adventure in solid food begins...

I've been doing research on starting solids since little miss CGR was only 2 months old.  I quickly decided that I was going to wait until she was ready...and 6 months olds.  I read several ways of doing solids but the one that made the most sense to me was Baby Led Solids or as it was originally called in the UK Baby Led Weaning.  In the UK, weaning means to start solids and doesn't mean what we think it does of weaning from nursing.

What is Baby Led Solids you ask?  Well, in my words, it's skipping purees and cereals and waiting until your baby is developmentally ready to eat foods, such as showing interest in foods, sitting up pretty well, and more. Then instead of spoon feeding your baby, you start with french fry shaped fruits and steamed or baked veggies and put them in front of your baby and let them feed themselves.  This is done while monitoring them very closely of course.  At around the time you start, you baby's gag reflex is far forward in their mouth so this helps them from choking.  It takes them time to learn to manipulate the food around it and down their gullet.  I've been warned there is a lot of gagging but to let the baby work it out.  If they are chocking of course intervene.  The blog that helped me gain the most confidence in this method and really helped me understand was Adventures in Solid Foods.  I've read the thing from start to finish!  It's got everything you want from facts, to loads of pictures and some video!

The book that started this is called Baby Led Weaning by Gill Rapley. I have not read it yet but have read a lot of excerpts from it. :)

So, armed with this knowledge I pledged to wait until my girl turned 6 months old until she would taste anything but breast milk.  We all know best laid plans are always broken right?

The last two weeks or so Carmen who will be 5 months old on May 1st has suddenly discovered that these humans around her put all kinds of food in their mouth and they seem to really enjoy it!  She stared at us whenever we ate or drank anything.  Last week, she forcefully grabbed my cup of water I was drinking out of while I was holding her so I let her have a sip.  You would have thought it was the best thing EVER!  She was so excited!  I only let her have a little bit of it because I wasn't ready for her to drink too much water.  Also am worried it will effect her nursing and then my milk supply.

Then came today.  I went home for lunch to nurse Carmen as I do pretty much every day and after she ate I sat her in her booster chair with the toy part in it and we were just playing.
Then her nanny niece Sarah sat next to us and was eating an apple.  Carmen was interested so I said let's try it out.  She at first didn't notice we had put it on her tray but once I showed it to her and she got it in her hands and IMMEDIATELY it went into her mouth.  Thankfully I was already taking pictures of her so I changed my cellphone to video and caught her experiencing the sweet juiciness of apple!

I'm still not really ready for her to eat too much solid food but the fact she's so interested I plan to try out some other things I think she'll do ok with.  I don't want to do anything too mushy as I don't quite think she's ready for things to go down her throat.  Apples seem like a great start!   She was even able to pick them up when they got all slobbery!

See her figuring it out!  It's amazing to watch her brain working so hard!

Well, as we try new foods and actually start eating things I'll share more of our "Adventures in Solid Foods."  Hope you enjoy it as much as Little Miss Carmen does.

Happy Eating!


  1. I am so excited to try this in a few months! I read the book and think it's a great thing too! Your babe is so sweet...amazing to watch them experience food rather than have it shoved into their mouth.

  2. After reading this post, I thought I'd mention our favorite feeding book -- Feeding with Love and Good Sense by Elizabeth Sader (it's in my bookstore). Such good food philosophy, such mindful recipes.


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