Let’s eat – Baby Eating Solids
This will be a story about what I wanted to do and what I ended up doing in terms of getting Freja to eat solids. One important thing to realize with children is, that things do not always go as planned (for whatever reason) and as a parent it is important to adjust to your child’s needs – no matter if that fits into what you had originally planned or not. Adjusting to Freja’s needs is something we have been doing from the beginning on and it worked really well for us (she is the most calm and happy baby, sleeps through the night, etc.) so in terms of food we had to do the same.
Now, for her eating solids I originally had planned on Baby Led Weaning (BLW). BLW in short means, that babies eat whatever the parents’ eat, with small adjustments like no spices and the food cut into certain sizes for the baby to hold. Puree is not offered at all, hence the need for the baby to be able to sit up on their own due to the chocking hazard when eating real solids. This also means that babies who will learn to eat solids with BLW will usually start later than other babies as children usually cannot sit up at four months (one can start pureed solids as early as after the finished four month). Also it is important that the baby shows significant signs of actually wanting solid food (smacking of the lips when the parents eat or even wanting to grab the food away from them – this also goes for babies who will start with pureed food though).
Well… Freja showed those signs at being barely four months old. She also did not seem completely satisfied with breastmilk anymore even though I had and have enough (she is still being breast fed and loves it, however by now she is also eating solids) and I was wondering if she needs “more”. There are two main theories about when to start on solids: on says right after they turn four months in order to prevent allergies, the other one says to wait at least until they are six months old. I personally do not believe in either of those but believe that parents should do what feels right for them and their baby.
So here I was with a seemingly hungry baby of four months, not being able to sit up yet. And I did what I did not want to do: instead of doing BLW I gave her pureed food. And what can I say: she loved it from the beginning. As with her calm and relaxed behaviour and her sleeping habits the same happened for her eating: she eats pretty much everything you give her in terms of pureed food (as long as the chunks are not too big). We do want to switch to BLW at some point and started giving her some actual solid food (steamed veggies etc. to play with), however under strickt supervision due to the chocking hazard. I literally sit next to her while she is holding the food and watch her the whole time. And while this is time consuming and quite a bit of mess (and a tad bit boring as well to be honest) it is totally worth it and will make the transition from puree to real solids easier at some point I hope.
In terms of what we give her: we decided to go with the ready-made glass (something I also never wanted to do) instead of making it ourselves. However as we are able to stock up on those glasses (we get the ecological ones from dm) in Germany it makes it so much more affordable and way less time consuming then buying the ingredients over here in Switzerland and making everything from scratch. Plus: in her day care she will start getting fresh pureed food for lunch as of May (this mommy is dreading the next month a little bit though). So for us using glasses for the first three months made the most sense, as we were able to try out lots of different veggies and combinations in the beginning (you are supposed to try out one vegetable at a time for around a week to test for allergies). We also do not have a machine (yet) to make the pureed food ourselves, which would have meant an additional investment. I am however still hoping to get my hands on a Thermomix this year. Freja eats pretty much what is being offered to her, however prefers pumpkin over everything else and likes spinach the least. She gets her “lunch” (veggies, potatoes, sometimes mixed with meat) at around noon and by now we have also moved on to an evening porridge made from breastmilk and millet (milo) flakes, sometimes with a bit of fruit puree in it. In all of her pureed food (lunch and dinner) she gets a tea spoon of oil for better digestion. The amounts she eats vary, however are at the moment at around 120-140g, which is a bit less than what the average eats, however she is also a bit smaller and lighter than the average, so that is perfectly fine. She gets as much as she wants and is not forced to eat more if she does not want to, however if she has not eaten enough of her lunch meal, she is not being offered fruit as “desert” (as she would eat that for sure). Instead she can just drink more breastmilk after she is done.
So far we are doing really great with this, but I am also looking forward to her being able to sit up so we can convert her high chair so she can actually eat with us and eat more real solids. I hope by then she has realized, that also the pureed food makes her full (that is the only thing we are still working on, meaning I have to make sure she is not too hungry when we start with the puree as she will not eat it otherwise and just cry for the boob).
How have you started on solids and when did you do it? Do you have any recommendations for on where to improve?