Thursday, October 24, 2013

on starting solids. part 1

When Emerson was four or five months old our pediatrician said it would be ok if we wanted to start giving him some cereal. I wasn't crazy about the idea, I always had in my head that we would wait until he was six months before we started solids. But she said it could possibly help him sleep through the night (it didn't). After a few weeks from when the doctor said it was okay, I gave him his first rice cereal. It was mostly milk with a tiny bit of cereal in there. Think 2 oz milk : 1 tsp. cereal or something like that. I carefully fed him his milk-cereal with a spoon. But he didn't really seem to take to it so I didn't give him cereal much longer.

Then, when he was six months and acting more hungry all of the time I thought the time was right. I got out the rice cereal and started feeding him the cereal just like I had before, really soupy/milky like. I just fed him cereal once a day as a mid-morning snack.

A week or so after eating only cereal I introduced a new food: sweet potatoes. I made the puree myself so I tried to make it really soupy (though in retrospect it was probably not soupy enough...). Emerson loved the sweet potato. From the sweet potato we slowly started introducing other foods: peas, avocado, apples, carrots...

The most important thing to remember (and do) when you are introducing new foods to baby is to wait 4 days or so before introducing another new food to see if they develop any kind of allergic reaction to it. It might seem like slow going, but I didn't mind; I liked knowing that Emerson could only have sweet potatoes, peas, and rice cereal. I knew that he would eventually start eating more foods, but that it was important to take it slow.

It's also important to introduce the new food to baby in the morning if you can, like for a mid-morning snack or lunch. That way if baby does have an allergic reaction to the food you will be able to see it and know as soon as it happens. Whereas if you feed the new food to baby before bed, you won't be able to monitor baby as closely because they (and you hopefully) will be sleeping.

Gradually I started making his cereal thicker (1 oz milk : 1 tablespoon cereal) and after a while I started mixing some of his foods together: sweet potato and prunes or something like that. As long as all of the foods have been previously introduced to baby it is fine to mix them together.

One thing that you might not really think about when starting solids is that baby's poop is going to start changing. It will no longer be the sweet little baby poos you get while breastfeeding (I'm not sure what formula poos are like). So yeah. Just don't be alarmed when you see something a little different in the diaper :)

We have gone the more "traditional" route and given Emerson purees and gradually added finger foods (which I will talk about later :) as opposed to what seems to be the fairly popular baby led weaning method. For us though, purees and cereal work best.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

Ahhh he loves it! Such a cutie boy! I know you mentioned BLW and I just wrote a post about why that worked for us if you want to check it out. We tried hard...for months! That is the route I wanted to go, but my son was not on board. Just goes to show you how different (but the same) all babies truly are. :) Great post! -Andrea