Around four months of age the topic of solids was broached at Emmett’s doctor’s appointment but we let his pediatrician know that we had no plans of introducing solids until he was 6 months old. We wanted his stomach to be as developed and ready for solid foods as possible. Plus I knew that he could sleep through the night without a “midnight snack” so solids seemed unnecessary for that reason. I will admit that he didn’t always sleep through the night but I knew that he was physically able to.
I have previously mentioned and did a book review of, Baby Led Weaning, you can see my review here. When I came across this method of introducing solids, it seemed like the best decision for us but I still had to convince Seamus that it was the right thing to do for our baby. I’ll be honest, I was concerned it would be tough to convince him but with my solid level of knowledge and armed with answers to all of his questions, it was pretty easy to sway him.
There’s nothing magical that happens on the exact date that a baby turns 6 months but we wanted to wait until that specific date. Well, unfortunately it had to be postponed for a couple extra nights because our power went out on his 6 month birthday and then again the next day. I was disappointed but also it just prolonged the excitement of giving my baby his first solids.
The book talks about what foods are best to start with and the one they recommend most frequently is broccoli, so we went with that. I was really curious on how Emmett would react to his first taste of food, he’s been breastfed since birth so he’s not used to the exact same flavored drink like formula fed babies are, so I wasn’t nervous but I couldn’t wait to see his facial expressions.
Seamus cut the head of broccoli into long stalks and we roasted it plain for about 10 minutes. Once it cooled, we placed a couple stalks in front of him; he almost instantly picked one up and put it to his mouth. He sucked on the florets and his face was instantly covered in the little buds, it was adorable but there wasn’t a single funny expression. He didn’t cringe or look grossed out, he just ate. I was shocked! I truly expected him to have even a slightly negative reaction but there was none. At that moment, I knew I had chosen the correct path for Emmett.
We continued to have success with each of the new foods we introduced to him. He didn’t turn anything away until we gave him plain chicken breast. I’m not sure whether it was bland or he just didn’t like it but he just would have nothing to do with it that night. The next time we gave him chicken we seasoned it and he was fine with it. Who knows, maybe he just wasn’t in the mood for chicken; I know I’m not always in the mood for chicken.
There were a couple of times where I almost called it quits with BLW because the gagging and choking was making me nervous. Seamus, being a wonderful and supportive husband, encouraged me to skim the book again to look for any tips on how to handle gagging and whether it was normal. Being the nervous first time mom I was, I had read AND HIGHLIGHTED the section all about how gagging was normal, but had forgotten I’d done this. After rereading and see that it was completely normal and even expected, I was right back on the BLW bandwagon. That has pretty much been my only time faltering.
We did hit a few roadblocks with Emmett eating this way while at day care, but we overcame them with the help of our center’s director. This was the first time they had ever heard of a baby being fed this way and because they needed to remain compliant with many different standards they were leery of how things would go. Seamus and I met with the director to explain the process and the reasoning behind Emmett eating this way and after a couple of weeks things were up and running smoothly. They ensured us that someone would sit and watch Emmett while he. As he’s become more and more proficient with food, they’ve begun feeding him while watching other babies at the same time. Not all day care centers may be willing to work with you if you choose this method, but I encourage you to at least check with them and fully educate them before completely writing the idea off. I promise you, that feeding a baby this way is as easy as feeding them pureed food with a spoon and sometimes even easier.
This method may not be right for everyone but it has been nothing but successful for us. Emmett eats pretty much everything and we rarely have to make a separate meal for him, so it saves time in meal prep. Plus, Seamus and I are able to eat our food when it’s hot since Emmett is feeding himself and we don’t need to take extra time to feed him separately. The benefits of a baby eating this way are pretty much endless and I absolutely would recommend this to any parent who will be introducing solids to their baby soon.
To date, Emmett has tried and enjoyed (in no particular order), broccoli, sweet potatoes, corn bread, bananas, rolled oats (prepared), plums, red potatoes, chicken, mini-meatloaf, mini-quesadillas, mini-hamburgers, sweet peppers, apples, avocado, spaghetti, yogurt, mum mums, pierogi, pickles, ham, sausage, eggs, bread, cheese, pizza crust (with a tiny amount of sauce and cheese left on it), asparagus, tomato, peaches, strawberries, carrots, cucumbers, pears, cabbage, corned beef, pork tenderloin, grilled cheese sandwiches and applesauce (which he surprising did not like at all). There very well may be more but this is all that I can recall at this moment.
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