Consult with Pediatrician before changing your baby’s food regimen. Below is my personal experience and tips that worked for me and my baby alone. Use your discretion when following.
6 months in, and even though I wasn’t sure if I was ready, Tate sure was.
If you remember a while back on my Instagram I talked about one of the biggest push backs I received in raising Tate this far was my decision to wait to start him on solid foods. Call it crazy, but I wanted my baby on strictly liquid gold for as long as possible. For me it was more about ensuring he received more than enough of the nutrients and hormones that breast milk had to offer. But I figured at 6 months, it was time.
Starting Tate on solids was one of the many turning points I’m sure I’ll have that’s a sure sign he’s getting older. I mean eating real food is a big deal! So when starting him on this journey I wanted to be sure he had all he needed to make it a successful start.
How I knew he was Ready
For months my mom has been telling me Tate was ready for food. As much as I tried to deny it, by 6 months I could hide it no more, he was indeed ready.
- He had become pretty much a full sitter with little support.
- He easily doubled his birth weight (really by his 2 month appointment)
- He was DEFINITELY showing interest by grabbing and reaching for my plate all the time.
With all these signs and a reluctant heart I knew it was time to start the journey toward solid foods.
If he has solids he won’t want breastmilk. FALSE! I began starting my solid food journey with Tate, I was afraid solid foods would mean he would want absolutely nothing to do with the breast at all. In the beginning it was actually the opposite, he was so unsure about the table food that shortly after eating he’d want the breast. And now weeks later, I have noticed no change in his desire for breast milk.
Every baby must have solids by 4 months. FALSE! Like I said above I went 6 months strong with just breast milk. Most breast- feeding clinics will encourage you to wait until about 6 months to give solids with regards to bonding, vitamins and nutritional values.
Making my own baby food is so hard and I don’t have the time. FALSE! When making my registry I clearly remember joking with a friend I was not going to be “that” mother that makes her child’s food… look at me now girl! haha. Honestly making Tate’s food is the easiest task ever. It is cheaper and healthier, two wins in my book!
In the beginning my baby might not like solids. TRUE! First feeding session with Tater Tot did not go as planned. I was so excited to whip out the food because I just knew my baby would be a hog. But boy was I wrong. He may have had 2 tiny bites in total. But each day he took a little more and a little more until eventually he was finishing the entire bowl (aka 1-2 teaspoons).
I have to introduce foods slowly. TRUE! In combination of reading my Baby Bullet instructions, speaking with my pediatrician and conducting my own research I found starting new foods on a 4 day rotation was best. More on this later.
My baby eating solids is a happy occasion and not a sad one. TRUE! I’m actually still debating if this is true or false hahaha. As I have said, starting solids was an emotional journey for me and one I did very reluctantly. But in creating my own food I was able to fulfill a different level of satisfaction and at the same time, watching Tate try out new foods is such a fun experience.
As a new mom I had absolutely no clue where to start with the whole solid foods debacle. I had heard about rice cereal and oatmeal and soon discovered this was the easiest (and most traditional) place to start. My pediatrician recommended starting with oatmeal as opposed to the rice cereal because of the nutritional value and because rice sometimes causes constipation. In addition to the cereal/ oatmeal, I was unsure on which fruit or vegetable to serve first. As a rule of thumb foods such as bananas, apples, peas, sweet potatoes, etc are the easiest and least reactive foods to start with. With those directions I had my decision to start with oatmeal first and then bananas as my first fruit. But how exactly do I begin feeding him?
In my research and reading the introductory book provided by Baby Bullet, I learned that any new foods introduced to baby should be on a 4- days sequence. For example oatmeal Sunday, Bananas Thursday, Apples the following Monday and so on and so on. In addition to starting on a 4 days sequence, you should use your babies age (in months) and your own judgement to determine how many servings of food they should have a day. For example, I give Tate 2 servings of solids a day in between his normal breast feeding schedule.
So, we had the food choices down, I knew how to start serving him and next was the preparation. Since I was making Tate’s food myself I had to know just what to do with all the fresh fruits and vegetables I recently purchased. Using his age and skill set helped determine how to prepare the food in terms of what the consistency of the food should be. For example, at the beginning of starting solids Tate was an assisted sitter which put him in the stage 1 category. This level basically means his food had to be very thin with no lumps or shape form. So I added 2-3 teaspoons of breastmilk to his oatmeal servings at night. Tate was not a huge fan of this. Thankfully, he shortly became an independent sitter which moved him to the stage 2 category and allowed him to receive a little less breastmilk in his food creating a little thicker consistency. As far as preparation goes, the different levels of consistency for the food basically means how many seconds you let your blender blend. In terms of storing and food prep, I make enough food for him to have 6 days of lunch (about 1 tbs each day, stored in the fridge) and then 6 additional days for the next week (also 1tbs but stored in the freezer). When he’s onto his last tablespoon of fresh fruit I move the tray out of the freezer to the fridge to dethaw out and then the entire tray is ready for the next week. Only takes a few hours or so to defrost!
And finally it was time to start feeding!
Feeding Tater Tot
As mentioned before, I decided to start with original oatmeal to begin. About an hr before bedtime I would give Tate the oatmeal (mostly at a stage 2 consistency aka slightly lumpy with less breastmilk). My hopes was to keep his belly full a little longer throughout the night. This in fact did not work in case you’re wondering. He’s still up every 2 hours haha. For 4 days I gave Tate just the oatmeal and breastmilk combo to see how he would do. He wasn’t a huge fan of just the plain oatmeal flavor so at about day 2 I started taking a half a (baby) spoonful of banana and mixing it with the oatmeal. After 4 days it was time to up it to 2 meals a day.
I then started the fruits for lunch time. About an hour before his nap at 11am I would give him strictly the bananas. He loved this! At dinner time he would still receive the tablespoon of oatmeal with one spoonful of banana for taste. In about the next 2-3 weeks he received the oatmeal for dinner and the lunch time fruit (which rotated between apples and bananas for a while. Just a personal preference since I wanted to start off the new food introductions super slow).
This journey of starting solids has been so fun! Just like so many other moments I’m sure I’ll have with Tate, it gave me a chance to experience the world through his eyes. It’s crazy to think someone just so helpless a short time ago now has choices and preferences in life. It’s truly amazing how fast they grow. And as much as I want him to slow down, I’m equally excited to see him grow and take this world by storm.
p.s. I know this post was incredibly long but I hope it was informative. And if I missed anything or you have any other questions just shoot me a message!
p.s.s. Click here to get a 6 page workbook to help you and your babe get started on your solid food journey!