The Transition to Solids

March 3, 2015

We started Erin on solids earlier than we were planning. Erin refused drinking milk from the bottle and once I went back to work (she was 3 months old), she'd go all day without any food. So we introduced solids to her when she was about 4 months old to compensate for the lack of calorie intake. We started Erin on rice cereal (mixed it in with breast milk rather than water or formula). She hated it. I think it was a combination of it tasting yucky and that she was too young. We didn't want her starving all day so we kept up with the solids. We eventually switched it up and tried giving her something other than rice cereal, like butternut squash. She liked it a lot better (I'd actually recommend starting off with butternut squash, rather than rice cereal). It took Erin quite a few months to adjust to solids, it was a battle. Little Ms. Stubborn was very resistant. She would have food strikes and would just wait till I got home to drink milk the way she wanted to (reverse cycling). I'd say it took about 3 months of transitioning. Finally at around 7 months old, Erin was eating solids decently and regularly. 

Erin at 4 months eating some delicious rice cereal and peas.


By 7 months, Erin was eating: butternut squash, prunes, apples, pears, avocados, carrots, mixed veggies, and bananas. I was pureeing every week, making food in bulk and freezing it. (Prunes and pears will be your child's best friend..Constipation)

Butternut squash is great because it makes a lot at once (Butternut squash was Erin's favorite.)  Here's a quick how to:
1. Cut squash in half and spoon out all the seeds. 
2. Place the squash face down in a pan.
3. Add about an inch of water and bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes or until skin of squash falls off easily.
4. Then mash with spoon or puree.

1. Electric Food Mill 2. Food Storage 3. Freezer Trays
The above items were basically all I used for making baby food. Pretty basic stuff, but got the job done. 

After a few months of pureeing like a mad woman, I got pretty tired of it. We decided to try a baby led weaning approach instead. Baby led weaning is basically offering foods that aren't pureed. Instead, you offer your child foods that you normally eat that are softer in texture (in smaller pieces) and let them choose how much and how they want to eat it. Foods that are good for baby led weaning are: avocados, tofu, puffs, soft fruits (pear, peach, bananas, plum), steamed veggies (peas, carrots), pasta and toast/bread. We had to cut things up pretty small for Erin. Anything bigger than the size of a dime, she'd spit out. Meats were the hardest to introduce. We would start off with ground beef or turkey in spaghetti and we'd cut up small pieces of soft chicken for her to eat. A few weeks into BLW, we realized that Erin wasn't eating as much as we wanted her to. One drawback of BLW is that there's no real way to measure how much your child is actually eating. Erin just wasn't gaining weight well. She was already tiny for her age and we really wanted her to take in more calories. So we ended up spoon feeding her as well. It was a hybrid feeding approach. We allowed Erin to continue feeding herself and, every other bite, we'd slip in a spoon full of something. This method was the most effective for us. BLW really encouraged her to explore for herself and be in somewhat control and spoon feeding kept us parents at ease in terms of a her eating enough. 

(BLW can and will get very messy)


Erin wasn't the best eater and still isn't. It comes in waves. One week she's great and the next week she's eating nothing. I'd definitely call her a picky eater. She's particular with size, texture and temperature. I'm pretty sure eating will always be a challenge with her. At 18 months, she's eating about 90% on her own and I'm still slipping in a spoon full of something every so often. (she's 4th percentile in weight). Never imagined that feeding your child would be such a stressful and challenging task. I only hope that with age...Erin will love food just as much as her daddy does!


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