Introducing solids – tips from the mom that has no clue what she’s doing

Well friends, I know this post is long overdue and I’m so sorry to keep y’all waiting!
I’ve been spending a lot more time off of my phone and computer during the day because I want my time with Hayes to be special and with as little distractions as possible. Trying to keep up with a blog, making sure I am present & growing on social media, running an online store and being a dog mom + a mom to an almost 10 month old wild crawler is FREAKING HARD. Honestly, each of those things I listed is a full time job so trying to balance all 5 is pretty dang exhausting, I know SO many of you who do it and make it look like a piece of cake, so SHOUT OUT to all you supermom boss babes! I’m just over here trying to keep my dang head above water!!
I usually call it a successful day if I remember to brush my teeth before 3pm. Lord help me.

ANYWAYS…I’ve gotten tons and tons of questions on how I started introducing solids to Hayes and a lot of you requested a blog post. Not going to lie, I’ve totally been putting this post off – mainly because I’ve been winging it when it comes to feeding him and I feel like I am not a person that needs to be giving out “advice” on this topic when I really don’t even know what the heck I’m doing lol
BUT I think most of you know that when I do come on here (like what, once every two months now?) and share blog posts with y’all it’s not because I think my way is right, or that I have all of the answers, it’s because we’re all in this together and maybe just MAYBE my story of the day will help you feel more normal, or give you an idea, or maybe even just make you laugh, so today’s post is all about introducing solids – from the mama who has no clue what she’s doing.

Before I dive into this post, a lot of you have also asked if I’m still breastfeeding, yes I am! I just nurse Hayes on demand, and it’s been pretty consistent with every 3 hours or so still, but he nurses much quicker these days, well during the day at least, like literally under 5 minutes sometimes. He’s going through a “no bottle” phase right now, so that’s been fun. Oh and lately at night (the last 3-4 nights) he wants nothing but the boob…like from 5pm and on he is such a savage and it’s almost as if my nipples forsake me and go back to the new mom cracked raw and bleeding nips during those hours. They don’t actually bleed and they aren’t cracked BUT I’m just making it a point to say that he is tearing my boobs apart lately and if anyone else is dealing with this please let me know because holy smokes I’m about to just cut my nipples off and give them to him.

OKAY back to the main topic…I’m honestly really surprised at myself because with as much anxiety as I have in general, feeding Hayes solids has never been something that scares me – I know SO many of you have told me that you’re so scared of your baby choking and that’s why you’ve been hesitant to start introducing solids but for some reason that hasn’t been a big fear of mine. Which is shocking considering all of the other things that I’m fearful of, but ya, anyways…
Kyle and I started introducing solids a little before 6 months (pediatricians recommend starting at 6 months) We seriously could not wait to start giving Hayes real food and were SO excited to see his reactions to different tastes. When he was around 5 months we would just give him little tastes of things off of our fingers, nothing too crazy! We didn’t REALLY start giving him food until 6 or 7 months though. We did some traveling during that time and I didn’t want to mess with trying to introduce solids while traveling, especially if he ended up having a weird reaction to something! So once we were done traveling we decided to give it a go.

I honestly forgot what exactly we did first and all the steps we took. I think we tried baby oatmeal w/ breastmilk first, he hated it. Then we tried mashed up avocado, didn’t hate it but still wasn’t a fan, he did seem to like mashed up bananas! But got sick of them pretty quickly. But ya, basically we started out with the usual purees. I would boil veggies and then we’d mash them up into a puree and BOY did he hate them, all of them! It was funny at first, watching him make disgusted faces and of course the overly dramatic gagging was hysterical…I’m sure the majority of you have seen Hayes’s carrot video that didn’t but totally should’ve gone viral lol. Well after about a week  of trying purees and him wanting nothing to do with them I decided to say “screw it” and try something different. Whenever we were trying purees Hayes would actually try to chew them so part of me knew that he was ready for softer foods. So instead of mashing up bananas or avocados I just started cutting them up into super small chunks for him. And just like that, he started to LOVE food. Giving him small chunks of food instead of mashed or pureed food was a complete game changer. I started out with foods that had a really smooth texture so that if he didn’t chew them good they would still go down easily for him! So we didn’t do the traditional purees first like most people, but we also didn’t do baby led weaning…we kind of just did our own thing. I would cut up small chunks of food and feed him myself. Because if I was going to take the extra time to make him a special meal I wasn’t going to let it be all over the floor and I wanted him to actually get nutrients out of it lol BUT then finally around 7.5 months he started wanting to pick up the food and feed himself so I let him and it’s been great! I still feed him some things that are hard for his little fingers to pick up like avocado or bananas but for the most part he LOVES feeding himself.

Our pediatrician gave us this incredibly helpful chart that we keep on the fridge!

{you can download your own copy here}
I was shocked when some of my friends told me they had never seen this chart before, I just assumed everyone gets one!  Like I said, we keep it on the fridge and I look at it pretty regularly. We definitely give Hayes more than just what’s listed, and I’m sure we feed him more than the recommended tablespoon amounts or whatever, I’ve honestly never measured.

Once I realized that Hayes loved to actually chew his foods I started to get a lot more adventurous with foods I would give him. Instead of mashing up veggies I would cut them into small pieces, put a little oil on them and then put them in the oven for 20 minutes or so to soften them up a bit. Hayes LOVES meat. Turkey and chicken are his favorite, I just buy organic turkey lunch meat and tear it up or a rotisserie chicken and peel off pieces for him. Eggs are another one of his favorites. I’ve realized he loves something for about a week and then if I try to keep giving it to him he gets annoyed because he wants to change things up, which is totally understandable. I think noodles might be his absolute favorite thing, he never gets sick of those and could eat A TON. I’m kind of at the point where I don’t know what the heck to feed him lately. He’s starting to get bored with his usual meals so I need to change things up…I always find myself going to BrittLessers Instagram page when it comes to baby food ideas! She’s always feeding her dude the best stuff and shares awesome ideas and recipes!

Here’s an example of what a typical day looks like for us:
Wakes up at 7ish – Breastmilk
(he nurses about every 3 hours, every day is different though! Some days he’ll be too active to stop and nurse and others he’s super consistent and will do a full nursing session every 2-3 hours)
Breakfast – cheerios / eggs / fruit/veggie pouch / bagel / pancake / banana
Snack – Puffs / Teethers / Cheerios
Lunch – Turkey / chicken / veggies / pouch
sometimes he’ll have another snack before dinner
Dinner – Usually the same as lunch – we’re pretty boring over here – going to start trying to make his meals more fun and more of a variety

Hayes is NOT a fan of broccoli, he’ll eat peas and zucchini and squash (roasted in the oven), loves sweet potatoes! He likes small chunks of sweet potato though not mashed! He really gets most of his fruits & veggies from the Happy Baby Pouches, they have them by age which is great! Some days he’ll literally go through 4 and other days I can barely get him to finish one. I’m pretty sure you can get them anywhere, we typically grab them at either Kroger or Target!

Q&A:
1. How long did you wait between giving him solids/introducing him to a new solid? 
I’m pretty sure the rule says to wait at least 2-3 days before introducing a new food in case your baby has some sort of negative reaction to a food, that way you’ll know which food your baby is reacting too!…but we never followed that rule. I have been so chill about food it’s honestly kind of weird, because I totally am a paranoid helicopter mom. I should probably start being a little more cautious.

2. How long do you continue supplementing with breastmilk after starting solids?
Breastmilk or formula should be your babes primary source of nutrients until they’re 1! It’s totally up to baby and mama on how long you continue to breastfeed after that!

3. How did you get over fear of him choking?
I talked about this a little in the post but for some reason this hasn’t been a big problem for me or a big fear of mine. Maybe because Hayes has always been a good chewer??

4. How much solids is he eating per day and has his milk intake decreased?
Honestly, every day is SO different. Some days he can’t get enough solids and I feel like he’s just eating all day long, and other days I almost feel like I have to force feed him. His milk intake has definitely decreased since starting solids…but with that as well, every day is different. Some days he’ll nurse constantly every 2-3 hours and take both boobs and other days he’ll latch on one boob for 2 minutes and that will be all for that session.

5. How many times a day and days of the week did you start feeding solids?
I may be answering this wrong, because for some reason it feels like FOREVER ago that we started introducing solids…even though it’s literally only been 4-5 months. But I’m pretty sure once I started I’d try to give him solids 3 times a day every day, even if it was just a tiny bit. Some days he wasn’t interested and others he was!

6. What was your go to brand for rice cereal / oatmeal?
I only tried Gerber, but he wanted nothing to do with it – Hayes has got a weird thing with textures! lol

7. Do you like your hair chair?
Yes! It’s honestly super easy and convenient and ridiculously affordable. I’ve heard really great things about the Beaba high chair but it’s definitely pricey!

8. How and when did you introduce peanut butter?
This is one thing I AM fearful of! We haven’t introduced peanut butter yet. A friend told me that her pediatrician gave some to her baby while they were there just in case anything happened they were already in a safe place and literally right in front of the dr!  I’m going to ask ours about doing that at Hayes’s next appointment!

9. When did you introduce a sippy cup with water?
At Hayes’s 6 month appt our pediatrician told us that he could start drinking small amounts of water with every meal! It took him a little while to get the hang of it but now he LOVES his water. It also took some trial and error with sippy cups. Our favorite has been the Nuby sippy cup. Other ones tend to come out SOOOO slow.

10. Did your pediatrician suggest bottle first and then solids or the other way around?
My pediatrician actually told me to feed him solids first and then nurse afterwards…buttttttt I nurse him first. lol Clearly, not a rule follower.

I hope this answers most of y’alls questions!! SORRY it took me so long to finally get this post up!
Hope y’all have a great week!!

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2 Comments

  1. December 17, 2018 / 3:42 pm

    Omg thanks so much for sharing that Monica! I feel like I have been so bad because I dont really follow rules either and just kind of go with the flow. Your post really made me feel better about making my own decisions based on what I feel like my son is ready for and not necessarily measured out by the books.

    Hayes is the cutest thing ever btw and your such a good mommy!

  2. Karri
    January 3, 2019 / 12:09 pm

    This makes me feel so much better. My son is 6 months now and has hated every purée we’ve given him. So I’ve just stuck with breastmilk because I don’t want food to be a bad experience for him. Lately we’ve been giving him very small amounts of food from our plates and he loves it. He hates bananas and avocados. Sweet potato is next on our list with just giving him small little pieces of it.

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