We’ve reached that critical age in a infants life where they begin to show signs that they may be ready for solids. Like I suspected, as early as 3 1/2 months, Charlee was showing clear signs that she was ready to start eating solids. She was sitting upright with minimal assistance, showed a lot of curiosity in what her father and I were eating at the dinner table and she started grabbing at my fork and spoon during meal time. My husband and I couldn’t wait for this journey to begin simply because we thought starting her on solids would improve her sleep and help her sleep for longer stretches. Sadly, at her 4-month wellness appointment, her pediatrician informed us that starting her on solids wouldn’t change her sleeping patterns and that at her age, infants sleep schedules are pretty much established. This was the saddest news for us because Charlee loves waking up at 3am for a meal and as new parents who work full-time, we value our sleep and 3am wake up calls aren’t our jam. The pediatrician also recommended we wait until 6 months to begin her on solids, but she provided a plan to follow in the event we decided to transition Charlee to solids earlier than the recommended 6 months.
So far the journey to solids has had it’s challenges, but we’ve had some successes as well and for that, we feel like we’re finally winning in the parenting department. Charlee is currently 4 months and 3 weeks old. We started her on the Gerber Organic cereal at 4 months and 1 week old and have slowly started introducing baby puree and here’s what we have learned thus far:
- It’s best to start feeding baby from the spoon with baby cereal when they aren’t hungry. We fed Charlee an hour or so before her regular feeding time that way she wasn’t very hungry and wasn’t focused on her hunger and could put her attentions to the new experience of eating from a spoon.
- Be patient. I have to keep reminding myself that she’s getting use to the swallow reflex and still trying to learn how to use her tongue. With all these new experiences, it is taking time for her to get this eating from the spoon business down, so patience is key.
3. Babies won’t like everything you feed them and that’s okay. Charlee is very vocal about the foods she doesn’t like. I have to remember that she has likes and dislikes too and just because I’m feeding it to her doesn’t mean she’ll eat it. This was hard at first because I had conditioned myself into thinking that anything I gave her she wouldn’t reject only because when she had breast milk she didn’t reject that. When I started supplementing with formula she didn’t reject that either, so naturally I’ve been spoiled and had this idea that she just likes to eat, no matter what it is. ALL LIES. I gave her some butternut squash puree and it wasn’t her fave. However, I’ll revisit the butternut squash at a later date to see if her mind has changed. It was the very first puree she tried, so I think it deserves a second chance.
4. When they turn away that doesn’t always mean they are rejecting the food. I remember Charlee’s pediatrician specifically stating that when baby turns their head away from the food it sometimes just means they are trying to get the tongue and swallow reflex down. They are experiencing so many new things when transitioning to solids and giving them time to decide and figure out how their tongue works and how to swallow is key. With this info in mind, I’ll be revisiting the butternut squash puree.
5. We are going to try out a transition/weaning spoon. We’ve been using a regular baby spoon up until now, but after talking to a few seasoned parents, they recommend a transition or weaning spoon. Charles and I will be ordering one off Amazon just to see how Charlee takes to it.
6. Feeding is still bonding time. I have to keep reminding myself that feeding time is still bonding time for Charlee and I. Sometimes I can get so wrapped up in the mechanics and logistics of transitioning her to solids and spoon feeding that I forget that this is our special mommy-daughter time together. The journey of breastfeeding to solely pumping to supplementing and now solids has always been about our time together, its the one part of my day where I relax and nourish this beautiful human I created and the one thing I don’t want to do is poison it by getting too bogged down with the challenges of transitioning her to solid foods .
I hope this info has been helpful. I’ll keep you updated on her solids journey as we go along.
P.S. all food featured in these pics as well as on my IG page are from Yumi, an amazing baby food delivery service. You should check them out.