The only thing I’d ever known for certain about solid foods was that I wanted to wait until Baby Y was at least six months old. While a lot of pediatricians green-light solids beginning at four months, Baby Y was happy on his boob-only diet, and there are a lot of health benefits to waiting.
That was where my knowledge ended, though, and once Baby Y was old enough, I was downright stumped when I tried to figure out the order in which to introduce his first foods. Veggies before fruits so he didn’t get a raging sweet tooth? Fruits before veggies since he was used to the sweet taste of breastmilk? Did I need to give him rice cereal first?
While wading through all this conflicting information, I finally found something that makes sense, from the American Academy of Pediatrics, no less:
“… [T]here is no medical evidence that introducing solid foods in any particular order has an advantage for your baby. Though many pediatricians will recommend starting vegetables before fruits, there is no evidence that your baby will develop a dislike for vegetables if fruit is given first. Babies are born with a preference for sweets, and the order of introducing foods does not change this.”
The AAP also noted that tradition is often the sole reason that babies are given rice cereal first, and other sources such as Kellymom indicate that there’s little nutritional benefit to starting a baby on cereal when they’re older than six months and less likely to have an allergic reaction to food.
So, that settled it. Straight to fruits and veggies, order unimportant, and we’d skip the baby cereal. We would, however, only introduce something new every four days to make sure we could isolate any food allergies. (Conservative, perhaps, but Papa Y is a delicate flower who suffers from mysterious hives and digestive distress.)
Baby Y hit the six-month mark just as we began our holiday travels, so we decided we’d wait until we returned home to blow his mind with solids. But after my teething barracuda bestowed a puncture wound on my left nipple the day after Christmas, I was desperate for a happy diversion. We ran to the store for some Stage 1 Organics, and Operation Solids was a go, much to Baby Y’s grandparents’ delight.
First food? Carrots, for no particular reason other than he was already wearing orange and we had no bib on hand. As for Baby Y’s reaction, let's just say he was not a fan, at least at first.
Happily, by Day 3, he made it through two-thirds of his meal, and by Day 4, he ate the whole thing. Our next foray into solids, bananas, was a hit from Day 1. The same goes for peas, and our current project, prunes. In fact, now Baby Y gets angry if I take too long getting the spoon to his mouth, which he holds agape like a hungry little bird.
Most importantly, breastfeeding is still going well. Baby Y nurses right before we give him solids. At this point, breastmilk should still be his go-to meal, with solids for practice. We’ll stick to our once-a-day routine for at least another week or two, and then think about slooooowly increasing his intake from there. I don't want him to get any funny ideas about weaning just yet.
My only regret is that I had been primed to make my own baby food, but the store-bought stuff has seduced me with its convenience and I don’t know if I’ll be able to regain my motivation at this point!
Anyone out there gearing up for solids?
Start Puree Solids – How To part 2 of 71. Getting Started with Solids, Purees, and Baby-led Weaning by Mrs. Bee
2. Operation Solids by Mrs. Yoyo
3. feeding an 8 month old by Mrs. Jump Rope
4. My Modified Baby-Led Weaning Approach by Mrs. Pen
5. Introducing Baby to Herbs and Spices by Sarah Crowder
6. Figuring Out Food at 9 Months by Mrs. Hopscotch
7. "Bad" BLW: Feeding with a Loaded Spoon by Mrs. Sketchbook