This post may contain affiliate links. When you shop by clicking on one of my links, my family receives a small commission at no additional cost to you. We are so grateful for your support!
Let’s talk about baby food! Both of my girls jumped right into eating like champs, and what’s even better is they eat modified or smaller portions of whatever we eat, so there isn’t much prep work to be done!
The way we did this was through Baby Led Weaning, which is essentially following your baby’s lead in letting them feed themselves. Gradually from 6-12 months, your baby will transition to getting more nutrients from food and less from breastmilk/formula. Food is to be used as a supplement to milk (hence the phrase “food before one is just for fun!”) Keep reading to learn about the signs of readiness and many first foods you can start giving your baby.
Your baby is ready to start eating solids when they are 6 months old and show the signs of readiness from the AAP & WHO: they can hold their head up, sit without support, bring objects to their mouth, and show an interest in food.
It’s also important to know the signs of gagging vs. choking, along with how to perform CPR. Gagging is a NORMAL part of learning to eat! Your baby will be using their tongue to move food around, and learning to swallow will typically come with some gagging. It’s also important to train yourself to be prepared (and confident) in case your baby starts choking. I have a bunch of helpful BLW information and choking/CPR videos saved to Instagram highlights if you’d like to check those out too.
Before you start, here are a few reminders to keep in mind:
- Your baby’s tummy is the size of their fist
- If you can squish food between your finger & thumb, it’s soft enough for your baby’s gums
- Wait 3 days before introducing a new food so you can identify any allergic reactions
- On that note, it’s important to introduce potentially allergenic foods within the first year
- Avoid honey before 12 months
- Offer water at every meal to help prevent constipation
If you’re strictly following the baby-led weaning method, you can skip cereal and purees. We actually introduced cereal around 5 months with my oldest, because she was showing all the signs of readiness. I didn’t know baby led weaning was a thing yet, so we started it VERY liquidy (practically just milk with 3 flakes of cereal) before making it thicker and moving onto purees.
Again, you can skip this step and move straight into the foods below if you’d like. Once we could tell my daughter got the hang of eating from a spoon (which took about 2 weeks) we started introducing purees. I made them myself in a blender with steamed veggies or fruit and breastmilk.
BABY LED WEANING
The concept of baby-led weaning is to give them “baby friendly” versions of regular/adult food (see ideas below). This makes running errands, making plans, traveling, and busy life easier, because you don’t have to worry about packing the right food for your baby. We started with something easy: bananas, avocados, then as you get comfortable, move onto more solid foods. By the time both of my girls were 10 months, we had given them practically everything — even strips of steak! I have a “baby meals” highlight on my Instagram with tons of ideas, along with the list below.
- Crinkle cutter knife – this is the best tool for cutting up bananas, avocados, or anything you need to make easier to grab!
- Silicone bibs are the most convenient to clean and easy to roll up for on-the-go.
- These baby utensils are my favorite! They’re small enough for babies to grab and come in so many colors. Grabease also gave me a discount code (DOLLY15) for you to get 15% off.
- Some easy snacks for on-the-go (in our favorite snack cup)
BLW FIRST FOODS
- Steamed veggies
- Whole milk yogurt
- Scrambled eggs
- Refried beans
- Steamed green beans
- Mac & cheese
- Sliced strawberries
- Squishy blueberries
- Sliced oranges
- Soft crackers
- Grilled cheese strips
- Toast & peanut butter
- Shredded chicken
- Mashed potatoes
- Drained soup
Good luck! I was so nervous when my oldest started eating solids, but I hope this post gives you some ideas and confidence with your BLW journey!
----- LET'S KEEP IN TOUCH -----
Subscribe to my newsletter HERE.