Starting Solids

in Breastfeeding, Solids

I’ve been asked by quite a few people to do a post on this topic, so here it is!


You know, for something that I’ve done three to six times a day for nearly my entire time, feeding my baby solids felt… a little overwhelming.  What do I feed him?  And how?  And when?  But one of the most surprising things about my journey into parenthood has been how non-obsessive I am about researching the sh*t out of every single decision.  And by that, I don’t mean that I fail to educate myself before making choices – because I do – but I don’t feel the need to read twenty contradictory books on every parenting topic and confuse the crap out of myself.  I read enough, talk to Henry’s doctor, discuss it with the Husband, and then just do it.


So I don’t want to frame this ‘starting solids’ post as “I researched this to death and want to share the wealth of knowledge that I’ve accumulated” because that’s not what this is.  This is more a little update on what we’ve been doing thus far.


There are a few theories on how to introduce solids to babies.  One is the pureed method.  I was fed this way; you probably were, too.  You know – little jars of mush.  Another (newer) method is called Baby Led Weaning (BLW).  Basically, you let the child lead the way.  You let them taste food when they reach for it and instead of eating mush, they gnaw on more solid forms.  I liked the idea of BLW because it seemed more natural and easier, but I was very concerned about choking.  Here’s a good explanation about the ‘choking issue’ that made me feel better. My one ‘obsessive parenting moment’ of feeding included watching 4,458 YouTube videos on infant CPR and other safety maneuvers before doing BLW.


In the end, we decided to do a little bit of everything, at least for now.  So we’ve done some purees and some BLW.  I’ve bought a few jars of baby food and made my own, too.  It’s been a mixed bag with mixed results.


First up:  breastfeeding.   I’m still pumping exclusively.  A few days ago, I asked about early weaning on the HTP Facebook page.  I was really ready to quit pumping and move onto formula.  Pumping is hard – physically and emotionally – and I am definitely reaching the point of “I cannot do this anymore.”  I even ordered formula off Amazon.  I had totally come to terms ‘with quitting’ and was so excited to move forward, but then I realized the high cost of formula and balked.  The decision to quit is really hard.  It seems so final (because I guess it is, practically speaking).  I’m going to wait another month or so and reevaluate.  It would be great if I could get Henry to eat more solids and need less milk to drive the overall cost down.  We’ll see.

photo 2 (34)

I waited to introduce any type of solids until he was 5.5 months old.  The general recommendation is 6 months, but he had hit a lot of physical milestones that indicate readiness – plus, he was grabbing my food all the time – so we went for it.


As I said, we do a mix of purees and BLW.  Here’s what he’s had so far (everything has been organic):


Mashed sweet potato puree with breastmilk (his first food)

Roasted sweet potato fries

Boiled sweet potato fries

Pureed broccoli

Steamed broccoli

Boiled carrots

Whole pears

Roasted white potatoes

Pureed jarred pears (Earth’s Best)

Pureed jarred apple (Earth’s Best)

Baby Mum Mums



In general, he doesn’t really seem to like anything except roasted white potatoes, Baby Mum Mums, and HappyPuffs.  Great.  Real healthy, right?

photo 1 (38) photo 3 (14)

He will eat purees if I load them up on a Baby Mum Mum (basically a rice cracker), as you can see in the picture above.  If I try to put them in his mouth with a spoon, he grabs the spoon and refuses to let go.

photo 4 (12) photo 5 (6)

Henry seems to be a bit more into BLW foods, but not much.  He has figured out how to open his mouth on command (if I aim a HappyPuff at him).  But generally speaking, he makes “I’m disgusted by this food” faces whenever he eats anything (except processed HappyPuffs, Mum Mums, and white potatoes….).  Our daily routine includes lots and lots of bottles, one Baby Mum Mum or HappyPuff treat, and one ‘meal’ of fruits and veggies.  I’m going to move it up to two meals a day, but at this point, little food actually makes its way into his tummy.  It’s more for practice, fun, and exposure.  A bath is ALWAYS required after a feeding – it’s so messy!


While a lot of parents do oatmeal or cereal first, I really wanted to introduce him to veggies and fruits… although it doesn’t seem like it made him like them more!  We plan to avoid gluten and dairy with Henry for a while, as I am sensitive to gluten and he showed sensitivity to dairy in my breastmilk.  I hope he doesn’t have issues with either one long-term, but we’ll just have to wait and see. 


After a month, he definitely isn’t “into” foods.  However, one thing that I’ve realized is that Henry will seem like he doesn’t care about a toy or can’t do a skill and then all of the sudden – BAM! – he’s into it or doing it.  For example, he didn’t babble at all except for a few gees and goos.  I was just getting worried when all the sudden, his ‘language’ skills exploded with das, has, nahs, etc.  I figure the same thing will happen with solids.  One day, he’ll just be ravenous for solids.


So – that’s my “starting solids” post!  As mentioned, I definitely don’t feel like an expert in the area.  I’d love some feedback on foods and meals your babies loved, as well as feedback from other moms who decided to wean early.  The obsession with Baby Mum Mums and HappyPuffs aside, I’m excited to continue the solid foods journey!  Cooking for three is great. Smile



  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) January 4, 2013, 4:05 pm

    Girl – I feel ya. I am also pumping exclusively and it is exhausting. Ive been doing it for 4.5 months now. I am SO thankful that I have a great milk supply and that I have gone this long (my baby just turned 8 mo) but I am SO ready to quit. Ugh. The only thing that keeps me going is the fact that my milk is free and formula is not. Ha! My goal was to make it to 6 mo, then at 6 mo I changed my goal to 9 mo and so I guess we will see what I say at the 9 mo mark. 🙂

    We give Clara baby oatmeal mixed with a fruit in the AM and a veggie (and also a fruit if she’s extra hungry) in the PM. Clara lags behind in development so she’s not at all showing any interest in our food. I guess that will come. So for now we just do the pureed jarred food. 🙂

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats January 4, 2013, 4:07 pm

    Haha who wouldn’t love Happy Puffs?!!? Sounds good to me!

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape January 4, 2013, 4:08 pm

    Really interesting! I’d never heard of the BLW approach before, but it seems to make good sense. The Gerber baby might not be too fond of it, though. lol

  • Mary January 4, 2013, 4:20 pm

    Yay!! I’m always so excited to hear about others that did a variation of BLW. We did the same thing with our daughter (she’s almost 17 months old), and while she didn’t eat much in the beginning – lots of baths, like you said, she now eats almost everything. No joke – the kid will eat sauerkraut, bleu cheese, V8 juice, mustard, parsnips. Anything that I think is somewhat healthy and we would eat, she tries. I had the same thoughts as you in the beginning about her not eating that much food, but she’s a pro now.

    We didn’t give her too many crackers in the beginning, mainly because she didn’t have teeth. Now that she has had a taste though, she is pretty obsessed with crackers and bread. I think it’s genetic though 🙂

  • hillary January 4, 2013, 4:21 pm

    I don’t know if you are celiac or just gluten intolerant but my husband is celiac as is his family and we are currently pregnant with our first. I was talking to his sister a pediatrician who is also celiac and what were her thoughts on the whole gluten issue and she was telling me that there was a study in (italy????) where they found introducing them to gluten EARLIER actually helped preventing problems in the future. Which kinda blew my mind. But her as a celiac baby doctor is planning to try that with her baby (shes pregnant too)
    just some food for thought.

    • Eliza January 4, 2013, 8:08 pm

      My husband is in medical school, and said there are several studies indicating that if the introduction of both dairy and gluten happens within certain “windows” (usually earlier than some people think), the rate of allergy goes way down. He is pretty convinced by the studies he has read.

      • Kath February 15, 2013, 1:09 pm

        Wow, this is so interesting.

  • Michelle January 4, 2013, 4:21 pm

    First up – that broccoli pic might be my fave baby pic ever!! 🙂

    Second thought – Have you talked to a lactation coach/specialist recently? Maybe they can offer some advice or point out something that can make breast feeding less hard for you?

    Third thought – I think its great that you are doing a blended balanced approach – and at the very least, they make for lots of cute pics and messy fun memories and faces I’m sure!

    Last thought – you mentioned before that he’s on the small side. I have a friend who’s son (now almost 3) is and has always been a runt. When he was a little older than Henry they started really getting concerned about it and thought maybe he wasn’t getting enough calories etc, so they caved to his every whine about what he did and didn’t want to eat. So instead of treating him like their older child and having him eat the overcooked (and thus soft-er) version of whatever they were eating, they made him mac and cheese all the time b/c he loved it and at least he was packing on the calories. His older sister (5) loves pesto and veggies and fruits and salmon and lots of “grown up” foods b/c she was really almost never given mushy baby food nor the junk “kids” food. He, however, still eats only hotdogs and mac and cheese and even then he’ll take two bites, and then ask for milk b/c he’s still small they always give it to him.

    I am not saying they made poor choices etc and they are great parents, but looking back, they are kicking themselves for raising him this way b/c healthy food will be a struggle for a long time, its inhibited some of his dexterity b/c he mostly went from boob to bottle to sippy cup instead of fingers and forks etc, and to top it all off, he’s still teeny and just always will be. Just in case Henry stays on the smaller side long enough for this discussion to come up, I just want to pass on that lesson learned as something to consider.

    • Caitlin January 4, 2013, 4:48 pm

      Interesting! Neither me or his doc are worried about his weight at all for what it’s worth. He was small at birth (6-11) and both the husband and I are small (145 lbs and 5-8 and 125 and 5-3). I think he will just be a small person. 🙂

      • Courtney January 4, 2013, 6:42 pm

        Totally unrelated… I had no idea you were only 5’3″!! For some reason I pictured you as taller haha I guess sort of like when people said your voice was different than they imagined! 🙂

      • Michelle January 5, 2013, 6:02 pm

        This couple is 5’6 and 5’10 so it’s no surprise that their kid is on the small side either, but they basically got lost in panic mode when looking at the stats especially since their older daughter is much more “middle” ground when it comes to height and weight stats.

        Seriously – frame the broccoli pic. I think it just doesn’t get any more precious than that!! 🙂

  • Jackie@ MuscleUpMom January 4, 2013, 4:35 pm

    It sounds like you’re off to a great start. I wonder if he has a preference for certain textures, rather than flavors. Lots of babies are particular that way.

    The whole solids thing is so variable from one baby to the next. My son is only three months but I have a feeling he will be an early eater since he is already obsessed with watching every bite I put in my mouth and is even grabbing at our plates.

  • Amanda January 4, 2013, 4:37 pm

    I started my baby with homemade and all organic purees in the VitaMix at exactly 6 months. He loved it! But was very ready for food, he kept focusing on my plate and my drinks. I found that since he was used to milk (BF), the food needed to be somewhat soupy at first. Now I can give him a little more solid-like food, just smashed up. I tried to give him a steamed broccoli chunk and he made a super gross food face, followed by a vomit! But I think it was just the texture in his mouth, not the taste. In one+ months he has eaten: pureed and baked smashed sweet potatoes, smashed peas, pureed green beans in VitaMix (no water added), smashed bananas (a favorite and he sleeps well at night if he has this for dessert!), avocado smash, squash puree, canned pumpkin (did not like this until I added smashed bananas to it), pureed asparagus , broccoli pieces (hated it!). He can bite pieces off a banana now on his own. Like you, I was a bit afraid of his choking, but now that he has his bottom two teeth, I’m less worried about it. I also do the BLW and feed him with a spoon. I like the full belly effect on his night sleep 🙂

    One thing I have not done yet is feed him any grains, beans, or meats. I am not big on him having any “bread-like” foods before he’s one, but I need to ask our natural health doc about the real importance of introducing any grains or breads this early. I’m not sure it’s good for his digestion. I’ve read both sides, one says not to because of the immature digestive system and could just sit in his gut, but the other says to introduce it so he doesn’t become “sensitive” to it. Who knows?! Oy. Decisions, decisions. He seems perfectly happy and is healthy with fruits and veg for now.

    I think about weaning all the time. But never give it any real thought. I’m just so accustomed to washing and packing my pump parts for work the next day that I think it’s just a habit now…I do think BF will end for us when he begins to show less and less interest.

  • MissPinkkate January 4, 2013, 4:38 pm

    I weaned early, and my son gets the Kirkland brand formula from Costco, which is pretty reasonably priced as far as formula goes.

  • Allison January 4, 2013, 4:50 pm

    I am sure many will have this comment but neither of my kids ate much at all until there were 8-9 months old. One is a pretty good eater now at 2.5 and one will eat anything at 15 months.

    As for early weaning, my milk really started to decline in volume from 6 mos on, so I had to start supplementing and did make it with some BFing until a year. I completely understand how hard pumping is – I hated pumping. My kids really never decreased their bottle intake despite adding foods. We weaned bottles around 13 months with both but they really went from lots of bottles to no bottles in about a week. The breastmilk and forumla were not replaced by food until we took bottles away after 1st birthdays.

    I am sure you have thought of this but pumping does not have to be all or nothing…if you are warn out but not ready to quit you could pump 1-2 times per day and give formula for the rest of the bottles. You would not have to deal quitting all at once and would save some money by not needing all formula.

    • Caitlin January 4, 2013, 4:58 pm

      I haven’t thought of that too much but now in untrigued’bbb

      • Dawn January 4, 2013, 6:18 pm

        On BFing, I don’t produce enough so we have been supplementing with formula from the beginning. Since you have been using bottles anyway Henry shouldn’t have a problem with nipple confusion or taking to a bottle. Just know that it does change the output. Also if Henry is sensitive to milk you may want to start him on a gentle formula, or a soy formula. The first ingredient on our brand is milk solids.

    • ashley January 6, 2013, 8:04 pm

      I was also going to say that you shouldn’t expect (or want!) His breastmilk or formula intake to decrease until after he is 1. The solids rule is “under one, just for fun”, so nearly all his nutrition is still coming from the bm or formula until then. This definitely held true for my kiddos 🙂 good luck with whatever you decide!

  • Jess January 4, 2013, 4:57 pm

    My son Henry (now 20 months old) first started getting rice cereal in his bed time bottle to help him sleep longer. He was bottle feeding every 90 minutes through the 3 month mark, oy vey! We started with solids around 5 months and went the puree/puff route and it worked really well. He loved almost all the purees except any of the green vegetables or any that included pureed meat (yuck-o). He really took to yogurt too but there are mixed reviews on when to start with that, for what its worth he had no problems with baby yogurts. Now in toddler land he has a pretty vast diet but still despises meat and really bitter green veggies. We go through fruit like it is going out of style and still loads of yogurt. It feels like he eats all day long (with 3-4 si-tdown meals) but still is on the small size for weight. I’m banking on a growth spurt soon to at least calm down my grocery bills!

  • Alicia January 4, 2013, 4:58 pm

    I think my daughter was kind of bored by the simple baby foods and once we started sauteeing with a bit of olive oil and spice, she liked more veggies. Good luck! Your method sounds great!

  • Claire January 4, 2013, 5:00 pm

    Henry is just so cute! And I’m glad you did a post on solids. We started our girl just before 6 months on solids (we did sweet potatoes first as well!), and she wasn’t really interested in any foods until around 7 months, then started eating a TON at 8 months, and now at a year she will try anything! Although it hasn’t decreased her interest in breastfeeding at all – you shouldn’t look to solids to decrease milk consumption until at LEAST 10 months, probably closer to a year or more. Our girl’s first real love, food-wise, was whole, ripe, peeled peaches and nectarines. She loved them!

    We did baby-led weaning and only fruits/veggies for the first several months of solids and I think both those things really helped with our girl’s adventurous palate – she loves Brussel sprouts and sushi, and actually turned her nose up at her birthday cake, true story! I don’t care for the puffs/mum mums because they are artificially sweetened with concentrated apple juice, which I don’t like. I like puffed kamut because it’s 100% natural and as a higher nutritional content than other puffed cereals. And as a commenter mentioned above, research has shown that introducing potential allergens earlier rather than later is now considered the best practice. That’s why the AAP now says that you can introduce anything expect honey under a year.

    In my opinion, I would stop giving him puffs and mum mums (since they have no real nutritional value, and aren’t “real food”) and just continue to offer him fruits/veggies until he develops a real interest in food, which may not be for several months. Milk is the sole source of nutrients and food until at least 10 months, any solids before then is just for fun and to learn!

  • Kelley January 4, 2013, 5:21 pm

    Oh my gosh. Thank you so much for this post. I’m in the same boat, my baby is the same age. We’ve done a mix of BLW and purees too and it’s been awesome. I was constantly wondering how much food and when. Is one meal a day enough for her? But then I realized I had to take a laid-back approach and just feel my way through it and it’s been great. Beginning solids is really overwhelming, but it seems easier now. So fun!

  • katyrenee January 4, 2013, 5:27 pm

    Thanks for this!
    As for formula don’t open the ones you purchased until you are ready to use them. They expire after a month (after opened) and with the cost, it’d be awful to throw away any unused formula!

  • C. January 4, 2013, 5:33 pm

    Wanting him to eat more and cut down on milk/formula is not a smart idea – breastmilk or formula should be the MAIN source of nutrition for at least a year. They need the fats in milk to develop their little brains. At this point solid food should just be for experimenting with.

  • Dawn January 4, 2013, 6:09 pm

    at 5 mo I started M with Avocado puree. So far he favorites are apple sauce (with a bit of cinnamon), pear sauce, and blueberries. Everything I have tried I have cooked down and mixed with water. Things that M really dislikes so far are pumpkin and russet potato. She also does the spoon thing, so I give her a spoon to chew/ suck on and spoon feed her around it with another spoon. I tend to go through a few spoons during feeding times as she gets a new one to suck/ chew on every time she drops the last one on the floor. She may wear more than she swallows, but it gets us in the practice of eating at the table together. And it is funny to watch her become a blueberry zombie.

  • Emily January 4, 2013, 6:52 pm

    I’m a long time reader, but a rare poster. My baby boy is a June baby also (born June 5 which happens to also be my birthday!). We breastfed exclusively for 24 weeks until baby boy hit a massive growth spurt and went through my whole freezer milk supply. I could no longer keep up and had to start supplementing with formula. We mixed BM and formula for a few more weeks until my milk supply dwindled. Now he is on formula and real food. We started purees during that growth spurt as well and he’s done great. He’s loved everything except meat which he’ll eat if it’s mixed with fruit. We skipped grains in favor of more nutritious foods. We’ve tried a wide variety of fruits and vegetables at this point, but daily I try to make sure to give him avocado which is the perfect baby food. Do you avoid that with H because of your allergy?
    Avocado, banana and Yo Baby yogurt are our staples and we mix in organic fruits, veggies, and chicken that I steamed, pureed and froze into cubes. We decided to wait a while longer for BLW because our boy is not crawling yet and has no teeth yet. Chunky mashed foods and purees are working great. But so far two real food “meals” a day have not reduced the number of bottles baby boy requires. Yes, formula is expensive! I had hoped to continue BF’ing for a full year, but my milk supply dried up. sigh.
    Good luck with your decision on continuing to pump. Whatever works best for your family is the right decision. He’s received the lion’s share of the benefit of breast feeding by this point.
    The new do is cute, btw! I always enjoy the way a fresh hair cut feels. This is coming from someone who cuts there hair an average of once a year, mind you.

  • Abby January 4, 2013, 7:16 pm

    Love the new hair! We did baby led weaning and I think it wasn’t until around 9 months that our daughter was actually interested in food.

  • Sheryl January 4, 2013, 7:26 pm

    I totally agree with the previous comments about doing a formula/BM mix. I introduced formula at 6 months but didn’t wean until closer to a year. It’s a great option if you need a break but want him to still get the benefits of breast milk.

    And I totally understand what you’re saying about how introducing solids can be overwhelming! After six months of nothing but milk, it seems crazy that you’re having to think about feeding them a balance of food… not to mention stressing over allergic reactions. But before you know it you’ll be able to go to a restaurant and give him some of your food… and he’ll eat it! Or portion out a section of your lunch and hand it off to him.

  • Sheryl January 4, 2013, 7:28 pm

    Oh, also… check out a brand called Crispy Green. It’s freeze dried fruit. The only ingredient in it is the fruit, and it’s crunchy like mum mums but is totally natural.

  • Hannah January 4, 2013, 7:32 pm

    For some reason this post made me cry laughing. We start solids in 2 months. Can’t wait to see how it goes!

  • mary January 4, 2013, 7:36 pm

    if you want another veggie to try that I bet he will like try tomatoes. Either cut up real small or puree. The green vegetables are too harsh for him right now. My little sister survived on tomatoes the first year she started eating. They were her first food and she loved them. Now she’s one of the healthiest eaters I know and eats mainly veggies and fruit. Squash is another good one to try pureed.

  • Rachel January 4, 2013, 8:00 pm

    Thank for this post. My son turned 6 month old on Christmas day, and we too are doing a mix of BLW and purees (most I have made myself, with a few store-bought thrown in for good measure.) I was concerned about doing both because the BLW books say you really shouldn’t… but with the BLW foods he hasn’t been actually swallowing much yet but rather just sucking and gumming things and then spitting them back out.

    I am also feeling the pumping exhaustion, too. I go back to work next Monday, so we started daycare this week to give him an adjustment period with shorter days. It is tough to pump all day and to keep up with it so that he has enough to take to daycare with him the following day. I was hoping that by adding some purees I would not need to provide so much pumped milk which would make it easier on me as well.

    It’s good to hear the experience of someone who is also sort of doing it their way – trying to find what works for you and your family. Sometimes reading books or doing research about one way (BLW) or the other (purees) makes me feel like a bad mom for doing both to try to make it work.

  • Katie January 4, 2013, 8:00 pm

    It’ll click with him, just like other developments. X didn’t really eat until 7.5 months. He played, held pieces of food, held spoons, etc. He loved the mum-mums as well – I think it just helped him learn the eating process since those dissolve so easily. He rarely has one now, so don’t be worried that he’ll only want to eat that. X basically chose the finger food route for himself and I’m pleased with how it’s all going. He’s almost 10 months and definitely doesn’t do a three meals a day type schedule yet though.

  • Erica January 4, 2013, 8:03 pm

    I LOVE that you gave him fruits and veggies first! We did the same with Kay and now she adores both. Applauding your efforts. Breast feeding and pumping are both quite draining. I’m not sure how some Mom’s do it for years!

  • Amanda January 4, 2013, 8:11 pm

    You could always just cut back on pumping to see if a combo of formula and breast milk is more comfy for you 🙂 just don’t try to replace milk in his diet till he’s 1. Until then, breast milk or formula need to be the primary source of nutrition. 😉

  • Eliza January 4, 2013, 8:13 pm

    I think someone else mentioned this, but I’m just curious… I’m pregnant (25 weeks) and reading about babies/parenting has been something I’ve really been enjoying. I like reading all the different opinions, talking to my husband about it, and thinking about what we would like to try to do. Anyway, I know you said you’re hoping to decrease Henry’s breastmilk intake by increasing solids, but my understanding was that until 1 year of age or so solid food should just be for exploring/getting used to texture and taste, and that all nutrition still comes from breastmilk or formula. Have you heard differently?

    • Caitlin January 4, 2013, 10:54 pm

      No not really. I think I just phrased it wrong. I know milk will be his primary source of nutrition for a while, but what I meant is if we can even drop one bottle to replace with real food, that will make a big difference in formula cost. Happy pregnancy!!!!

      • Erin January 5, 2013, 9:12 am

        My ped told me you really don’t want them to replace milk with food. You just want to add it to what they are drinking. How about only pumping once or twice a day? That would cut down on formula costs. Plus, emotionally you might feel better. You don’t have to pump all day, but H still gets some breast milk. It’s a tough decision, I wish you the best!

    • Jennifer January 5, 2013, 4:49 pm

      Just another prospective, but I heard from my pediatrician that the “all nutrition from breastmilk/formula” is true but only up until your baby starts taking solids enough to make up for that nutrition which is dependent on your baby’s development, how fast they are developing a taste for food, when they get teeth, etc. Babies do need more “real food” with more calories as they start moving more. The best guideline she gave us was to feed him as much “real food” as he would like to eat and just to make sure that he was breastfeeding at least four times a day.

      Our baby is 7 months now and in the past month he has gone from about 1 meal a day to 3 meals, plus using a sippy cup for water. I am still breastfeeding him 4-6 times a day but the amount he nurses has gone down considerably, THANK GOD. I was getting pretty burned out on nursing and pumping. Just dropping one pumping session at night has improved my outlook on life greatly :D.

  • Kellie January 4, 2013, 8:22 pm

    My son wasn’t into solids at all. We decided to try the squeezable pouches of baby food and he loves them! He just takes them and sucks the food right out. Maybe worth a try! And, just saw they have a kit to make them yourself at Babies r us!

  • Lindsay @ Healthforagers January 4, 2013, 8:23 pm

    We started Baby Led Weaning about a month ago and my daughter is doing great. We can see her improve every day. We were able to rearrange her schedule and ours so that she eats almost all of our meals with us so she gets a lot of experience. She still does have that somewhat disgusted face on most times but she is also stuffing it in her mouth – sometimes more than 1 piece at a time. I did a Munchkin Meals link with the other day on what she has been eating, you should check it out.

    We also do formula – she was early and never got used to breastfeeding, and though it is expensive it doesn’t feel too bad when you buy it in bulk at Costco or Amazon.

  • Jolene (Homespun Heritage) January 4, 2013, 8:29 pm

    Donovan is 3 months and my 3rd child by birth. My first child wanted nothing to do with solids until 7 months and by 9 months was eating table food. My second child did not eat solids until she was almost 18 months and not consistently until 2. She nursed until 20 months. So, children can go either way….table food quickly or have no interest for a long time.

  • meredith January 4, 2013, 8:33 pm

    my little man is about the same age as henry (7 months next week). so i love, LOVE reading your posts. it’s funny how different babies are. eli isn’t crawling yet (he can worm everywhere like a king), but he LOVES food. we started around the 4 month mark. i am still breastfeeding, but i supplement with formula before bed and he also eats oatmeal (with BM), veggies and fruits. I started with the oatmeal b/c it took him about a month to get use to “how” to get it in his mouth and swallow. the first week or so was a bust but eventually he started lvoing it. he now eats butternut squash, carrots, peas, green beans, apples, pears, avacado and sweet potatoes. basically, if i can steam/puree it, i do. with bananas and avacado i just mash it up really good. i give it to him about an hour after he gets milk for breakfast lunch and dinner. hope that helps!

  • Lauren (athleat) January 4, 2013, 8:38 pm

    We have just started with solids a few weeks ago when Connor hit 6 months and are doing a mix of homemade and organic jarred. So far he has tried sweet potato, carrot, avocado and banana. All mixed with BM to make it more soupy. I keep adding a little less BM to see if he will be ok with just the mashed fruit or veggie. Connor hated the rice cereal and we haven’t tried oatmeal yet. He loves banana ans carrot! Hated sweet potato and avocado. Going to reintroduce soon since I froze a boatload of homemade! We are doing a fruit in the morning and trying for a veggie and fruit in the evening. Hope to add some oatmeal to the morning also soon. Connor cld care less about the mum mum crackers but I open then so I can eat one, then the dog gets the other one that he throws on the floor. Those things are good-ha!

  • Lindsay January 4, 2013, 8:51 pm

    We just started solids this week (okay E may or may not have tried a few peas and avocado before our pediatrician gave the solids okay) and I decided to try a mix of brown rice cereal and butternut squash. I really don’t want Edith to come to love bland foods but we also want to gain weight (she is in the 1st percentile) so we decided to try some brown rice cereal. We are doing a combo of purees and baby led, following E’s lead.

  • Brie January 4, 2013, 9:02 pm

    Kudos to you for pumping this long. I’ve been pumping while I’m back to work for 3 days and I haaate it. I love breastfeeding, though, so I’ll keep it up.

  • Jackie January 4, 2013, 9:27 pm

    I am so sick of pumping, too! It’s one of my least favorite things to do, actually. But at this point (10 months in), I’m just holding out until a year to switch him to milk.

    I think the BLW mixed with purees is a good way to go. I did mostly purees until a couple months ago and I definitely wish I would have done more solid foods from the beginning. I’ve been a freak with my fear of food allergies, but I think I just need to get over that. (Neither my husband or I have food allergies, I’m just super worried about them for some crazy reason.)

  • JenRD January 4, 2013, 9:41 pm

    Definitely understand where you are coming from regarding exclusively pumping! At 6 months, I was starting to get sick of it, but was too stubborn and cheap to give it up. By 9 months, my body naturally started to wean, as my supply decreased. Fortunately, I had tons of frozen bags to supplement, which got us to just about 1 year–otherwise it would have been formula.
    I felt that I stressed particularly much and put too much pressure on myself (and still do!), since I am a dietitian, so food is my career. I was terrified of choking, so we chose the home made purée route. One thing I knew from experience and confirmed with my daughter is that baby’s tastes change constantly. One day avocado is Maya’s favorite, another day she hates it and pushes it away. I try to employ a strategy I read in my favorite feeding book, Ellen Satter’s “Child of Mine” (not to push another book, hehe), which basically states at as parents, our role is to choose the “what” “where” and “when” of eating; it is our child’s decision to choose the “if” and “how much.” So, as long as I provide Maya with a variety of healthy options that employ her senses using different colors, flavors and textures, and provide that food at appropriate times in a safe environment (her high chair), she gets to decide how much she will eat of each food.
    My big struggle right now is the “family meal”. It is something I truly want to employ, but Maya is just not there yet in terms of eating the same food as myself and my husband–I suppose we have fallen into a rut in terms of want is quick, convenient and healthy, and I know she likes.
    Anyway, it seems like you are off to a great start, and just keep offering H those yummy healthy foods–he will eat them on his schedule!

    • Kelly January 7, 2013, 12:47 pm

      I am a dietitian also with a near 6 month old that we are gearing up to begin solid foods with. I would second the Ellyn Satter books. They are an excellent resource and her website is also very informative.

  • Jen January 4, 2013, 10:03 pm

    Oh I also wanted to add that I actually do think there is value in those puffs and crackers. Even though they may not have as many nutrients as fruits and veggies, they allow H to work on his hand-eye coordination, feed independently, and explore different textures. Just something to consider. 🙂

  • Sue January 4, 2013, 10:29 pm

    Henry is a beautiful baby and you are doing a great job with him.

    I would say his preferences shows he is a very normal baby. The foods he likes are the blandest tasting food. The others, even though we think they have a mild taste, are probably stronger tasting to him. Just keep doing what you are doing and offering a wide variety of food. It is a new world to him and he needs to learn about it. There is some statistic that a new food has to be presented a large number of times before a child gets used to it. Never assume he doesn’t like a food on first rejection or you will end up with a fussy eater.

  • Michèle January 5, 2013, 6:37 am

    Henry looks like Jack Jack from The Incredibles!

  • Sarah (The Simple Dietitian) January 5, 2013, 8:08 am

    I don’t have kids, but totally enjoyed reading this post. I think you’re doing a great job with Henry, and sometimes there just isn’t a “perfect answer” to what the best methods are. 😀

  • Amanda K. January 5, 2013, 9:33 am

    your experience sounds similar to mine. i wanted to do BLW but i was scared of choking. and i was REALLY unsure of how to start. (i blogged about it here:
    now my son is 16 months old and he ONLY eats what he can pick up — he REFUSES a spoon no matter what’s on it. i think that’s because he ended up preferring BLW. i worried about him learning to feed himself with a fork, which he just started to do out of no where:

  • Catherine January 5, 2013, 9:46 am

    My daughter is a fun-sized giant (she was 28 inches and nearly 20 lbs at her 6-month appt), so her pediatrician strongly recommended that we start solids at 5 months since she doesn’t seem to fill up very well on only milk anymore. It’s been almost 2 months, and I am still having a hard time getting her to eat baby food! She enjoys bits of our food, but she hates the pureed stuff. She gives us the dirtiest looks and seriously growls when we come at her with the spoon of mush.

    Definitely do not worry about Henry’s size. Henry has chunky rolls and cheeks! Maybe small-framed, but definitely not underweight. Baby size is not a great predictor of adult size either. I was considered an obese baby… I was 18 lbs at 3 months when the pediatrician told my mom to water down my milk. As an adult, I am 5’6″ and always around 120 lbs except when I was pregnant where I maxed out at 143. Despite being a sumo baby, I have never struggled with weight as an adult.

  • Alison January 5, 2013, 10:21 am

    I was an exclusive pumper and sometime before 6 months I switched to half/half pumping and formula. It saved my sanity; it’s definitely a viable option.

  • Nikole January 5, 2013, 10:30 am

    My son is exactly one month older than Henry and we started solids at six months. Our ped recommended veggies solely then fruits. I made all my own veggies and he got them three times a day for five days. I would vary a green veggie then an orange one. Peas, carrots, green beans, sweet potato, zucchini, butternut squash. Then switched to fruits and did avocado ( his favorite so far) applesauce, bananas, peaches, pears, apricots. I am now back to veggies as he didn’t care for fruit. He started broccoli this week and loves it. I roast veggies and put me in the baby bullet. He doesn’t like super smooth food so I leave it chunky. I have tried giving him bite size cooked veggies since he now has four teeth but he doesn’t love them. He loves the yogurt melts though. I have to give him just a few of those. I have found buying organic fruit baby food has been cheaper than making it but making veggies cheaper. I am following the “dirty dozen” list for what to do organic.
    Have you given Henry a spoon and just let him play with it for a while, I did that with Grayson and he then liked being fed with it.
    You are doing great and Henrymis very advanced in his motor skills. He will catch on to eating soon.
    Try avocado and add just a tiny sprinkle of salt…I bet he will love it!

  • Ali January 5, 2013, 12:53 pm

    Just something interesting I recently read, for most things (like fruits and veggies, and things that may be “unfamiliar”) it take up to 10 times before humans develop a taste for them, so don’t despair!

  • Jenn January 5, 2013, 1:04 pm

    Be careful about not using cereals, ESP since you are still exclusively feedIng BM. Their iron level is something very serious.

    • Caitlin January 5, 2013, 2:43 pm

      I talked to my doc about this and he said there is no need to worry about iron when you are BFing.

      • Alicia January 5, 2013, 2:48 pm

        I was told the complete opposite. If you’re BFing and not giving formula you need to supplementing with iron.

  • Vicki January 5, 2013, 1:05 pm

    Thanks for the post! We just started Cora on solids – she’s almost exactly a month younger than Henry. We are also doing BLW (I wish we could just call it Baby Led Feeding instead!). So far she has had avocado (first food), sweet potato, cooked carrots and banana. She’s made a face every time, and seems to play with the food more than anything (in the mouth, spit it out, pick it up and put it back in, repeat) but some is getting down her gullet (as evidenced in the diaper! yuck!). I didn’t read the BLW book, but I did get the BLW cookbook for Christmas. It goes over the basics and has some good looking recipes, although I haven’t tried them just yet. I also found a great BLW blog here:

    One thing I have learned is that with starting solids (esp. BLW) food before 1 is just fun. In other words, you can’t really count on it for his daily intake of calories. Since you’re a super producer, any chance you can build up a mondo stash of breast milk in the next month or two that would get him to a year, then quit?

  • Kerry January 5, 2013, 1:05 pm

    He is so, so cute! And getting so big!

  • lindsay owen January 5, 2013, 1:57 pm

    Hey Caitlin,

    Well done with the weaning so far. Looks like it’s going really well.

    I weaned both of my kids the BLW way after seeing Gill Rapley speak about it at my university. Just wanted to let you know that in my experience, my daughter took to it quickly and my son took longer. Both of them continued to get the bulk of their calories between 6 and 8 months of age from breast milk while they explored the foods we offered them, and got the hang of chewing and swallowing. It takes time. It really does. Just keep up the breast milk supply and Henry will be fine.

    Have you tried him with pasta yet – penne are a great shape to hold and chew on. Mine used to love toast too – with butter or cream cheese – but I guess that doesn’t work with the no dairy/gluten thing. They did love to gnaw away at it though!

    Good luck and take care,

    Lindsay Owen (mymumruns)

  • Angie January 5, 2013, 4:09 pm

    About the breast feeding, have you considered going back to nursing for a couple of feedings a day? It’s easier than pumping… I know you didn’t love it at first, but it might be different now. Just a thought. If that doesn’t sound appealing, I echo what others have said on the mixing of formula and breast milk.

    Also, my 4th had some serious food sensitivities, including dairy and soy. It got to the point after he turned 1 that I could have both dairy and soy products and nurse him but soy still bothered him if he had it directly. Just something to be cognizant of if you start him on a soy-or dairy-based formula. Even though my little guy can now have dairy products with no issues, he flat-out refuses to drink milk, so I’m still nursing him at 18 months because that is the only nutritional drink he will drink!!

    • Lauren January 5, 2013, 10:25 pm

      I’ve read before that you should not mix formula and breastmilk for several reasons. Here is one from babycenter:
      “Some mothers mix powdered formula with their breast milk in order to increase the calories their baby gets during a feeding. Please do not do this! Not only does it change the composition of the breast milk, but the micronutrients in the formula will become so much more concentrated that it can be very hard on your baby’s immature kidneys. Always follow the exact directions on the can of powdered or concentrated formula, and never mix formula with anything but distilled water.”

      Also, I’m sorry if this is redundant, and that I don’t know about your situation, but if it is a latch issue, have you tried just offering the breast now that he is older? Has he ever drank from a sippy cup? Maybe he would latch easier now? Again, forgive me if that’s not an option. You have been giving your son such a gift by sacrificing so much while pumping. No matter what you decide, you will be giving him nourishment and that’s what he needs-each ounce of breastmilk is better than nothing-so be so proud of yourself!

      • Emily January 6, 2013, 10:29 am

        Lauren, I tink you misunderstood what we mean by “mixing” breastmilk and formula. All that means is using some breastmilk and some formula to meet your babies daily needs. It doesn’t mean using breastmilk as the liquid for mixing powered formula. You still mix the formula with water according to the directions. For myself, before my milk dried up, I was making around 24 ounces a day and my baby was requiring more like 30 ounces, so we used both breastmilk and formula (mixed with water) to meet his needs. It’s perfectly safe and healthy to do this.

        • Lauren January 7, 2013, 1:32 pm

          Oh yes ok thank you so much for clarifying!!

  • Emily January 6, 2013, 12:12 am

    I think I am the only commenter who is not a mother so I am unable to shed some knowledge about childhood nutrition. What I do want to remind you is that you’re doing an amazing job at mothering 🙂 pumping is draining and exhausting and you can’t enjoy cheddar, margarine, Greek yoghurt and Cadbury chocolate because you chose to stick with it – that is willpower and I am not sure if I would have lasted 7 months 😀 besides the cost formula is a great alternative that gets a bad wrap. There are organic soy and goat milk – he may tolerate goat milk 😉 – available and only in developing countries where the water is dirty is formula not recommended. Your posts feelings are so real I feel like I know you!

  • Marissa C January 6, 2013, 2:07 am

    I never really had any opinions on baby led weaning or planned to do it, but sort of stumbled into it because my kid is a BIG eater and it is was easier to let her fed herself (supervised) vs doing purees.

    Check out a food mill, though–it can be a little messy, but is great for turning “grown up food” into baby food.

    Also, I refuse to let my daughter have grapes (even cut in half, maybe in fourths) or popcorn. Too many scary, awful stories of parents watching their child choke to death in from of them from an ER doc. It just isn’t worth it to me.

  • Amy January 6, 2013, 6:15 am

    Pumping is such a drag. I am curious as to the formula cost. One of my kids was formula fed from 8 weeks on and it was about $20-30 extra per week. Were you planning on trying an expensive formula like Nutramigen or something? Because seriously, formula is formula. (unless the child has severe diagnosed gastro issues) Go with the cheapest you can find. You may find that the extra $500 for formula (assuming you start when baby is 7mo) is money well spent (and extra time to spend with your baby since you will be free of the pump:)

  • Jess January 6, 2013, 9:02 am

    I didn’t take the time to read through all the comments but good should not replace any milk before a year, especially if he’s on the small side. He absolutely needs the fat, protein and nutrients from either breastmilk or formula. If you read a blw book or any sort of literature on introducing solids, it will go through how solids are for fun before the first birthday, not for nutrition.

    I know pumping sucks. I pumped at work and nursed at home for 15 months. I’m still nursing 3-4 times/day. But you really have to think about your baby rather than yourself. If you can’t handle it anymore just fill in formula for a couple of pumping sessions a day to cut down.

  • Carol January 6, 2013, 10:14 am

    You have to be mindful of iron levels, especially as kids
    eat table foods. I have a four year old vegetarian
    son who was sick a lot this fall and he was
    kind of pale, but I didn’t really think much of
    it. At his yearly dr appt, I always have his iron
    levels checked due to his diet. Sure enough
    he was low in iron. Now I give him a liquid
    vitamin with iron added and his color is so much better. I feel bad but am glad we caught ut

  • Michelle January 7, 2013, 3:38 am

    We did a combination of BLW and traditional spoon feeding with our daughter (now 10 months) and started at 6 months.
    We offered her veges and fruit that we were eating and she has always had meals with us. I went from 1 meal a day to 3 quite quickly (she wasn’t eating a lot) but it got her in the habit of eating when we were and it took her about a month to really get the hang of it and she loves her food now.
    Favourites to start were brocolli (steamed and whole florets for her to hold) yoghurt, sweet potato, scrambelled egg.

    I think the BLW is a great approach to start as they get to control what they eat but once they really get into it they seem to need a bit of spoon feeding to be able to actually get enough food fast enough to fill their little tummies.

    Solids is a very fun time and I love that I can just give her some of what we are eating and now she asks for what we are eating.
    We live in NZ and is summer at the moment so she is absolutely loving strawberries and apricots.

    Love reading about how you and H are getting on.

  • heather January 7, 2013, 9:13 am

    With my oldest we started with organic brown rice cereal mixed with formula first then moved to fruits. She didn’t like the fruits so we went to veggies and she preferred those to fruits for a couple of months. With our newest, we started the brown cereal at 6 months (a few weeks ago) and offered the pureed veggies first (peas and sweet taters). She loves food, LOL. We haven’t offered fruits yet, but we will soon.

    My oldest, is not a picky eater at all and she LOVES fruits and most vegetables. I tried to offer her a lot of variety in tastes and textures (still do). I also tried to make eating fun and let her feed herself as much a possible even if it resulted in a huge mess and took longer.

  • Hope January 7, 2013, 9:45 am

    My son was allergic to milk protein so we had to avoid dairy until he was about 10 months. His doctor told us to start slow with a few bites of yogurt or cheese to see how it went. Thankfully he had outgrown the allergy and now shows none of the symptoms even when drinking lots of whole cow’s milk. Happy Baby now makes coconut milk yogurt drops, I wish they were out when my son had his allergy. I love the squeeze packs of pureed food. Even at 13 months old my son still loves to have them for a snack.

    Formula is SO expensive. We had to use Nutramigen which costs about $35 a canister and we used about 2 a week. Yeah, it sucked but babies are expensive creatures! It might be worth your sanity so switch if you really don’t want to pump anymore. Random tip- Buy coupons on ebay for formula! I used to do it all of the time and it really helped to save money. My son wouldn’t have been able to drop a bottle even with an increased food intake. We started dropping a bottle or two at a year old. I’m following his lead and some days he only needs 3 bottles and other days he needs more.

    I have been blessed with a kid that will eat anything I give him. I’d like to think that I did something to make him that way but really it was just luck. I’m sure Henry will come around and like more foods as time goes on. As long as you only offer healthy foods he will have no choice but to eat them at some point.

    And I could go on but I think that this is the longest comment that I’ve ever left and you are probably so over reading it by now. 😉

  • Teresa January 7, 2013, 10:58 am

    I just have to say that Henry is just the cutest sweet pea!!! Him holding on to Maggie’s ear while he eats…..PRICELESS!!!!

  • Halsy January 7, 2013, 11:25 am

    I only pump once a day for my daughter’s oatmeal and I absolutely loathe it! I really think it is awesome that you have kept up with it so long! I agree with the others about possibly trying to find a balance between formula an breastmilk and see how that goes! I’m sure whatever you decide will be the best decision for your family! Are you making your own purées when you use them? I know my daughter doesn’t care for the pouches as much as she does homemade. Another suggestion is use some seasonings cumin for sweet potatoes an black beans, cinnamon for baked apples and butternut squash. Just some ideas. Have you tried the mum mums? I bought some for my daughter (1 mos older than Henry) and she loved it! I had great things about them. Then I tasted one and they were so sugary…reminded my of golden crisp cereal from when I was a kid. I decided to not give her anymore. I only mention this because I was shocked at how sweet it was. My daughter also eats plenty of solid so I didnt see the point of giving it to her. This is not a criticism for parents who decide to give their children mum mums. Every parent is different a every child is different. It seems like you are an excellent parent!

  • Autumn January 8, 2013, 10:32 am

    Two suggestions: avocado and banana! My boys (14 mos now) LOVED them when we first started solids, no cooking required, just smush or cut into little pieces. Also cheerios (oat based but they may have some gluten?) basically dissolve in the mouth and are great for working on finger dexterity. Peas are good for this also and babies tend to like them because they’re starchy and a little sweet– although until they could chew very well my guys tended to stack them in their cheeks instead of swallowing them, so pureed might be best to start. Applesauce is cheap and great.

    You are doing amazing with the pumping. I breastfed in the morning and night and pumped during the day at work but gave out at about six months. Honestly it was such a relief to be done, I never looked back. We used Target brand formula which is virtually identical in composition to the fancy brands but much cheaper.

  • Kayla January 8, 2013, 2:53 pm

    Great job with breastfeeding for so long! A lot of moms don’t make it that long, and I’m sure Henry is getting tons of benefits from you sticking it out.
    Now I don’t know a whole lot about other methods for feeding babies, different things work for different families, but I will say this: PLEASE be careful about feeding Henry on the floor/ in his play area. BLW can already be a choking hazard when supervised in a high chair, and my doctor warned me about how that choking risk can go up if a baby is not sitting up and supported.

  • Rose January 9, 2013, 12:46 pm

    I had issues with low supply so I was never able to pump enough milk for my daughter while I was at work. The thing that worked the best for us was to give her as much breastmilk as I could pump and then make up the rest with formula. We even mixed breastmilk and formula in the same bottle so she could get used to the taste of formula. You could try cutting out some pumping sessions and supplementing with formula. Henry will still get benefits of having some breast milk, and you will retain some sanity from cutting out some of the pumping sessions which may help you to be able to stick it out longer. Good luck, pumping is HARD WORK!

  • Alison January 10, 2013, 12:05 pm

    Have you thought about Avocado? My daughter loved it – and I loved that I could cut open a ripe one and feed right away. It can be soft and has a light flavor, which will go well with light flavors he already enjoys. Good Luck!
    PS – I love the picture of your son with his puppy, too cute!

  • Sarah@KidsHeartRealFood January 10, 2013, 9:06 pm

    I haven’t had a chance to read through all the comments, so I’m sure this has been said before, but my biggest advice (based on my very limited is to keep trying!

    My son started off liking solid food quite a bit but then went through a two week period where he wouldn’t eat ANYTHING but applesauce. I was devastated as I had all these high hopes of raising a veggie-loving baby. He would literally push the spoon away and clamp his mouth shut. Meal times were super stressful. However, looking back, I do think it was because he wasn’t feeling that well (teething, a bit of a fever etc) and just wanted to breastfeed instead. I kept trying different veggies every meal, and suddenly one day he just started eating again. And eating EVERYTHING, from lentils, to broccoli to kale! However, I’m sure this won’t last forever either and he will go through a “food-hating” stage again down the road – but isn’t that the case with everything when it comes to baby? Just when you get used to them doing one thing, everything changes completely!

  • Nikki November 23, 2013, 3:01 pm

    Hey Caitlin–
    I realize this post was from awhile ago, but it recently became relevant for me as I had my first baby! I was just wondering which formula, when you did start using it, you chose to use? I keep hearing people say that it’s all the same, but based on my research it is definitely not all the same, e.g. there are lots of different ingredients and they are processed differently depending on the formula.
    Thank you!

    • Caitlin November 23, 2013, 7:04 pm

      It is definitely not the same! We used Baby’s Only Soy formula.

  • Hayley May 20, 2014, 12:43 am

    Caitlin, I searched to see if there was any follow-up posts on starting solids but couldn’t find any. I’m currently facing the same challenges as you did – my boy only likes oats and rice cereal! So far I’ve only offered purees, but am going to try blw now that I have a high chair that I can wipe down.

    So, my question is did Henry become a better eater? I’m sure he did, but how long did it take? I’m trying not to worry about his iron intake, but considering he’s breastfed it’s definitely on my mind. Thank you!

    • Caitlin May 20, 2014, 7:09 am

      Yes! He didn’t get into eating solids until he was over a year. I wouldn’t worry about it – I think I was comparing him to his friends who LOVED solids and would wolf it down. Henry is still just not that into food (he will NOT eat if he’s not hungry) but he’s healthy and happy so that’s all that matters.

  • Jasmine June 28, 2014, 3:41 am

    Loved this, my 7 month old definitely does not like puréed or even mashed food at all. If he can “chew” it then he’ll take it but generally he almost always gives the “this is the worst food ever!” face unless it’s toast with a smear of jam. I figured I would just persevere and give him finger foods and hopefully he’ll get better.
    Complete 180 to his big sister though. She would eat everything except mash potato, so his refusal and facials are quite frustrating for me sometimes but then I remember a little thing I heard “food for fun until their 1”
    I hope he gets better :/

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