Hi love! If you are reading this you have a baby that is about to start solids, or you have a baby that has already started solids but you are unsure if you are doing it right. A lot of people have asked how we introduced finger foods. I wish there was a pamphlet I could easy link here and you could follow it, but we just really didn’t go by anything like that!
I get it. This is all new territory for us. We can never know if we are really doing anything ‘right’. I just tell myself as long as the dr checkups go well, she is happy and she is still alive then we are doing our jobs as parents!
*For the below. I am not a Dr. Please refer to your Dr. if you have any questions or concerns about starting solids for your baby! These are just tips and tricks we did that work and luckily our baby does not have any allergies (yet!)
How We Introduced Finger Foods
When it comes to babies there is just SO MUCH INFORMATION out there. I hope this post doesn’t just add to your confusion.
There is tons of advice and there are so many reading materials when it comes to how to introduce finger foods. A very popular method is Baby Led Weaning. We decided to just wing it and let Miller and our Dr tell us when we needed to progress.
The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) now recommend you start your baby on purees around 6 months to help avoid food allergies later on. This used to be completely backwards and could change in another 10 years for all we know. I just go off of what my Dr recommends and she goes by the AAP recommendation.
I stopped breastfeeding at six months. If you want to read that post you can HERE. As soon as we stopped breastfeeding, we started her on formula and purees.
Formula: We use Enfamil Enspire and Enfamil Gentlease. She loves both and they both work really well for her. She drinks 8oz of formula 4x a day with Dr. Brown’s bottles. At 9 months we moved her to the level 4 nipple. She drinks a lot but is also a pretty big (tall) baby for her age so she probably needs a little more. If you are unsure of what your baby should be drinking ask your dr. They have a calculation they do to determine the amount of oz they need daily. It is also important that your baby likes the taste of the formula. Maybe try different formulas if you think your baby isn’t drinking properly. Miller drinks as soon as she wakes up in the morning, as soon as she wakes from each nap, and right before bedtime. I will do her 9 month post next week with more of her new schedule.
Purees: We just used the sample packs of baby food from the grocery store. Our Dr told us to introduce one at a time for a couple of days so that is what we did. At six months she didn’t eat much of it so we would cap it and put it in the fridge for that night or for the next day. I know a lot of you mamas out there are rock stars and puree your own foods. I LOVE THAT! We just decided to buy them at the store and it worked for us! Do whatever you are comfortable with and have time doing.
We used THIS SEAT to feed her at 6 months until we thought she was big enough for her high chair (around 8 months). We also waited until she could pick up the food herself (around 8 months) for the high chair.
*Trying peanut butter: You should introduce a dime sized amount and wait around two hours for a reaction before continuing. Have Benadryl handy just in case. My Dr. said it is super important to try peanut butter at a younger age. You need to be informed early if your baby has a peanut allergy. My Dr. gave me a peanut butter and apple puree at her six month checkup and she asked us to give it to her that afternoon when we got home.
After we tried out most of the baby food samples (all of the veggies and fruits) without a reaction we moved to solids around 8 months. This is when we felt like she could swallow on her own. We basically fed her whatever we were eating (as long as it was soft!)
At first we would spoon or hand feed her and we would also have her practice feeding herself, and now at nine months she is pretty good at picking up the food on her own as long as it is not too slippery. A lot still goes on the floor and A LOT still misses her mouth but she is getting better each day! I think it is so important to let them start trying on their own from the very beginning (even if they can’t pick it up or get it in their mouth.) At nine months Miller will pick it in a fist, then she open her fist and pinch the item with her other hand and put it in her mouth. Some foods just go in her mouth in fistfuls, like spaghetti.
We always put her in her high chair when we eat (breakfast, lunch, and dinner if she is awake). If she is sleeping during one of those meals we will just heat something up for her or cut up fruit. She especially loves bananas. She also loves chicken so we just bought pregrilled chicken that we will feed her if we are eating something with too much spice or something too hard for her to chew with her two little teeth. We just try to give her a protein, fruit, and veggie each day but really all finger foods up to a year are just for practice. Formula and breast milk give them everything they need in their first year of life. So don’t sweat it if one day your baby only eats a little bit of fruit. Our job is to introduce the foods to help avoid allergies later and to introduce the foods so they can practice picking it up, chewing, and swallowing so that they are good to go when they turn one!
We use the 4moms high chair and love it! It is magnetic and you can easily work it with one hand as you are holding the baby in the other. She cannot get out of it and you can lower and raise it to be up or down to your level. You can also buy the magnetic bowls and plates so they your baby cant throw them on the floor.
We typically try to eat about an hour after she wakes up and takes her bottle and an hour before her next time! Gives her time to get hungry again and also time to digest before her nap.
Miller loves yogurt. We fed her Activia when she had thrush and I seriously think it helped get rid of the thrush so much faster (because of the probiotics!) She also loves any kind of fruit. She doesn’t like carrots (pureed or cooked!) And she doesn’t seem to be a big fan of avocado or guac. She will try just about anything for a few bites before letting you know (by pushing your hand away) that she is done.
We are working on it but she doesn’t really like water and we don’t really want to give her juice. Any recommendations here? The dr suggested we take the spout off so the water flows more freely until she can get the hang of sucking on the no-spill sippy cups. It is messy but at least she drinks a little. The Dr. said about 6oz a day is fine for her age, but she maybe drinks an ounce! This is the only thing we struggle with because I really wanted to be able to give her some Pedialyte in the mountains but she wouldn’t drink it! Please leave your tips below.
Another question: At what age do they start holding their own spoon?
If I missed anything on how we introduced finger foods please leave your question below and I will answer it asap!
*Next week I will be answering all of your 9 month questions that you sent in! See her 8 month update HERE.