At around 6 months babies start to show a great deal of interest in solid food and what mom, dad and big brother are putting into their mouths! Humans are social animals, babies learn from watching their caregivers eat, and it’s around this time when baby’s body and brain become developmentally ready to start solid food.
Signs of readiness include:
Baby is able to sit, unsupported.
Baby has lost his tongue-thrust reflex, meaning that he does not push foods out of his mouth with his tongue when they are offered.
Baby can pick things up between his fingers and thumb.
He still seems hungry after getting a full day's portion of milk (eight to ten breast-feedings or about 32 ounces of formula).
Baby is at LEAST 4 months old; do not start younger than this unless directed by your pediatrician.
Starting solids can come with a lot of emotions for a caregiver. It’s a big milestone, and it is often frightening! But babies are naturals when it comes to eating solids; it’s important to always supervise and start slow.
BLW or puRées?
You may have heard or come across the acronym “BLW” which stands for baby led weaning. While the term can be intimidating to some parents; particularly because it involves jumping straight to finger foods and bypassing purées. But it doesn’t have to be scary! Following the carefully laid out steps; and making sure your baby is developmentally ready can lead to a very FUN and messy adventure into the world of solid foods. Find BLW Feeding Resources Here to help you get started!
Purées have long been the standard when it comes to weaning babies. And in today’s world of pouches, it’s easy to feed baby on the go! Start with a single ingredient fruit or vegetable purée or infant cereal. You can find more feeding resources here!
Many parents these days are starting to combine both purées and BLW. The concept is the same but both purées and finger foods are offered. Often babies aren’t quite ready for finger foods and starting with purées and slowly moving to finger foods is a natural progression for their developing pallets and motor skills.
So whether you’re practicing BLW, spoon feeding purées, or combining them; babies first few months of solids should be purely experimental. Milk is still their main source of nutrition and should always be offered before and after solids. Have fun and enjoy this new experience with your little one!