Feeding the Babe

I have had quite a few emails lately asking some questions about how we approached feeding Harper solid foods. I thought it might just be easiest to write a post about it, and hopefully more of you will find it helpful. Let me start by saying, we are not experts (obv) and didn’t use any specific method other than our go-to “winging it” approach. I am constantly still asking my parent friends how/when/what do they feed their kids, and I learn something new every day! 
Here’s a little bit of a timeline for your reference:
Breastmilk/Formula only for the first 4 months, which by four months we were at about 4 feedings per day (which I think was about 8 oz. per feeding around the standard breakfast, lunch, dinner & before bed times).
The morning of her four month birthday, our ped had given us the go-ahead to let her try baby cereal. We started with rice cereal, put the recommended amount (maybe 2 tbsp?) into a small bowl, poured some milk from her 8oz bottle into the bowl of cereal until it was soupy & fed it to her. She was not a fan. We did this for 4-5 days for breakfast each day & she never really seemed to like it. A few other moms recommended that we try baby Oatmeal Cereal instead… loved it! She started to really get the hang of the whole spoon feeding thing. We gradually increased the oatmeal to twice a day (breakfast & dinner) over the next month. We never put the baby cereal into her bottle, only spoonfed.
At five months, we introduced fruits. We started with Earth’s Best & Plum brands, I used maybe 1/3 of a jar/pouch mixed in with the oatmeal at both feedings. She immediately loved it & decided that plain oatmeal was for the birds. After about two weeks, we started giving her three meals a day (oatmeal/fruit for breakfast, fruit for lunch & oatmeal/fruit for dinner), and started lowering the amount of milk she had, more like 6oz with each meal instead of 8. We did follow our doctor’s direction to introduce one food at a time for 3-4 days to make sure there were no allergies… which there weren’t, other than my allergy to her blueberry diapers. HOLY MOTHER.

At six months (actually a little bit before), we introduced vegetable purees, using both Plum & Earth’s Best brands. By this time we were totally burnt out on every single fruit, so it was exciting to give her something new. We started some of the stage two baby foods within the next two months, she loved sweet potato, mango & peaches. This is the stage where we LOVED the Boon Squirt Spoon, once they start eating all these yummy foods, they can’t get it in their mouths fast enough! From here on out, the bottles were 6 oz. for breakfast, lunch & dinner and then 8 oz. before bed.
Right around seven and eight months, she was just starting to crawl. Our ped said that at this time, EVEN if they don’t have teeth (which she obviously already had a mouth full), we could start giving her Puffs. It’s scary at first, but honestly, just put one in your own mouth & watch it do it’s disappearing act. Those things melt so quick, I honestly don’t think it’s possible for a kid to choke on them. It did take a few tries for her to get the hang of it, but she became a pro in no time. After about two weeks of watching her successfully eat solid foods with her fingers, we started testing out some other finger foods. Broccoli (steamed), green beans & blueberries. All of which, she LOVED. (Read more seven month & eight month feeding adventures).
I will say, things like bananas & avocado, anything slimey, took a few tries before she liked them. She hated anything we tried to mash or puree for her, she really just like to do it herself.

We also introduced the sippy cup right around this time, giving her half water/half apple or pear juice once or twice a day in between meals. We had to help her hold it the first few times, but eventually she figured it out. Our favorite brands of sippys are Nuby, Avent & Tommee Tippee. Although I think they secretly ALL leak the more you use & wash them.

Things got even more fun around this time when we pretty much gave up baby food all together & decided she could really just eat a lot of the things we ate. We gave her pancakes one day while we were out for breakfast & you would have thought it was Christmas morning. For all of us. 
I quickly traded in Puffs for Cheerios, started buying different flavors of regular applesauce & yogurts.

By Thanksgiving, when she was just over 9 months, she ate a full Thanksgiving dinner. She ate sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, turkey, stuffing & pie.

We continue to try lots of new foods, giving her really anything that is soft enough to chew & small enough that she won’t choke. She eats 3 meals a day, with a juice & snack in between & an 8 oz bottle before bed.
Here’s what her typical menu looks like for the week:
Waffles & Yogurt
Banana & Cheerios
Oatmeal with Blueberries & Raspberries

Cheese Ravioli with Tomato Sauce
Grilled Cheese & Steamed Broccoli or Cauliflower
Chicken (either grilled leftover from dinner or something like dino-bites) & Green Beans
Usually a side of blueberries, watermelon or banana

Pasta (spaghetti, ravioli, lasagna, etc.)
Grilled Chicken, Avocado, Beans
Mashed Potatoes, Beef or Turkey, Veggie (green beans, peas, carrots, etc.)
The only things we really don’t give her is spicy stuff, we eat a ton of fajitas, stuffed peppers, tacos, enchiladas, buffalo chicken, etc. but for the most part, we just let her eat what we are eating. (A little more detail about our most recent feeding adventures here)
Also, she frowns when she eats. No idea why, maybe she is concentrating? 🙂
Once you start eating solids, you MUST get these silicone bibs. This will save you from picking up two hundred cheerios off the ground at the end of the day.
And for the record, our high chair is from Ikea. I hated it at first, but it has really grown on me. This high chair is honestly not meant for smaller babies that aren’t fully sitting up/moving around on their own yet. Harper would slouch and slide around in this because it isn’t contoured, so I would pack it full of blankets to make her more comfortable. For older kids? This high chair rocks. It is SO easy to clean & doesn’t look like a spaceship in the corner of your kitchen. 
I am really looking forward to her being able to eat eggs & peanut butter (was waiting til her one year appointment, although I could probably give it to her any day now) two of the most common things we eat in this house. So tell us all! What are your kiddo’s favorite things to eat?! I know that mamas with kids of all ages struggle to find things to make for meals, so hopefully this is helpful! Again, I am not an expert by any means, just sharing a little bit about how we roll around here! 🙂

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