I should start this with I am not a pediatrician or doctor just a mama who has started this journey of baby food for the second time. I have learned a couple tricks along the way and am always looking to share what I know.
I will also say this is so much fun and less stressful the second time around. Balancing flavors and watching her just totally enjoy (and hate!!!) different foods is so much fun.
Zoe was a preemie, so we had early intervention involved in starting solids. It was much more stressful and like anything new a bit scary. Like is she going to choke, or have allergies ( I have so many family members with allergies and a pretty severe peanut allergy myself). This time around the same fears are there but it's just not as new and well I guess maybe I don't have as much time to fret about everything little thing.
We knew Ami was ready for food when she was so interested in what we were doing and eating than nursing. I found she started cluster feeding at night to make up for the missed meals during the day.
1 - Your baby is ready for solid food when: He/she has good head control and sits with some support. He/she looks interested in anything you eat. He/she can swallow a spoonful of pureed food without too much tongue thrusting.
(Trust your instinct because no one knows your baby best but always consult with your pedi)
2 - Give 1 meal of solids once per day. You can really start with any basic food, but we started with oatmeal cereal mixed with breast milk. Start with a new food every 3-4 days. Some examples of first foods after oatmeal cereal are: carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, peas, green beans, apples, bananas, peaches, pears and mushy avocado.
3 - Give your baby meals at a quiet time of day and not when he/she is frantically hungry. This will set you up for success! 4 - Rice cereal, applesauce and bananas may be constipating. You may need to use alternate foods to help with this (such as oatmeal, peaches/pears/prunes/plums). We introduced pureed prunes as one of the first foods, to balance out the belly.
5 - Babies need time to get used to new tastes. What he/she may not like one day, he/she might like another. After 5-10 tries, he/she may actually realize he/she does like it. Keep trying or combine flavors and don't be afraid of adding herbs or spices, I love including herbs from my garden into her meals. We have tried carrots and rosemary, navy beans and cilantro or her favorite peas mint and a little butter. I would try the food first for a couple days and then add one new ingredient at a time.
6 - Stop feeding when your baby turns his/her head away when offered the spoon, spits out the food or simply won't open their mouths for another bite.
7 - These first few months of solid are not suppose to take the place of breast milk or formula, so offer breast or bottle feeding after a solid meal but if they are a great eater (like Ms Ami!!) it is okay if your baby declines.
8 - Have benadryl on hand and know how much to give them. We had a really big scare with Zoe's peach allergy and the waiting time on knowing what to do almost caused me never to try solids again... JK but seriously, know what to do if there is a sever allergy is KEY to keeping your sanity.
(and remember feeding is a multi-sensory process so expect a mess, pull out the camera and have fun with it!)
Below are some products and books that have made our "and she eats" journey a little easier. Find my board on pinterest for lots of ideas!
I cannot say enough good things about the Cuisinart Baby machine, I got it from my bestie and seriously the best machine ever. you can steam and puree all int he same machine which means LESS STUFF TO WASH. I make a batch of veggies and another of fruit twice a week. Each batch is good for 3-4 days but you can also freeze some!
I am looking forward to making both her and Zoe some homemade pouches. :) I hope this is helpful for all of you amazing mamas requesting tips and recommendations on babyfood makers. Looking forward to sharing our favorite recipes (Another request I get daily.)