Baby’s First Milestone-Eating Solids

I’m really stuck on this issue of baby’s first feeding, but rightfully so, it’s a huge milestone.  I really want to drive home to my readers, who have not started feeding, to start thinking about it now. When will you start feeding and what?  Talk to your pediatrician as soon as possible.  Basically a baby can start handling food at 4 months, but the American Academy of Pediatrics and most places around the world recommend holding off until 6 months, or at least until your baby has met certain growth milestones. Next you will want to know what kind of food you will feed your baby first, (i.e. rice cereal, veggies, fruits) and will it be store bought or will you make it.  This is a huge milestone, you will need to/want to be prepared.

I thought I was prepared. I knew I wanted to feed him as soon as he was ready, and that I wanted to make his food.  When our pediatrician said go for it, we did. Now nearly a week later I have some regrets.  I know the doctor would not have said go for it if Oliver were not ready, but I still worry he is too young.  However, he is an 18 pound, 26 inch long, 4 month old baby who loves to watch me eat. Still, he has been exclusively breastfed since birth, he probably would have been fine to wait until 6 months old. Or would he? I’ll never know, and I have to get over that.

I worry about his little digestive system and how he feels with the food in his belly.  I have decided to really slow things down. I’m only feeding him about a tablespoon of food at dinnertime.  He eats with us.  When he starts to demand more I will feed him more.  I follow his cues, and if he turns up his nose, that’s it with that food… for now.

On a positive note, he opens his mouth and genuinely seems happy to be eating.  He smacked his little lips together and opens his mouth for more when he is finished. The way he was so quick to catch on to eating has really put my heart and mind at ease. And, there is no question feeding him at night with us has helped him sleep longer and more soundly. 

As first time parents, the hubs and I struggle weekly with different parental decisions.  What we have learned is that we have to own the decisions, and have faith that we have made the right choice. After hitting this big eating milestone, we have also realized that we need to start looking down the road to our next milestone.  We need to make sure we have all of the information and tools necessary to make the right decision.  I cannot recommend enough that you do the same!

Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com


Kiwi mum said...

Thank you for posting this!
Kiwibub is 14 weeks so this has been a topic in our household too - so far the only definite decision we have made is to make our own food, so for mothers day my husband bought me chopping boards, knives and freezer trays specifically for this purpose (I'm OCD enough to find this ridiculously exciting - especially because they're colour co-ordinated!)
Here in NZ there seems to be contradictions coming from every 'expert' on when to start feeding baby solids - I know that you fed Oliver because you were talking to your MIL and it was spontaneous, but were there any cues you were taking from Oliver leading up to this to make you think he was ready for solids?? :-)

foodpixie said...

I think we're going to wait on solids until 6 months. She watches us while we eat, and smacks her gums, but I'm just not ready.

AussieMummy said...

Just be careful trying new foods at night in case of allergic reaction. It's better to try new foods in the mornings so that you can monitor him for any reactions. And remember to try one new food at a time for four days in a row, so you can determine that it's definitely a safe food and not causing him any allergies.

Jessika said...

I totally understand! In the weeks before Chase turned 4 months I just didn't feel he should have solids yet... then around 4 months he started to be insatiable- so we started to play. Now at over 5 months we still "play" with one feeding usually a day. After the homemade food event, it seems that it's been a bit hard on his tummy, so I've backed off a lot- following his cues as you said. As long as we don't force feed them, or deprive them of breastmilk, I think a little experimenting is fine for the next couple months!

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

We actually we plannign to feed ollie that night, just not right there in front of the MIL!

Since around 13 weeks Oliver has been a ravenous, every three hours like clockwork eater. He never seemed full, but I know he was becuse he would stop nursing or refuse a bottle after 5 1/2 ounces. HE also loved the smell of food cooking. He would watch me eat and seemed genuinely interested. The after talking with the doctor, he as well felt Ollie was ready to start eating solids.

As much as I question the decision to start at 4 months, I know in my heart that it was the right thing to do. He is doing great wiht solids and I can tell he is much happier becuse he is sleeping better.

BTW: I am so jealous of your mothers day gifts!

Great to hear from you too! XX

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

It's great that you have that plan. As much as I wonder, I know there is probably no way I could have kept Ollie happy with breastmilk alone for another two months.

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

VERY VERY VERY Good points!

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

So the homemade food has been harder on his tummy than store bought pre made food?

Kiwi mum said...

Thanks for that - I'll start watching bub more closely, would hate to think I'm not feeding him enough :-)
Interesting reading the other responses too, handy tips all around!

Esther said...

April - I wanted to make homemade food too for my 4 month old but I read that jarred baby food is prepared in very sterile conditions that cannot be mimicked in a home kitchen. So I've been using Earth's Best. We started with the orange/yellow veggies (I read that it's recommended over feeding the green veggies first) and he hasn't had any issues so far.

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

That is a very good point! We are feeding Earth's Best as well. We did start with Peas and he did have bad gas. But next was Carrots Which he LOVES and has had no issues with gas!