Help with starting solids

July 14, 2009

Penny has been (almost) exclusively breastfed for the last 6 months. I started dabbling with solids (ie. purées) about a month ago. And we’re still dabbling.

Breastfeeding is the easiest way to feed her! I don’t want to give that up – not the breastfeeding part, the easy part. Now I have to mix pablum, and heat puréed foods. It was so much simpler just to lay down with her on the bed and let her glug away for 20 minutes or so. Plus, it was time for us together. I can’t even read while she nurses – she knows and does nasty things like biting me.

I love breastfeeding her and I’m not going to give that up yet. But mostly, I just don’t know how to feed her solids. It’s one of those things that I don’t just instinctively know, and I haven’t been able to find much information on.

Mmmmm sweet potato!

Mmmmm sweet potato!

Yes, at 6 months you should start solids. You should start pablum (rice cereal). You move on to puréed foods like single vegetables (sweet potatoes come to mind). You should progress to lumpy foods next, and small cut up food after that (once they master the pincer). And all of this assumes you’re not going to foray into baby-led solids.

But I don’t know how to integrate solids into our routine. I would really love to find a guide that says for the first week, do this, then add this for the next week. I know everything is going to be guidelines, and you don’t have to follow what doesn’t work for you. But SOME direction would be nice.

Currently, I’m trying to make it part of our routine to feed Penny a breakfast of 1 tbsp of pablum mixed with about a third of a jar of sweet potato purée, plus a few spoonfuls of apples and raspberries for dessert. But on days when she slept through most of the night, she wakes up STARVING. I grab her and latch her on for a quick, easy breakfast. Then we all got sick and I went back to just breastfeeding for ease and hydration. I’m trying to get back to our breakfast routine, but every day is different. One day she gets breakfast and no other solids. One day she doesn’t get breakfast but eats solids 2 other times.

So, ignoring the fact that I am interested in baby-led solids and incorporate that to some degree, does anyone have any information to help me establish a solid food routine for a 6 month old?

Penny eating cucumber - theoretically good for teething with its coolness and anti-puffiness when used on eyes

Penny eating cucumber - theoretically good for teething with its coolness and anti-puffiness when used on eyes



  1. Instead of pulps and purees try Baby Led Weaning. Been doing it for 2 weeks with nearly 6 month breast fed baby. Works a treat, great fun for all and no fuss! Book by Rapley&Murkett

  2. i always BF first, then gave kid 1 his solids… wanted to make sure he was still getting lots of boob… and i started slow… 1 meal a day (usually dinner) to start, then added in a second within a few weeks…

  3. I have given spinach, cucumber, tomato, avocado, celery (cut out the stringy bits) nectarine, roasted carrots, parsnips and chip shaped potato, melon bread sticks chicken and cheese on toast.

    I always give at least 3 things for her to try with 1 new thing when possible. Don’t over fill the plate, keep most of it back. Don’t be put off by look of disgust, it only seems to mean she doesn’t recognise a taste. She always goes back for more. Let baby handle the food as much as possible ( I cheat and help with melon!)

    Above all, do breast feed first. She shouldn’t be too hungry or she’ll get frustrated. It’s learning through play rather than eating, although Peapod is definitely swallowing quite a bit after only a week.

    Hope that helps, let me know how you get on

    Melanie (aka Peapodsmummy)

  4. I breastfeed first, and then offer solids. I do the baby-led thing. I’m on my second child now, and if I plop a pile of food on his high chair tray then he will entertain himself while the rest of us eat. I make my own – mashed banana or avocado, pureed meats, and so on.

    Now that I’ve been through this a couple of times I think the lower-key the better. You don’t want it to be about forcing the kid to eat or starting battles. You don’t want to be constantly worried about your child eating ‘enough’ of the ‘right’ foods. I did that for a time and it was no fun. Now I believe that a healthy baby offered a variety of healthy foods will not go hungry or be deprived of crucial nutrients. And I won’t go crazy in the process.

    One book I read, that I loved, is “My Child Won’t Eat!” by Carlos Gonzalez. It totally put my solid food fears to rest, I highly recommend it. :)

  5. A friend said this on Facebook: “I have a book that I can lend you – it has a million recipes for babies but it also has like a table that says ‘Day 1 – Breastfeed, apple, breastfeed, breastfeed, breastfeed’ ‘Day 5 – Breastfeed, vegetable medley, Breastfeed, peaches and cream, breastfeed’….. so on so forth.”

    That’s the kind of information I’m looking for. I don’t plan to follow it exactly, but some sort of direction would be good. By the way… I can’t cook unless there is instructions on the box either!

  6. The guide we used with ours is a book called The Contented Little Baby Book by Gina Ford. She gives not only schedules for waking/sleeping/playing but complete timing and integration for food for every specific age. That book saved our lives!

    Danelle Ice / Homemaker Barbi

  7. I’m scared of solids! If you find a day-by-day guide let me know!

  8. I found it! I found a schedule! http://www.amazon.com/Naturally-Healthy-First-Foods-Baby/dp/1402211244/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247719453&sr=8-1

    It has a schedule for the first day, days 2-7, week 2, weeks 3 & 4 – early morning, mid-morning, lunch, mid-afternoon, supper, and bedtime. That’s just in the 6 month section. I’m assuming it continues week 5 and up in the next section. Starting it tomorrow =D

  9. I am glad you found a routine. When I started my little girl on solids, it was not every day that she would get them. It would all depend on how well she napped and when she drank a bottle. She really loved getting solids and as she got a little older, I put her on a more structured schedule. She is now almost 10 months old and she gets solids at 7:30AM, 12:00PM, and 5:00PM. She gets bottles at 9:30AM, 2:30PM and 7:30PM. It is a really easy schedule and she never cries out of hunger. Good luck!

  10. With 1,2 and 3 I did the rice cereal and a new veggie every week – I didn’t find it any fun…

    I recently just read Real Food for mother and baby by Nina Planck – we stopped the rice cereal and are giving baby real foods in big chunks, even meat – the other night we gave her a rib bone with meat on it and she absolutely loved it!! She is so happy and it’s so much more fun.

    I wrote a post on this book – love it!!

  11. Don’t forget that your little ones might want to play with spices after a few weeks too. I tried pablum, but after only a few days gave up. It was time-consuming and I never knew how thick to make it and little peanut kept spitting it out. She liked more tasty foods. Bananas, chicken (in little bits), curry chicken, rice, couscous, cottage cheese, berries, etc. Once I figured that out, it was all I could do to keep her going on new foods!
    I also soak oatmeal overnight in yogurt and then cook in the morning. it’s hearty and healthy. add a few frozen berries to the hot cereal and it cools it quickly.
    For the record, I tried giving her pablum a few weeks later as I had a lot, but she totally spit out the spoonful and refused to open her mouth again for it.

  12. Quick answer, try http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com – excellent resource! Our solids journey went the same way at first, she didn’t start w/ regular, routine, everyday solids until closer to 8 months, w/ the increase in her appetite. HTH!

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