More Solid Foods Questions

August 17, 2009

I’d like to do baby-led weaning, or baby-led solids as it’s called sometimes. My doctor at the breastfeeding clinic is all for it, and basically said to feed Penny what we eat, when we eat it.

Baby-led weaning is gaining popularity. To sum it up, when we were children, we started eating solids at 3 months. If you follow the same steps with introducing food, and adjust for the current age of 6 months, our babies should be starting solid foods – not pablum (rice cereal) or pureed foods. Because of the adjustment in age, a 6 month baby now will not eat food they are not ready to. They will not try to swallow if they can’t handle it yet. If a food that they can’t handle yet gets too far towards their throat, they will cough to move it back to the front.

Penny has “eaten” orange pepper, green pepper, onion, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, oranges, banana, pears, potato, cheese, toast, crackers, steak, and ham. Some of these were more welcomed than others. She hates banana and spits it out. She gnawed on a ring of a very strong white onion and didn’t appear to dislike it at all. She loves oranges and tries to suck all the juice out of them. She got mad when I took the ham away. She choked a little on a little sliver of green pepper. She had problems with the texture of mashed potatoes (which I knew from trying to feed the next step up of baby food and her promptly puking from the first mouthful).

It’s a new game to me, and to everyone around me. There’s not alot of information I can turn to. Or if there is, I can’t readily find it. I’m sure we don’t follow exactly how it’s supposed to be done. But isn’t that the fun of parenting? We play it meal by meal. It also depends on when Penny’s awake.

The one thing I’ve chosen not to feed Penny is pablum. It’s bland, dusty cardboard. I’ve been told countless times to feed Penny pablum and she’ll “sleep through the night.” When I started solid foods I tried feeding her pablum. I tried it 3 times a day. She didn’t sleep any better. She still woke 2 or 3 times a night. So ignoring what the “experts” say, I KNOW pablum doesn’t make a baby sleep any better. Yes, pablum has a certain nutritional value to it. But it’s nothing that Penny can’t get from a combination of pureed foods and solid foods.

So this is where I need some advice again. I have asked about being pressured to wean Penny from breastfeeding and was pointed to a ton of resources to help stop that pressure in its tracks. Now do any of you have good resources or advice about solid foods? What can I say when I’m told by people who have more experience than me that I should be feeding Penny pablum because she needs it nutrionally? Any advice is appreciated!



  1. How old is she again? Sorry… :)

  2. 7 1/2 months now

  3. I’d like to know too. I got a lot of flack when we went to visit family for holidays and we were feeding our son actual food and not pablum. I am currently doing a combo of pureed and solids with a tiny bit of pablum, only because he doesn’t seem to eat much of the solids, mostly playing with it instead. I know of course in time he will eat the solids much better, but some actual info on baby led weaning would be great.

    Because I mentioned to my father than I was doing this, he thought I was weaning my son at 6 mos (he is 7 1/2 mos right now), which I found shocking as I will let him feed as long as he wants to. He found my ideas shocking, but then, I was a formula baby, so things were different in my parent’s household.

  4. Here’s another blog that talks about not feeding your child cereal or other “baby food” http://www.rootsandgrubs.com/2006/01/12/the-first-rule-of-baby-food/.

    Not sure about what to tell people who try to give you advice on feeding. I usually just said thank you and ignored people.

  5. Nicole, you can check out the article on BLW-BLS here:

    It’s a tough decision to go against what everyone says/does. Stick to your guns, do what’s right for you and just let everyone know that you are Penny’s mom. Kellymom.com has some good information as well.

    When Lily turned 6 months, I wanted to send a thank you to Dr. Newman and his team for helping me achieve a successful breastfeeding relationship, this was their reply:

    Hi Cindy,
    How adorable!! Thanks so much for sending. But don’t give us the credit, you did all the work!! I have cc’d Lynda, who worked with you at the clinic. Your hard work and dedication and natural mommy instincts made it easy for her (that and because she is a great practitioner too!!!) !!!

    Have fun with solids (and remember, baby cereal is no fun, is not sterile, and tastes yucky—real food is best!)
    Happy breastfeeding and keep up the great work!
    EDITH KERNERMAN, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
    Co-Director, Co-Founder, NBCI

    If you give Penny a balanced diet and that breastmilk is still her main source of nutrition, don’t worry about it. All that matters is pee and poop. haha.

    Keep it real! (the food that is!)


  6. We’re laid back about the solids thing. She’s four months & four weeks old so we’re taking our time. We’ve given her rice cereal but it’s not as fun as the fruits and veggies! We puree everything or mash it up. We don’t do one food @ a time for a week like her pedi suggested because food allergies are nonexistant in both of our families. I do not plan on giving her meat in hopes that I can convert myself, hubby, and obviously Peanut to a meat-free house. Maybe dairy-free too. Hubby might not like that.

  7. I just flat out ignore people. It’s MY kid, and it’s MY choice. If other people want to make different choices, then they can grow a human themselves!

    We skipped rice cereal all together. Carson has still never had it to this day. It has like no nutritional value. We DID use oatmeal, but that was ONLY to thicken up pureed food. C started on stage 2 and 3 foods at 4 months. And he did NOT like runny stuff. So, we thickened it with oatmeal. I honestly didn’t use any resources when we started feeding solids. We started early because he is BIG (over 11 lbs at birth, and by 4 months I think he was over 20lbs) and he was taking more than 40oz of formula a day.

    I just give him what I want. One of his first foods was asparagus. So many people told me “You can’t give that!! It’s too strong of a flavor, and will cause gas”. Know what? He LOVED it, it’s one of his favorites. I either tell people to shove it, or just politely smile, and do whatever I want!

  8. This is very interesting. I think that this a very beneficial post since many moms will learn a lot from this. I guess consulting your pediatrician first is a must. Thank you for sharing this.

  9. Try http://www.babyledweaning.com/forum or http://www.rapleyweaning.com/
    Gill Rapley wrote a book called “Baby’Led Weaning” which I found to be a good source of information,as well as a good tool to have ready to show the nay-sayers. I’m not sure if it’s available in the U.S., but is definitely on amazon.co.uk
    Good Luck!

  10. That’s so funny that Penny liked the strong white onion more than banana! I’ve head of baby led weaning but I didn’t know that meant eating “real” food. I’ve had fun reading the comments and learning more as well! With Charlotte being a few weeks away from 6 months, we just started giving her rice cereal. She was always a good sleeper so I didn’t worry about starting cereal earlier. She is very interested in EVERYTHING we are eating so she would love to get her hands on some real stuff. My son was not a good sleeper so at 3 and a half months we started rice cereal and it didn’t change his sleeping habits. He didn’t sleep through the night consistently until 9 months so I agree the cereal doesn’t really solve that issue! Just do what YOU think is best for your family.

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