At Clarissa’s four month check up, the pediatrician said that any time after 17 weeks I could begin to introduce solids. I had not planned on introducing them that early. My original plan was to wait until she was six months old.
Clarissa got sick for the first time at Christmas. She had a cold and was miserable. It was difficult for her to nurse and she wasn’t thrilled with a bottle. So Clarissa tried peas for the first time. She couldn’t figure out how to eat off the spoon, so I put some mashed peas on my finger and put it in her mouth. She loved it! Kept trying to eat off my clean fingers.
I did find the book 100 Baby Purees helpful. The beginning section explains how to introduce solids and also has 100 recipes (obviously).
Basically, I used frozen vegetables because that is what Tim and I eat. I would pour about 2 cups of frozen vegetables into a sauce pan. I would then add just enough water to cover the vegetables. Then I would bring the water to a boil. Then I would turn the heat to low for a few minutes. Next, I would drain the water, but keep it. Put the cooked vegetables into a blender. You can use the water that you drained from your saucepan to add liquid to the blender as needed. After I pureed the vegetable, I would pour the puree into an ice cube tray. (I usually did this at dinner time or at night, so the ice cubes would be ready in the morning.) In the morning, I would take the ice cubes and put them in a plastic bag, labeled with the vegetable name. I didn’t really bother with dates after a while because I knew that I would use it within the month.
To serve the vegetable, I would take an ice cube and put it in one of Clarissa’s bowls. Then I would put it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. It usually took that long before it was fully melted. But it was usually too hot to eat for a few minutes. So I would serve her rice cereal while waiting for the vegetable to cool.
I started with a tablespoon of rice cereal and two tablespoons of breast milk or water. Clarissa would eat that at room temperature. As she got older and more used to solids, I used the same amount of cereal as breast milk.
I made my own baby food for budget reasons. But also because I wanted to know what was in her baby food. There is no shame in buying jarred baby food. Do what works best for your family.
In the beginning, Clarissa really liked peas, carrots, and broccoli. She definitely made a stink face when I tried to make her eat green beans. I gave up on that one pretty quickly.
She did eventually learn to eat from the spoon. I needed at least two spoons (sometimes three) at mealtimes. I needed one spoon for me so that I could feed her. But her little hands needed to be busy. She needed at least one spoon to play with. Often, she required one spoon for each hand!
In the beginning, she ate this way once per day. She liked sitting in her high chair at dinner time just to be with us, so I fed her after I had finished eating. She continued to nurse 5-6 times per day.