Starting Solids With Our Third Baby

You survived the newborn stage of blow-out poops and every-two-hour feedings. 

You made it through the forced tummy time season. 

And now, NOW your little one can sit up on their own and you're ready for the fun of starting solid food with your baby. Maybe you need a little guide for where to begin, or what's the best way to get an avocado stain out of an outfit, or a how-to for getting your baby to consume enough calories to sleep more than four hours at night. 

This is not that guide. 

This is merely what I've done, what's worked for my family, what's not working, and what I'm loving with giving our third baby solid food. Every family routine is different, so what works for me might not work for another mom and that's totally fine! I personally love making baby food, but my dearest friends use store-bought baby food and that's awesome too. I will cheer you on, in whatever works for you.

Related: How to Choose A Stroller | Baby Registry Tips | Riley's Neutral Nursery

Baby-led Weaning-ish: The Process

  1. Once Riley could sit up in her bumbo seat around 5-ish months, I started putting mashed pieces of banana and mashed avocado on her tray. She struggled to pick it up and it was more just the joy of seeing her learn to put food in her mouth than actually getting her to EAT real food. 
  2. Once or twice a day, I would put some mashed banana/avocado on a spoon and feed it to her so she'd get the taste and the practice of swallowing food. Of course, she gagged at the beginning! It was all so new! But that was totally ok because the gag is a reflex that helps protect her from choking.
  3. After she was comfortable with swallowing mashed banana on a spoon and chunks of banana/avocado she fed herself from the tray, I slowly introduced other "first foods." I'd introduce one food for a few days, and if there was no reaction, I'd start to give her another one. 
  4. I offer things in small chunks on her tray, and she will cry or just stop eating to show me she's done.             **THIS IS A HUGE MESS. But I'm ok with that so that she learns to feed herself and doesn't rely on me to be there with a spoon every time she wants to eat. I've heard self-feeding/chewing helps with the muscles in her mouth she'll use to talk! And it makes my life easier haha. 
  5. When we're out, I'll nurse her or feed her small chunks of food (from a mason jar) on a spoon. 

My own personal list of first foods, in order of what I offer first:

  1. Banana, mashed with a fork
  2. Avocado, mashed with a fork
  3. Sweet potato, steamed
  4. White potato, steamed
  5. Pears, steamed unless SUPER ripe and soft
  6. Apples, steamed
  7. Butternut squash, obviously steamed of course because nobody eats that raw
  8. Black beans, cooked
  9. Scrambled eggs
  10. **Around 9-10 months, I will start feeding Riley unsalted portions from whatever we are having for dinner. This is the joy of baby-led weaning! They can feed themselves while you eat!


Homemade Baby Food: Easier, cheaper, and more fun than you think

  1. Once or twice a week, I peel/steam a big batch of produce. Usually, this is while the big kids are playing happily in another room OR during "naptime" when I have some free time to myself. 
  2. I peel a few sweet potatoes, chop them into cubes, and steam them in my steamer basket over boiling water on the stove for about 5-8 minutes, until soft. I almost always chop the food into a cube so Riley can easily pick it up. 
  3. While the sweet potatoes (or whatever!) are steaming, I can scramble an egg or start peeling the next food to add to the steamer basket. 
  4. Once the veggie or fruit is soft enough to poke with a fork in the steamer basket, I transfer them to a mason jar. Lots of times, the small cubes of food turn into mush, which is still a grabbable form for Riley to feed herself. 
  5. I keep the mason jar food in the fridge for about a week, and when I run out, I do another big batch!
  6. Pre-COVID with baby Aiden and baby Emma, when I was going out during the day for play dates/etc., I would prep a TON of steamed food, puree it, and freeze it in an ice cube tray. When we were leaving for an event, I would bring 2-3 ice cubes of frozen food in a small mason jar + a spoon, and by the time I was ready to feed baby Aiden/Emma, the frozen food had thawed and was ready to use. 
  7. This system helps with making your own baby food and I LOVEDDDDD having it. I even use the processor and the immersion blender when I'm cooking regular adult dinners! Plus their cookbook and baby food jars with plastic lids are so helpful that I have used them for ALL. THREE. KIDS. (Til I lost some. Which you can tell from the pictures where I don't have all teal lids.)

What baby stage is your favorite? What foods are YOU currently loving?!

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