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I’ll Feed Myself, Thanks MONTH 6 WEEK 1

Approved by the What’s Up Moms Medical Advisory Board

They’re into solids. Or… maybe not so into ‘em. Food’s been going somewhere, whether into baby’s mouth or the dog’s mouth or straight onto the wall à la a Jackson Pollock masterpiece. It’s all good – baby’s still getting her nutrients from breastmilk or formula.

By the way, you might be hearing the term “baby led weaning.” That’s just a fancy name for letting baby feed herself, and it works like this: You put in front of baby suitably-sized, soft, gum-able foods, and she uses her fancy new motor skills to pick ‘em up and chomp on what she likes. Some straight-talk: Baby led weaning makes a lot of new moms nervous. Others totally swear by it, because their babies dig it and won’t be spoon fed. So, as with anything, do your research, try it out, and find your own comfort zone – and baby’s.

To start, do solids once a day. Pick a time when baby isn’t too tired or hangry. And don’t stress – if baby eats, great, but if her food ends up as body art on her chest, that’s fine too. The goal is just for her to experience — and experiment with — food in whatever way floats her boat. The old phrase “Don’t play with your food” does not apply here.  

You might have heard that baby’s first foods should be bland ones, but you wouldn’t want bland food, so why would baby? Go ahead and puree some seasoned chicken or pasta if you want. Want to get started early on peanuts? Dilute some peanut butter with hot water and mix it into a puree. And if you’ve heard the old wives tale that giving baby fruits before veggies will give her a sweet tooth for life, you can toss that notion out, too. Serve up what you want and what baby likes. FYI it can take several tries before baby will take to something, so don’t give up.

Oh and one last thing: offer baby water at every meal, and opt for a straw cup over a sippy since that’s better for helping baby develop the muscles that will be used for speech. Oh and one more last thing: baby’s poops start to get a little grosser (i.e. a little more “adult”) once solids are in the picture. Have fun!