• Lisa Paul IBCLC

How I did solids

I did not feed my babies solid foods. I did not mash up stuff or buy pureed baby foods. Our pediatrician taught me how to teach my babies to eat, and it made sense. So I did it and it was the best thing for this mama.

We are talking almost 20 years ago, before baby led weaning was a thing. In a nutshell, I was told there are 3 parts of teaching a baby to eat - texture, volume & manners. Each of these areas evolve at their own rate, but we need to think of eating solids as a game, a learning opportunity. We are not feeding a baby to give a baby calories, they get that from human milk. We are feeding a baby to teach them to eat.


Some foods are harder to manage for a little mouth than others. In this category, we want to start with soft foods. Steamed carrots, sweet potatoes, avocado, banana...these are foods that can easily be managed by a child who is developmentally ready for solids. (Sitting upright unaided, picking up things with finger and thumb, interested in others eating.)


When a baby is just getting started in this game, they can only handle about 3 pieces at a time. It takes a lot of concentration and work to pick up a small piece of carrot. And I do mean small - I would have cut each of the carrot rounds to the right into 4 pieces in the beginning. As my babies got older I would use larger pieces but my intention was to allow them the time to grow in both ability to pick up and manage the food in their mouth. My son was famous for shoving it all in at once so we used the game to slow him down.


Last, but not least, was manners. Actually, this was an area that I did from the get-go. I did not like cleaning up after my kids. So in this game, you throw food, you play with it, you smash in on the tray - done! Food is taken away and we try again at the next family meal. My daughter was naturally much better at this part than my son, but the process reminded me that I am not feeding my child, I am teaching my child.

Would you like help teaching your baby to eat? I am available for consults to teach you how to teach your baby. You may book online by scheduling a breastfeeding followup visit. If you are on Blue Cross Blue Shield or Aetna, this visit may be covered by your insurance!

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