Ryan has been showing a lot of interest in our food lately so we had talked about what we would give him to try as his first food. I had a friend send me an amazing list of websites about introducing solids, and she also shared her own personal food journal on what she gave her son and the order in which she introduced new foods. Her resources were SO helpful!
Also, a few weeks ago, I gave Ryan a cold raw carrot to gnaw on to help his teething gums. He seemed to really like chewing on it and even ate some of the shavings he sawed off with his two little bottom teeth!
I had posted this picture on Instagram and jokingly said that we were skipping rice cereal and going straight for raw carrots. But then the more I thought about it and saw how much he was eyeing the foods that we were eating, I thought he really might like feeding himself whole foods rather than a mashed up version of the same thing.
That's when I learned about a philosophy called Baby Led Weaning (weaning referring to the introduction of foods, not the end of nursing), that basically follows that exact idea. Babies start solids when they are showing interest in eating and learn to feed themselves whole foods with their hands.
As with most parenting decisions, I feel like introducing food is such a personal choice with a million different "right" ways to do it. We just went with what felt right for us. We're not necessarily "following" BLW or any particular feeding philosophy, we're just having fun with the process and not worrying too much about the "hows"- how much, how often, how long... We just want to enjoy this new stage with him and hope to help him love a variety of different foods in the process.
We decided to give him an apple first because we were cutting one up for ourselves and thought he might like to try it. (I had also read to begin with light-colored foods- specifically yellows and oranges- and then move to darker colors.) It was so fun to watch him explore the apple and figure out how to get it to stay in his mouth. He liked biting on it and naturally spit out the pieces that were too big for him, so I never really had a moment of feeling nervous about him choking on any part of it. He also figured out that he could get juice out of it and starting sucking on it for a while! It was a pretty sweet and fun moment for us as his parents watching him figure out how to eat food for the first time.
I'll be honest and say a big reason for not pushing a specific routine with solids is the convenience of breastfeeding. Our routines are pretty simple right now! He ate a chunk of an apple on Sunday and didn't eat anything aside from milk yesterday. Tomorrow we may try apple again or test out a sweet potato or banana. We're looking forward to introducing him to lots of different foods and hope they all go over as well as the apple did!
Did your kiddos have any foods they loved?! And did you find that a certain style of introducing solids worked better than another? I'd be interested to hear what worked for your kids since we're just now jumping in, so any thoughts and/or ideas are much appreciated!
Also, if you're not entirely comfortable with trying the BLW method, here is a great resource for various homemade, pureed foods your little one is sure to love! Click here to check it out.