Starting Babies on Solids and the Working Mom

starting solids and the working mom

For the last month & a half, I’ve added a disaster to our nightly routine. The babies mostly hate it. It makes a huge mess. It’s time consuming when I have no extra time. My husband usually isn’t home to help with this disaster.

What’s happened to our busy-but-we-got-this routine? We’ve been introducing solids to Zach & Lucy.

I delayed starting solids for my preemies based on our thoughts & our pediatricians’ recommendations. But right after their 6 month checkup, I bought a box of Earth’s Best rice cereal, excitedly mixed it up with breast milk, grabbed my cell phone camera & got ready to experience the babies’ first taste of food. Not shockingly, they hated it & spit it out. That was Nov 28th.

Fast forward to this week & things aren’t much better. I keep repeating the mantra ‘food before one, just for fun,’ but I’m confessing that I’m getting frustrated. So far, I feel like solids are a bit of a waste. Waste of time making or buying them, heating them up & feeding it to the babies. Waste of extra laundry due to all the clothes, bibs, towels spit on then used to clean them up. The babies get upset & I hate that too. There’s crying & extra time spent giving baths & bed times are delayed all in the attempt of getting them to try solids.

I’m calling this a working moms’ issue due to our lack of time. I think it’s also a mom of multiples issue for the same reason. It could just be my preemies. Or my lack of patience. Or my lack of wanting to switch things up when we have had such a good rhythm going with breastfeeding.

After about ten days of the babies & I having rice cereal everywhere but in their tummies, I gave up on that first food. I busted out the babies shower gifted Baby Bullet the first weekend of December & made pureed avocado, banana & sweet potatoes. The nice thing about the Bullet is that it makes a lot of purees relatively quickly & they come with little 2oz jars that the purees can be frozen in or used fresh from the fridge.

While we travelled over Christmas week, I bought organic jarred, pouched & powered baby foods. Of those, we’ve tried bananas, banana/apricot/cereal mix, peas & apples.

We had a bit of success with Zach & avocado for a couple of days. But then he’s been anti-avocado since. Zach will take the food off the spoon, then he rarely swallows it.

Lucy pretty much hates it all. It’s like she takes personal offense that I’m trying to give her anything but her beloved breast milk. She might have {accidentally} swallowed a bit of peas Christmas day & a bit of apples this past Monday night. Every other attempt is met with head turning, dramatic tongue stuck out gags or straight up spitting it out.

babies starting solids

Last week, I was sick & tired & at a loss, so we pretty much skipped solids. {The babies didn’t seem to miss it. Neither did my washer & dryer.}

This week, I’ve been determined to try to make it work. I did some research on Kelly Mom. Based on their ‘is my baby ready’ guide, Zach & Lucy *should* be ready. They’re 7.5 months old, each have two bottom teeth, Zach sits unassisted & Lucy almost does, they will hold solids in, they can chew, & they most definitely are eager & grabbing our food at meal times. Recently, they’ve also been showing signs of wanting to nurse more {even after nursing me close to empty}.

It seems like the solids discussion is thankfully a popular one right now. I found a ‘everything for solids under $100′ post on Babble, and I was thrilled to find my fellow LWM contributor, Brandy, has begun an infant dinner series based off Baby Led Weaning. At this point, I’m open to all helpful information I can quickly & easily get my hands on.

I sent some purees with the babies’ bottles into daycare Tuesday & Wednesday with the hope that they’ll maybe take the purees better when they can’t see their straight-from-the-tap food source. Doing solids at daycare also means they’ll get used to them more often, the mess is there & that if we skip an evening of solids at home, I’ll feel less working momma guilt.

So fellow working moms, help! What was your beginning solids experiences? Any tips you can share that might help mine enjoy them more? Any tips for making solids fit more seemlessly into our routine?

About the author

Suz Brown has worked in the insurance industry since 2004 & has enjoyed being a wife to J since 2007. After overcoming infertility & a crazy multiples pregnancy, Suz has been working for the nights & weekends & happily running wild as a Mommy to preemie twins Zach & Lucy since May 2012. Follow along with Suz's journey as a new working mom & sharing other treats in her life at Suz's Treats & on twitter @suzstreats.

21 Comments

  1. Becky says:

    My daughter refused all solids until 10 months. All.

    Then she decided she loved vegetable curry.

    She refused whole milk until 16 months.

    Right now (2) she won’t eat meat and only eats puréed orange veggies (for vegetables).

    Reply
  2. Brandy says:

    I think letting daycare take on some of it is a fantastic idea. It is similar to what happened with potty training for us. They had done it more and peer pressure rocks. It was a win win. In my experience, daycare providers feel like they can bond with the kids by feeding. This is a great way for you to get a break, them to get used to the concept and even get ideas from them. Maybe they find something that completely changes the game for you.

    As for dinner time, take a step back. Give them a spoon to hold and chew on. Maybe focus you energy on a happy dinner time (food or not) and then slowly bring food in as you want. If they aren’t in the mood, don’t push it. Give them a tray of pacifiers and toys. Keep trying with them when you have the energy to do it. And while I say that, I also don’t think you should wait until they are much older. I know that will be recommendations from some but I have seen how much harder it can get for some. So keep at it but don’t stress you or them out about it too much.
    Brandy recently posted..“Daddy, tell me about the fossils”My Profile
    Twitter: mannlymama

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    • Suz says:

      Thanks Brandy.

      Daycare does seem to be doing a good job with it. I don’t see the main teachers when I pick up & Jason doesn’t always remember to get all the facts the next morning when he’s dropping off. But he was told that Lucy girl ate all the sweet potatoes & apples {which they combined} on Tuesday. That was {still is} shocking to me. I’m tempted to call them to ask their secret.

      I did see on the take home sheet that they fed them solids at noon & their bottles at 1230. I’d been told {& thus doing} breadfeed first, then do solids. So maybe I should be spreading it out more? But then that cuts more into bedtime… I might play around with solids timing this weekend. Maybe they just do better with solids during the day vs it being presented at night?

      So far, we’ve been feeding them solids on the floor in bumbo seats. We haven’t broken out the still boxed high chair seats yet. So it’s not ‘family dinner time’ except that I tend to throw down my dinner on the floor with them or while holding Zach at night or eating at 9p after they’re in bed. We sadly rarely have the luxory of sitting hands free around a table. I’m also wondering if high chairs at the table might help things?? Another thought to try this weekend.
      Suz recently posted..Struggling with SolidsMy Profile
      Twitter: suzstreats

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  3. Maybe skip the purees for another few weeks, but give them some little finger foods to play with? They might just want to explore new foods with their hands, rather than your spoon to their mouths. Cheerios are fun, dissolve quickly, and clean-up relatively easily. Gavin likes to gnaw on a big celery stick while supervised (he’s not eating anything, but getting used to the feel).
    Caitlin MidAtlantic recently posted..My Beef with DoraMy Profile
    Twitter: mrsmidatlantic

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    • Suz says:

      I like this idea. I haven’t tried any of the puffs, Cheerios etc yet. I’ve also thought about breaking out the mesh things given to us & try bananas or something in there. Maybe it’s the puree texture they don’t love?!
      Suz recently posted..Struggling with SolidsMy Profile
      Twitter: suzstreats

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      • Sarah says:

        We had those mesh things and I thought they were the best idea ever…until I actually used one – blech! It was a huge mess and just didn’t work for us. My friend lives them, though, so maybe we didn’t have the same brand or something.
        Sarah recently posted..Birthday Baby!My Profile
        Twitter: ColeEmmett

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  4. Laura Case says:

    Some twin perspective here.

    When we started solids, there wasn’t a food Nate didn’t like. He LOVED everything. Alex…. we LITERALLY had to give it to him 15 times before he would like it. Every.single.food. So while this is frustrating, it may just be that you have two kids who need to see something 15 times. It wasn’t just when he was a baby. This continued through the entire transition to table food and at age 6.5, he is STILL wary of new foods. The kid cried eating chocolate fondue on NYE!!

    It is worth the effort, I promise. And yes, it is frustrating and messy and takes more time but the only way through it is to go through the transition. If it makes you feel better, parents report potty training, sleeping, and transition to table foods as the 3 most frustrating parts of having young children.

    PS. we used one bowl and one spoon for solids – it cuts down dishes and makes it SO MUCH FASTER to feed the kids by yourself
    Laura Case recently posted..Thoughts that made me feel like a bad mom while single mom-ing it this weekMy Profile

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    • Suz says:

      I was hoping you’d chime in Laura! I love your insight & perspective.

      That’s what’s kinda thrown me for a loop on solids. Everything I seemed to hear going in was that babies might not love them at first, but then they will. Or that they do from the beginning like your Nate. It’s just surprising to me that months later, mine still aren’t fans.

      I’ve been using one bowl per food but usually two spoons trying to keep from spreading some sickness. They went for almost a week without any cold signs {also the week that’s the best we’ve all slept so far}. Zach brought home a cold Tues from daycare so I’ve been doing separate spoons to keep colds from going back & forth {even though they pretty much already do, as we’ve previously talked about}.
      Suz recently posted..Struggling with SolidsMy Profile
      Twitter: suzstreats

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  5. Sarah says:

    I agree with above recommendation about finger foods; Cole HATED purees, but would eat yogurt melts and puffs and Cheerios. And he LOVED pickles. Don’t worry – they’ll get the hang of it!
    Sarah recently posted..Birthday Baby!My Profile
    Twitter: ColeEmmett

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    • Suz says:

      Pickles?! Gross! ::ducks from the pickle lovers::

      I’m going to have to hit up Target after work or during lunch this week for some of those little pick up items to try.

      Thanks for your suggestions Sarah!
      Suz recently posted..Struggling with SolidsMy Profile
      Twitter: suzstreats

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    • Brandy says:

      You can make the yogurt melts yourself with yogurt on wax paper in the freezer. Just make dots. This is essentially the BLW idea. Fuck spoons, give them food. I have O a chunk of sweet potato (just baked) in his hand and it was gone. He seemed to LOVE squishing it in his hand.
      Brandy recently posted..“Daddy, tell me about the fossils”My Profile
      Twitter: mannlymama

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      • Suz says:

        oooh! I’ve seen that idea somewhere {probably pinterest}. I bought a bunch of greek yogurt last weekend. Can I use that for the drops or does it have to be specifically baby yogurt?
        Suz recently posted..Struggling with SolidsMy Profile
        Twitter: suzstreats

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      • Suz says:

        Ooh! I feel like I’ve heard of that somewhere {probably pinterest}. I bought a bunch of strawberry, blueberry & peach Greek yogurts last weekend. I know I can’t give them strawberry, but making the yogurt melts with the peach would be okay right? Or do I have to use specifically baby yogurt?
        Twitter: suzstreats

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      • Sarah says:

        Yeah, we’ve practiced Baby Led Weaning with both kids – I never thought to make my own yogurt melts. Great idea!
        Sarah recently posted..Birthday Baby!My Profile
        Twitter: ColeEmmett

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  6. barbra says:

    I agree on not waiting until they are older. It is much more difficult to introduce food after the “window”. Every kid’s window is different, but there is a window. My 2year old has significant medical issues surrounding food and his GI system and while our issues are not like yours, what you describe above is what we dealt with for a long time when he was an infant (he has never ever taken food from a spoon from me). Tubie families and kids with eating issues go by this quote: “A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety” by Aesop. I think it applies in your case as well. Just take it easy, keep gently trying, offer finger foods, keep meals and food fun and interesting. But don’t give up. And if in a couple of months they still aren’t swallowing food, look for additional help. Feel free to send me a message or talk to your pedi.
    barbra recently posted..2012 Year in ReviewMy Profile
    Twitter: barbrabaker

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    • Suz says:

      Thank you for your comment Barbra. Sorry to hear your son has food issues but I will keep you in mind & will be messaging you if things don’t get better. Off to follow you on twitter now. I love that Aesop quote too!
      Suz recently posted..Struggling with SolidsMy Profile
      Twitter: suzstreats

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  7. molly says:

    Neither of my kids ever wanted purees. So I didn’t force it. I gave them tiny pieces of food and they ate them all up! Never did rice cereal. They hated it and I felt like it was unnecessary.
    molly recently posted..a vacation just for usMy Profile
    Twitter: adayinmollywood

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  8. Michelle says:

    I started solids at the same time as you and we have just gotten to a point where my son is eating them. Honestly, I gave up making them myself – he likes the jarred food better and I am not going to kill myself over that. And I still give him some fresh food (bananas, cucumbers, avacado). I let my daycare provider take a big lead in introducing solids. I’m rushed in the mornings and we’re tired in the evenings, so the daytime really is the best time to try solids. Plus, she has a lot more practice than I do. Once I let go of the control over introducing solids, it went a lot better. Good luck!
    Michelle recently posted..The World of Pooh [Family Book Review]My Profile
    Twitter: michelleerin

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