When you hear people say that “babies grow up so fast!” listen to them. It’s a fact!
For some reason, it didn’t really register in my mind that Little Dude would go through so many stages in just the first year outside the womb. The newborn stage melted away before my (tired) eyes, and all of the sudden this squishy-faced, jerky-limbed baby is turning into a little boy with teeth who’s doing his best to walk by Christmas. He’s only eight months old!
Thankfully, the wise God that created my little boy designed it so that each stage of Little Dude’s life brings new things to look forward to. Each month he’s cuter than he was before (how is that possible?!), and we have more fun with him as parents as his interactions develop and his unique personality shines out.
We began the “starting solids” stage just recently. I was nervous about starting solids with Little Dude because I thought it would be a lot of work, very messy (at both ends), and get in the way of breastfeeding. But it’s actually been tons of fun!
Clearly, as this is my first baby, I’m no expert in first foods, but I’d love to share how we’ve been keeping this new stage simple and low-key.
We found that there are three main components to starting solids:
For our highchair, we have a Stack 3-in-1 Multi-Chair from Chicco. It’s been so much fun to have Little Dude at the table with us now, up on our level while we eat (without being in our laps and sabotaging our plates!). I really love the Stack chair, and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who wants a quality high chair.
One of the cool things about it is that it’s actually more than a highchair! It converts into a booster seat for toddlers to sit right at the table, and as your little one continues to grow you can convert it again, into a stool.
Here’s a video that shows how the Stack Multi-Chair converts for each stage:
Because we’ve always lived in tiny spaces since our marriage, multi-use products like the Stack Chair or Chicco’s car seat/stroller system are a must. Items that do
double triple duty like this help us to maximize the space we have!
Here are some other features I love about the Stack Multi-Chair:
- Tray snaps off easily and has a removable plastic liner for easy cleaning
- Five-point harness is secure but easy for parents to figure out!
- Seat back has adjustable reclining positions
- Footrest is adjustable to accommodate your little one’s height
Every component of the chair is sturdily-constructed, easy to assemble, and simple to wipe down and clean when baby gets it messy!
FYI: Chicco’s is currently offering free shipping on almost everything in the store (through 12/17). Check out their deeply-discounted items as well.
Other than our Stack Multi-Chair (which is an essential for us!), the only feeding equipment we have is a a glass sippy cup, bibs, spoons, and a few re-purposed glass baby food jars that I’m filling with homemade baby food.
We had the equipment we needed to start solids long before we actually began this stage. I would put Little Dude in his Stack highchair to get him used to it. I would pull the chair up to the sink so he could watch me do dishes, or we’d pull him up to the table while we ate so he could be near the action.
My main goal was to wait at least six months to introduce any solids, and then to do so only when Little Dude seemed ready and indicated a strong interest to begin. I learned from The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, as well as other sources, that delaying solids until six months gives the baby’s intestines sufficient time to seal, which will make them less prone to food allergies and gut issues.
I have no doubt that Little Dude would’ve tried solids earlier, if we’d offered them, but I intentionally waited until he was about seven months old. By then he was showing signs of readiness: able to sit up on his own, showing interest while we ate, and able to accept a spoon and swallow what we offered him.
Although breastfeeding is on a routine, I didn’t start off following any schedule with solids during the day. If he’s awake when we’re eating and at the table, we put him in his Stack chair and offer him some food. Usually I feed him while I’m eating my own breakfast. He also eats around 5:00 p.m., even if we’re not eating supper that early. It’s a fun activity for him to do during the time he’d normally be getting the “evening fussies,” and it helps to tank up his belly for the night. About an hour later, I nurse him as part of his bedtime routine.
We have not bought any pre-made baby food at this point. We mash soft foods in a ramekin and serve them up; no need to buy a special baby food maker, either!
Little Dude’s first foods have included:
- plain yogurt
- cooked butternut squash
- mashed peas
I think bananas and yogurt were the first things we tried with him. He’s also had small amounts of soft things that we happened to be eating and let him taste off a spoon or finger. Recently I froze some butternut squash in re-purposed baby food jars, and my plan is to build up a small stash of “homemade” baby foods that we can thaw as needed.
Starting solids has been much easier and simpler than I expected! At first I was worried about how much to give him, when to feed him, how he’d react to foods…any unknown that crossed my mind. But in reality, once we began it was pretty natural!
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