Okay, this is such a highly requested blog post from YOU guys, so let’s get into it!! Starting solids at 4 months. What an exciting time. At least it was for me.
Before I get into this post, please know that I’m not an expert on this. I’m just your ordinary mom who was excited about getting into solids. In this post I’m going to go over what we did and what Lemon ate. This might not necessarily work for you. But it did for us. Okay, let’s get into it.
STARTING SOLIDS AT 4 MONTHS: WHAT WE DID
We are a family who LOVES food – Andrew’s Italian, I’m Indian – no surprise that we’re big foodies. Ever since she was born, I was pretty much waiting till the day that we could start feeding her solids. Let’s face it, milk is boring. I get it, it’s essential, and of course she’s still drinking her milk, however, the thought of giving her real food was very exciting to me.
I did a lot of my own research, and many websites recommended 4-6 months when starting with solids. After doing even more research and talking to other moms, I realized that not many parents started at 4 months. Many started at 6 months (or after). And they all started with rice cereal. That’s cool and all, but I was dyyyyingg to get her some real food. Like food we eat.
At her 4-month check up, her paediatrician gave me the green light for starting solids. She checked all the boxes – she had good head and neck control, was sitting up with minimal support, was interested in food, opened her mouth when a spoon was near her, etc.
Her paediatrician did say no to 4 things: salt, sugar, honey and cow’s milk. Everything else was good to go. She also told us that solids DO NOT replace her milk. At 4 months solids were just for fun. For her to grab foods, feel different textures, and get familiar with other tastes/spices.
We didn’t start we rice cereal. I know that’s not typical, and of course, do what make you feel comfortable, but rice cereal just wasn’t something that excited me.
Her very first food was yellow lentils with spices. The spices were cumin and turmeric mixed with her formula. And omg, she loved it.
TIP: I read that when first introducing solids, it’s important to test one type of food for 3 days. So, for example, if you’re doing lentils, do it for 3 days in a row. Because if she were to have any reaction/tummy aches/etc., you will know it’s from the lentils. If you add other foods, you won’t know what caused the reaction.
So, we did the same exact lentils for 3 days. We only fed her once a day, usually after her morning feed (of milk). I would wait about 20-30 minutes, and then give her a full teaspoon of lentils. I would sit her in the Bumbo with the tray and let her feel and touch the food. She really loved every second of it.
Many mom’s told me to introduce allergens early on, which is a good tip. Neither Andrew or I are allergic to any foods, so we felt confident to introduce her to those pretty early. Some things included eggs, peanut butter, other nut butters, shellfish, etc. We followed Solid Starts “Introducing Allergens to Babies Starting Solids”.
If you’re not familiar with Solid Starts, get familiar!! This website is the Bible of starting solids at 4 months. (Or whenever you’re ready. )
We read the document very carefully and followed it to a T. Lemon wasn’t allergic to anything, thankfully.
Next, we introduced her to avocado. Solid Starts also promotes Baby Led Weaning (BLW), which is an approach we love. BLW can be very scary at first, so please make sure you know/understand it well. I took a half and half approach when it came to feeding. I wanted Lems to feel, touch and feed herself, but I also wanted her to actually eat some of it. So, with a lot of her food, I did half and half. So, for example, with the avocado, I sliced a big piece (BLW approach) so that she could hold the avocado and feel the texture. I also then mashed some avocado, mixed it with her milk and fed that to her.
Personally I liked this approach. But again, do what works for you.
Other foods she tried and loved: Oatmeal, sweet potato (baked until soft in long strips), carrots, spinach, peaches, banana.
Those were some of her very first foods. I added spice wherever I could, because again, Andrew and I love our food spiced, so we wanted to introduce some, mild spices. Nothing spicy yet! So far, there hasn’t been a food she doesn’t love.
Now she’s almost 8 months and we’ve given her tons of yummy foods – beets, chicken liver, chicken, salmon, broccoli, pumpkin, pasta noddles, beans, zucchini. We also feed her a couple times a day, still prioritizing her milk. But she loves solids so I love giving them to her.
MY ADVICE ON STARTING SOLIDS AT 4 MONTHS:
1) Go slow. It’s not a race. Mom’s often meet with other moms and then start to compare their kids to other kids. This is why I don’t do tons of mom meet ups, to be honest. You need to go at your own pace and feel comfortable starting solids. If rice cereal is what you want to start with, do that! If you don’t want to start solids until way later on, don’t!
2) You absolutely HAVE TO feel comfortable and confident when starting solids at 4 months. There’s nothing worse that a nervous mom handing her 4-month old a slice of avocado and then freaking the fuck out the second she puts it in her mouth.
3) Know what happens when your baby spits food out, or gags, or coughs, etc. Watch videos, sign up for some courses, download guides, etc. Get familiar before you start your little one on solids.
4) Follow Solid Starts on Instagram and literally bookmark their website. It’s such a good resource for everything. I basically look up every single food I’m giving Lems and read about it before I give it to her. It breaks down so much info on all foods.
5) Talk to your paediatrician if you’re unsure about anything. Again, this is what worked for us. You don’t want to start solids with one foot in. Be confident when starting, even if that means waiting a bit longer.
A FEW IDEAS ON FIRST FOODS:
- Mashed lentils with cumin and turmeric.
- Pureéd avocado or avocado spears if your doing BLW.
- Mashed pumpkin with cinnamon, nutmeg and turmeric.
- Beet spears.
- Banana with ground hemp seeds (keep part of the peel on so they can grip it better)
- Fried chicken liver in a little EVOO with onions and then blended.
- Broccoli and hummus
- Sweet potato spears
So, that’s my take on starting solids at 4 months. Again, if you’re not confident, don’t feel like you need to start at 4 months. Take your time, do your own research and I highly recommend doing a CPR course as well.
What are your thoughts on starting solids? What are some of the first foods you fed your baby? I hope you guys found this post helpful as many of you requested this. Drop any questions in the comment section, I’d be happy to answer them. You can also DM me on Instagram.
++ Check out my post on Top 10 Newborn Essentials.
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