Solid Start

Solid Start

Let’s get one thing straight. Babies and solids is messy work. Very messy work. Starting solids should come with a warning – expect there to be more food on your child (and you), than in their tummy. I should have known this I guess, well in advance of Ella beginning solids. For some reason I thought it would be ok to feed her solids whilst wearing clothes that I would like her to stay in for the rest of the day. Nope. First time Mum fail. See I (naively) thought that something called a ‘bib’ would  neatly wrap around my child’s neck and conveniently catch any spit ups or bits of food that (for some reason) did not end up in the right place. Before Ella was born I even went out and bought her a few gorgeous bibs, hand made with loving care. Hindsight is a beautiful thing.

For months now, Ella has had a drawer of dozens of bibs, not being used. I also (naively) thought for a fleeting moment that maybe I wouldn’t need so many. How on earth could a child need so many bibs. Now that Ella has started solids….I understand why. Mess, mess and more mess. In fact, most of the bibs that I bought her just don’t cut it! New Mums should be warned against buying gorgeous little bibs with handmade embroidery and appliqué. The only advice you need is, buy big ones. The bigger the better. In fact, someone should make an outfit made out of giant bibs that Mums can slip onto their child before feeds and wip off into the wash afterwards. Now that would be money well spent! I’ve since learned that you can buy plastic ones and even one variety that has a large scoop like container on the front to catch all the mess. Wonderful! Something I would have liked to know a month ago!

Starting solids with babies is a confusing topic for most new mums. To start with, there is so much debate about when to start, how to start, what foods and when, how much, sweet or savoury, home made or bought, it’s enough to make you go batty! When Ella was born, the advice was six months. Now the advice is between four and six months. I had been looking for signs of readiness for a while…Ella watched us eat, was gnawing on everything (teething??) and lately has started waking in the night again for feeds after a somewhat blissful month of sleeping through the night. So starting solids was something that I thought would be fairly straight forward in that when she was ready, she would chow down like a master.

Let’s just say that I’ve worked out that it’s not as easy as that. For starters, we first gave her rice cereal and she did not seem interested in that one bit. Not that I blame her, it is disgusting stuff. So I mixed it with breast milk, then pears and tried to make the whole experience ‘fun’ for her. All I can say is that my little girl certainly hasn’t developed her appetite yet. She certainly enjoys the experience more with her Daddy. Yes, he thinks he is more fun than me! Don’t get me wrong, I love this new stage of her development, but at times it feels like a whole lot of hoop jumping! Steaming, stewing, blitzing, pureeing…all to end up on her shirt front. Needless to say for about a week, I was a little frustrated, and I’m sure Ella wasn’t far from it either.

Advice from friends has been a real blessing in terms of putting things in perspective and not rushing things. Every baby is so different. Focussing on introducing foods slowly to look for any allergies is really the basis for starting at this age. Since we started (about a month ago) she has now shown a real love of pears, but I guess she can’t survive on a sole diet of this sweet fruit in various forms. Pumpkin was next (much to her Daddy’s disgust) and she certainly shared his sentiments early on in the piece. My little pumpkin wore more on her face and clothes than anything. Today she ‘wolfed’ down sweet potato which is promising. I guess I’ll just continue to take it one day at a time and build up her taste buds and familiarity with using her mouth in this new way.

In the mean time, I’ll stock up on extra large bibs and lots of them.

10 thoughts on “Solid Start

  1. This is truly amazing and insightful.. thanks so much Kate for letting us learn from your naive mistakes! I really admire your passion for everything in life and sharing every moment with the world! I absolutely cannot wait for the next installment! Tina Xxx

  2. I don’t blame Ella for not liking rice cereal- have you tasted that stuff?! All the best with your food adventures… My 10 month old seems to have inherited my sweet tooth!

    1. Hi Helen! Thanks for your post. Rice Cereal certainly is not one of Ella’s favourite foods and yes I can sympathise with her because it is foul! She loves pears though and I think she too will retain a sweet tooth for years to come! You know what they say…sugar and spice…

      Kate 🙂

  3. Rice cereal is really gross hey!

    My 4th was a really reluctant eater. He didn’t start eating solids properly until he was almost 1. I tried everything! He didn’t even like to put toys in his mouth, no way would he let food go in there!

    1. Hi Sophie. It’s great to know that there are others out there with reluctant eaters. In the past week she has come around quite a lot and now seems happy to use her mouth in a new way! Kate 🙂

  4. I gave Mia rice cereal a total of twice and never again after that. Not only is it disgusting but her little tummy did not take kindly to it. I started off very slowly, gave her the rice cereal a couple of times and then nothing much more but tastes of the food I was eating (if we had some mashed potato I let her have a taste, banana, pumpkin, that sort of thing) and I found letting her have tastes of stuff from my plate first worked really well as by the time I started to give her a meal in her high chair she was more than ready to give it a go. She mostly ate stewed fruits to start with but she developed her tastes pretty quickly and in three short months (she’s 9 months now) she pretty much eats everything we eat, albeit a little more mashed up. She loves tuna and rice and absolute favourite is mashed sweet potato, carrot and silverside. She devours it! It’s fun experimenting with new flavours and textures and seeing her reaction. And I totally know what you mean about the bibs and mess. Oh my gosh is it messy!

  5. Hi Kate! I love reading the blogs as Ella moves through the milestones of her 1st year. Solids definitely can be a challenging time. Lucy, like Ella, wasn’t interested at all in solids. Sometimes just to get her to taste a spoonful I used to trick her to drink her water bottle and came in over the top with the spoon. Gradually she learned what it was all about and now really enjoys meal times. With regard to mess-proofing clothes I found smocks were the best way to go. Even now Harrison wears one particularly if he is eating soup or watermelon. check out Ikea.
    Look forward to reading more posts particularly once Ella gets on the move.
    Happy parenting,

    1. Hi Lenae, thanks so much for your gorgeous message! Thanks also for the tip! I think I will need to make a trip to IKEA…as scary as that can be, sometimes it’s so worth it! Hope you are well! Your kids are just gorgeous xxx Kate 🙂

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