Q & A: Baby-led Weaning, V. 3

Birthday breakfast – pancakes, cantaloupe, and sausage – 12 months

Ok, finally back for the final installment of Q & AL Baby-led Weaning. Here’s V. 1 and V. 2, in case you want to catch up.

  • When you gave Jemma whole foods, how long did it take her to stop gagging frequently when eating? With every new texture she tried there was a window of learning. I would say she got used to things within a few tries/days. Most recently, I let her try a very thin corn tortilla chip and she definitely gagged on that. I think the crunchiness threw her off in the beginning.
  • When and why do you give a baby juice or water? The only time I have given Jemma juice was when she had a rough bout of constipation. I gave her watered down, no sugar added prune juice (1/2 water, 1/2 juice). Water is a great thing for play when they are learning to use sippy cups. Jemma first started trying water around 10 months in the bath tub. I found that many of the “no spill” sippies are actually really hard to drink out of. So, I take out the little stopper and let the bath tub be a messy water time :) I didn’t start focusing on water until she stopped nursing. As long as baby is nursing you don’t need to worry about extra hydration. They get everything they need from mama.
  • When is a baby ready for a sippy cup? My baby barely does a bottle, so I won’t notice when she can take one since we never practice. I was not diligent with introducing a sippy. Jemma is now 13 months and just becoming self-sufficient with a sippy. Although, she still prefers if I hold/tip it for her. My mom remembers me using a sippy around 9 months – so I was so that’s a good age to start practicing. But again, food (and sippies) are just fun until age 1, so don’t stress out trying to remember/teach them new things. Sippy knowledge will come when they are ready.
  • When did you introduce wheat/gluten?  Oats? I didn’t wait on any specific grains. She probably first had barley teething biscuits (from Earth’s Best) around 8 months. Rice puffs have always been a hit too. I avoid alot of packaged baby crackers and cookies even if they are similar to table foods because the ingredient list is mega long. Right now I’d prefer for her to fill up on proteins, veggies, and fruit. Although, I did recently get Jemma some Ezekiel cinnamon raisin spelt bread (spelt because it doesn’t have any potato or derivatives). She is OBSESSED with eating toast fingers. Toast fingers = 1 piece of toast cut into 4 long rectangles = easy grabbing and munching :)   
  • When did you introduce eggs and meat? I mixed up the whole egg recommendation and gave her the whites first and left out the yolk. I think the recommend the other way around. Well, after I figured out my mix-up I just went straight for scrambled eggs. This was pretty early – around 8 months. Now she likes scrambled egg with cheese melted on top :) I think it is La Leche League who actually recommends that babies start with meats/proteins as a first food. By their 1 year appointment your pediatrician will most likely want a solely breastfed baby consuming a fair amount of meat (probably 1-2 tablespoons/day). It’s related to their iron levels. If they aren’t they may want to do a quick blood test to check iron levels and possibly supplement. I’ve of the thought that it is always best to get nutrients from food rather than supplements so encourage your baby to be a meat lover if you can :) Jemma has tried everything from grilled chicken to pulled pork to tilapia! Right now apple chicken sausage (out of the casing) from Whole Foods is her absolute favorite!

I wanted to add one more thing I thought of …
Once you feel you are out of allergy zone let your baby be adventurous! They have an amazing amount of taste buds and are ready to try lots of fun things. Doesn’t mean they will love it all, but it’s always worth trying and re-introducing later if they turn their nose at it the first time. Jemma can be quite particular with what she loves at any given meal, but overall, she seems to have a great appetite!

At 13 months the only thing I haven’t given Jemma is nut butters – although, her doctor said it’s fine to try that now too. Lately she has enjoyed …

  • Pasta Fagoli soup from Olive Garden – I picked out pieces of beef, noodles, kidney bean, and celery for her to nibble on
  • Chicken Picante – a baked chicken dish with shredded chicken, corn tortillas, cheese, and mild salsa
  • Chicken noodle soup – I helped with this one, but she slurped down spoonfuls of noodles, broth, chicken, and carrots
  • Red Pepper Alfredo Baked Rotini from PDX Momma – Jemma loved the turkey, rotini, and the sauce even though you could definitely taste the peppers
  • Plain Greek yogurt with a squirt of honey
  • Cheese of all kinds – they had samples of a white cheddar with cranberry pieces in it at Whole Foods and Jemma had a dozen pieces (it was a sample dish with no attendant so I didn’t feel bad going back from seconds, er, twelvefths)
  • Bites of hamburger patty – We buy a portion of a cow each year, and it is seriously the cheapest, best way to get organic beef
  • Fruit smoothie – a blend of orange, nectarine, banana, and ice
Obsessed with grapes, she will eat 20+ at a sitting if I let her! – quartered grapes – 12 months
The two-handed quesadilla eater – corn tortilla with cheese and a side of apple – 12 months
And then she decided she wanted some enchilada sauce from my Trader Joe’s meal – That’s when it got messy … and fun :) This awkward face is the smile she gives me when I hold up the camera! Too cute I tell ya!

Please take a moment and share what your baby eats – whether baby-led weaning or not, I’d love to get ideas on new foods/flavors that your little one enjoys!

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  1. says

    Thanks for being so thorough! So helpful for me. At 7 months old Lucy eats a lot of what we eat. We recently just started juicing which has been great b/c Lucy has started playing with sippy cups too, and she really enjoyed trying the new 'juices' with us, whether it was a mix of greens or fruits. I love the idea of trying in the bath! Sweet potatoes are a fave along with a new recipe for baked zucchini (I'll actually be sharing two AMAZING and simple recipes for these foods this week….so GOOD!) Now that we are eating more raw or whole foods as a family, I've found that we really can just give her anything off our plate without concern. She has gagged from time to time, and this week she gagged (maybe even choked slightly) on a slice of apple that my husband gave her, but it has been amazing to see how they really do have the reflexes to deal with the foods and quickly learn the textures and how to manipulate them. Has Jemma started playing with spoons or forks yet?

  2. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Ooo, I can't wait for your recipes! Baked zucchini sounds yummy!I have a mini set of sporks for Jem, but have yet to open them. I should probably give that a try soon! ________________________________From: Disqus <>To: thatmamagretchen@gmail.comSent: Friday, November 18, 2011 9:59 PMSubject: [thatmamagretchen] Re: That Mama Gretchen: Q & A: Baby-led Weaning, V. 3 Disqus generic email template

  3. says

    Thank you so much for the baby led weaning series, it has been incredibly helpful to me! My daughter will be turning 6 months in a week and we are planning to do baby led weaning as well!

  4. says

    You have great very beautiful moments with us. This is really nice to us. Always use good bibs on your baby while weaning. I recently purchase bibs pairs from funky giraffe. It is of great quality and best brand.