Solids: Introducing “Randomly”

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With my oldest two children, I introduced solids in a very methodical order as outlined in On Becoming Babywise Book II (the older version). That is all outlined in this post. In that same post, I give some guidelines for introducing in “random” order. Few people will actually introduce in a truly random fashion. There is usually a reason behind choosing what they choose.

With McKenna, I introduced solids in a seemingly random order. I didn’t plan on doing it that way. She is the first child I made babyfood for, and so a lot of what I introduced was dependent on what was in season at the time–keeping in mind what is considered safe first foods and what isn’t. While this is all documented in the Baby Summary posts, I thought it would be easier for people to have one post to refer to if they wanted information on how we did things with McKenna.

With my older two, I breastfed one side, fed solids, and breastfed the other side. McKenna liked solids so much that I just breastfed her both sides before her solids. If that works for the child, I much prefer that way. For one, you know the child is getting all the breastmilk she would take normally. It is also much faster.

Here is a rundown of our first 18 weeks with solids.

Week One: The first food we started with was Rice Cereal. We did very little at a time–just one teaspoon. We did that once a day. She was very interested in solids and I wanted to take things slowly.

Week Two: During week two, I moved up her one feeding amount to one Tablespoon. I also tried avocado toward the end of this week. Avocado is a recommended first food for babies by various sources. It proved to be a bad food for McKenna, which is very, very rare. I tried it again later in life (during week 12 of our solid introductions), with it again creating negative reactions. I finally did it again at about 13.5 months old and she did fine.

Week Three: For most of this week, McKenna didn’t have any solids at all. We were traveling and I didn’t want to worry about packing and preparing food for her beyond breastmilk. At the end of the week when she got her cereal again, she was very excited.

Week Four: Halfway through this week, I moved her solids feedings to two meals a day. At the end of the week, we introduced sweet potatoes. At that point, I fed cereal at lunch-ish time of day and sweet potatoes at dinner-ish time of day.

Week Five: During this week, McKenna went to eating solids three times a day. I also started her on bananas this week, which she loved. At the end of the week, we also started peaches.

Week Six: During this week, we moved on to oatmeal and prunes. McKenna’s poops were a bit harder than I thought was normal, so I wanted a food like prunes and I wanted to switch from rice to oatmeal.

Week Seven: During week seven, I introduced carrots; however, we did store bought carrots because Super Baby Food says to not feed homemade carrots until the baby is seven months old.

Week Eight: This week, I wanted a green vegetable in her diet so we added peas to our menu.

Week Nine: During week nine, we added green beans and pears. Pears are amazing because they will freeze for a full year…wow. Most foods are 2-3 months, so they are an awesome food to stock up on while prices are low.

Week Ten: We had no changes this week.

Week Eleven: Once again, no changes.

Week Twelve: This week, we started applesauce. This is the week I also tried avocado again, which she liked, but again was not great for her little digestive system.

Week Thirteen: This week, McKenna got a little rash and I suspected the avocado , so I pulled her off avocado and didn’t introduce any new foods this week.

Week Fourteen: I once again did no new foods. The rash went away this week.

Week Fifteen: Nothing new.

Week Sixteen: We added blueberries. I also started mixing some foods together, like applesauce and blueberries and bananas and blueberries. I decided she had eaten foods the same old same old for long enough and wanted to mix it up a bit for her.

Week Seventeen: Nothing new.

Week Eighteen: She tried some red potatoes.

Week Nineteen: While I had done some finger foods before this point, this is the week I really let her have real finger foods like cheese. I also started giving her bites of our dinner, including things like Spanish Rice and homemade bread. From this point forward, we fed her what we were eating at dinner, along with her pureed foods.

Squash is missing from this list. I am guessing it was introduced somewhere around week 10 or so because that is about the time when I got a whole bunch.

By listing all of this for you, I am not saying this is the order to introduce foods in or the speed in which to do it. It just is here to show you another option of how to go, especially in a “random” way. A great resource for you is Super Baby Food. She lists each food and gives the age a child can have it. We started in more of the fall. If you are starting in the spring, you are going to have different foods in season. You will have choices like strawberries and watermelon; Super Baby Food will help you decide what age is safe for your baby to try new foods. So, as you introduce foods, be sure it is age appropriate for your child.

As you introduce foods, be sure to wait at least three days between new foods. I usually tried to stick with 5-7 days. If it was a food similar to one she had before  (for example, squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes all have similar impacts), then I would sometimes go 3 days. This three day rule is so you can better know the cause if an allergic reaction comes up. It is also easier on the digestive system.

I think introducing “randomly” works well if you are making your own babyfood because you can’t necessarily get the foods in the order outlined in BW II. Just be observant and watchful, wait the appropriate amount of time, and be sure you are introducing foods at the right age and it should all go well!


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Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

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  1. McMel
    May 13, 2010 / 8:48 PM

    you probably have this somewhere else on your page, but i'm just reading this entry. how old was McKenna when you started her with rice cereal? my son will be 4 months next week and my dr. says that we will start rice cereal at that appointment, however, i still see my lactation consultant weekly at a mom/baby group i go to, and she says she doesn't believe my son was ready. plus, he has eczema and i'm worried about food allergies.

  2. Kim
    May 16, 2010 / 12:13 AM

    How old was she at week 19 of doing solids? The point at which she started eating more table foods?Thanks

  3. Plowmanators
    May 26, 2010 / 5:50 PM

    McMel, Good question. I started at four months old. Go with your gut on this. Advice varies from 4 months to 12 months or older (I am serious). So go with what you think is best for him.

  4. Plowmanators
    May 26, 2010 / 5:50 PM

    Kim, she was close to around 8 months old.

  5. amanda
    December 6, 2010 / 9:28 AM

    Really, I'm very glad to read this fantastic and rich informative article. The introduction of soft, solid food is an important stage in your baby's development. It is an exciting and challenging time for you and your baby. How much solid food a baby will be eating depends on a variety of different things. Don't forget that your baby is a little human being and she has her own appetite. A baby who began solid foods at 4 months of age will most likely be eating more solid foods than the baby who began to eat solid foods at 6 months old.healthy childrens recipes

  6. elle19
    May 12, 2012 / 2:09 PM

    I'm I continue feeding oatmeal and rice cereal as I am introducing other baby foods?

  7. elle19
    May 12, 2012 / 2:10 PM

    I'm I continue feeding oatmeal and rice cereal as I am introducing other baby foods?

  8. Nicole
    June 17, 2013 / 12:38 AM

    I love love love your blog…it has been so helpful to me!! My babes is just about 6 months and we are starting solids this week! I am confused when you say wait 2 weeks before introducing a new color veggie. Do I continue feeding her yellow veggies for 2 weeks or do I take 2 weeks off with no solids?

  9. Sarah B
    September 29, 2014 / 7:01 PM

    Question! You stated that when you started feeding her twice a day that one feed was cereal and one was the new food- do you start with a small amount, to check for a reaction, and move to as much as they want? Is that the sole thing at that meal? When moving to 3 meals what does each consist of? Cereal at one, new food at one and a familiar food at the last?? (No specific order) I have read that the goal is cereal +fruit , fruit+veg, and all 3 for dinner- when should I am for a verity of things at 1 meal? Thanks!

    • Valerie Plowman
      September 30, 2014 / 4:57 AM

      I would do a small amount of the new food, then do other foods that have been introduced. Just add variety as you get foods that you know are safe for baby.

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