You are here because you’re having a really difficult time transitioning off purees. You’ve tried to introduce other textures and finger foods but your baby wants to have none of it. And you’re left feeling helpless and stuck.
First, know that you’re not alone! And depending on how long your baby has been kept on purees, this transition may be a really tough mountain to climb. But there’s hope!
There are many reasons for this resistance, and I want to briefly mention the main ones here.
Starting solids too early
If you’ve had feelings of confusion about when is the best time to start, you are once again definitely not alone! This is understandable as recommendations differ depending on who you ask, where you live, your family history, etc.
And then there’s the baby food marketing scheme - encouraging babies to start on purees earlier than necessary and to continue on them for as long as possible.
We now know that it’s not necessary to start solids as early as 4 months, which is an outdated recommendation, and that babies can and are more than capable of handling finger foods right from the start (usually around 6 months).
It just may be that your baby is rejecting non-pureed foods because they’re simply not developmentally ready to start solids. It’s so important to watch your baby, not the calendar. If you’re unsure, here’s my free handout as a gift to you. Simply waiting until your baby is ready may make all the difference in the world.
Underlying physical conditions
A very sensitive gag reflex, tongue tie, reflux or other physical condition can make feeding more challenging. If you suspect any of these or your parent’s intuition tells you something just isn’t right, I highly encourage you to consult with a medical professional.
Delayed introduction to finger foods
As you may know, I am a big proponent of baby led weaning. However, I also know that it’s not for everyone and that’s ok! Regardless of which method you choose to wean your baby, practicing responsive feeding is what’s most important!
I’m not sure how long you’ve been doing purees, but it’s important to move things along as soon as your baby handles thick smooth purees without any issues.
That’s because research shows that infants who are not introduced to textures by 9 months may have an increased risk of developing feeding problems and picky eating down the road.
Taken from the research:
“Those infants who were introduced to lumpy solids at the earliest ages consumed a greater variety of family foods at the age of 6 months, while those introduced at 10 months or later had been given fewer solids of all types by 6 months of age and at 15 months were significantly less likely to be having family foods when compared to those introduced between 6 and 9 months. At each age, those introduced late (10 months or older) to lumps were more difficult to feed and had more definite likes and dislikes.”
It makes sense if you think about it because purees are easy-to-eat and don’t require a lot of effort on their part. They’re not getting the opportunity to exercise and develop their oral motor skills - moving food around in their mouth, chewing, etc. All this leads to an aversion to textures.
All this to say, it is best to keep this phase of purees short.
Not enough exposure to finger foods
Perhaps you’ve introduced finger foods but because they’re not served consistently and frequently alongside purees, your baby’s simply not getting enough practice to learn to manage those different textures.
You offer finger foods but your baby rejects them. Out of frustration and worry, you resort to offering purees again. and again. Your baby will quickly catch on and the cycle will continue.
So how can you move beyond purees?
I’ve got you covered! Find all of my tips in this post!
Hope all the information I share will encourage you to be consistent and persistent. You got this!
I so wish I could hold your hand and personally guide you through this huge transition. I really do. But there’s only one of me and so many parents/caregivers out there who are struggling to move beyond purees.
That’s why I created my ULTIMATE 3 month Baby Led Feeding Program. Rather than me explaining to you in words, I SHOW you how to serve all the textures to your baby in an EASY and SAFE way! You also get to watch my baby handling them to give you the assurance and confidence that you need to march forward.
But there’s SO much more! It’s seriously the closest thing to having me in your kitchen. If you need step-by-step guidance and are ready to move forward today on introducing a wide variety of flavors AND textures, my 3 month Program is what you need. It’s exactly what I used to wean my daughter!
See you tomorrow for more evidence-based tips!