Starting Solids – After the NICU

Starting Solids – After the NICU

I couldn’t believe our little Sugar Plum was already 8 months old (6 months adjusted)! It seemed like just yesterday she was in the NICU learning to breathe, and now we were taking the next big step… solids!

This is a big step for any mom, but it was a difficult step for me to push through. Starting solids after the NICU especially after performing CPR because she was choking, was very nerve-wracking. I was pretty sure she was ready, but I wasn’t sure I was…yet. I had to push past the worries and anxiety in my head of her possibly choking again. The image played over and over again in my head and I couldn’t shut it off. Finally, one day, I decided I had to try solids and see how she did, we could always wait a little while longer if she (or I) wasn’t ready after giving it a shot.

That’s what we did and she was ready, I, on the other hand, was nervous still. As she got more efficient I became less nervous and more excited for her big steps.

Starting Solids - After the NICU - Modern Momma Musings
One thing that I think helped was that we make our own baby food. This allowed me control over how thin the food was and what it was made with. THe process is so simple, all you need is your fresh (or frozen) food choice, a pot to boil, oven to bake and a food processor. With just about a half hour – hour of work one night a week, I could make enough food for for her to eat the next day as well as enough to fill an ice-cube tray (of each food) in the freezer. This allows me to pull out the already prepared meals in the morning and have food ready for each meal that day. Plus with the addition of the “on-the-fly” foods like banana, avocado, yogurt, oatmeal and sometimes pears, we were all set for meals quickly and easily. Because we don’t season our veggies I can also give her what we are having for dinner by pulling out a bit and pureeing, or smashing, it for her. This makes mealtime extremely convenient.

Those first few meals she pushed a lot of the food out, but she definitely learned quickly. About a week after she started, she was eating most of what I gave her and was excited to get real food.

Here’s what we started with:

  • Sweet Potato
  • Green Bean
  • Butternut Squash
  • Apple
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Pear
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Oatmeal

We started with the veggies and worked in some of the fruit, I’m not sure it really matters, but we didn’t want to start with the sweet foods until she was accustomed to the bland veggies. Now, she is a great eater, is starting to eat thicker foods and is eating everything we give her.

Here’s what she has had to date (in addition to those above):

  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Mango
  • Peaches
  • Pumpkin
  • Chicken

Everything she has had has been made by me. If you want more information on making baby food, I recommend the site, Wholesome Baby Food. They have great recipes, timelines on what your baby is ready for and how to guides on making your own food. If you like a book in your hands, I have been using Super Baby Food for reference as well. The book contains everything you need to get started making your own food, including recipes and tips. It is very useful to have around.