Puree foods has always been the go to texture when we first introducing solids to our baby at about 6 months of age. Some may start earlier at 5+ months if your baby is showing signs that they are ready. Either store bought or homemade puree foods, this traditions has been going on for centuries and babies across the globe has been thriving and doing just fine on it. It is really convenient to have some ready made puree baby foods handy when time is scarce during the work week.
In most recent years, baby led weaning (BLW) has been gaining more popularity as mom doesn’t need to make a separate puree meal for their baby. Family meal is offered to young baby in softer texture. This approach encouraged young infant to self feed soft finger foods (still no hard to chew texture foods such as nuts, seeds, raw vegetables and hard textured fruits), teaching infant to recognizing their own hunger cues and promoting stronger oral motor skills as it’s require more biting and chewing coordination during meal time (surprisingly baby doesn’t really need teeth to chew). Which in turn, reducing the frequency of over feeding as compared to spoon-fed babies. It is believed that BLW also foster a more positive eating and interactive meal environment at the family table.
Bottom line: There’s no one method that is superior than the other. Both has its pros and cons. Just follow your instinct and do what you feel most comfortable with and what your baby prefers.
* It is also recommended that at least one family member should be trained in infant CPR whether you are introducing purees or whole foods.*
After much trial and tribulations with my own daughter. I find that using both methods suites our family lifestyles and that’s what she prefers. There’s no rules that says you have to use one or the other, why not just mix it up? Although, I would recommend all mother to start the first month with puree when introducing solids. As the baby become stronger with their oral motor skills, then slowly introduce whole foods in softer textures later.
I really enjoyed making some puree foods (savory congee/porridge) feeding her via spoon, and also find it fascinating watching her able to gum through whole banana, ripe pears, orange slices, and sliced cooked vegetables at 8 months. To this date, I still have those puree fruit/veggies pouches handy to use as snacks when we are traveling and she still enjoys it. She’s a great eater and always have been, so I’m very thankful for that.
Though one thing to keep in mind that not all babies are all up for BLW even though research has indicated that most healthy term baby is developmentally ready for BLW approach between 6-7 months of age. Premature infant, infants with feeding and swallowing difficulties are not recommended to use the BLW method when first introducing complimentary foods. Rule of thumb is to always check in with your baby pediatrician when you first introducing solids so they can give you guidance on where to start.
Starting complimentary foods is an exciting journey for your baby. Let them explore and exposed to a wide variety of foods as long as eating and food safety practices are being followed.