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Introducing Solids to Baby: My Experience with BLW

February 13, 2022
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If you’re been following along on my IG stories, chances are you’ve seen what dinner looks like with Ren. When Ren was ready for solids, Ronson and I approached solids following the baby-led weaning or “BLW” for short, all in hope that it will help her grow into a non-picky eater.

I decided to write this because I have received a lot of questions on how I introduced solids to Ren. There is a lot of information out there and I remember it felt overwhelming at times so I hope this blog post can serve as a helpful resource for any moms out who want to get started with BLW. You can do it and if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or send me DM on Instagram!

Before I dive in, please remember that I am sharing my personal experience with Ren and that all babies are different.

Ren eating a mango pit at 7 months


I knew Ren was ready for solids because she showed so much interest while Ronson and I were eating. She would open her mouth hoping we’d give her some and reach for whatever we were eating. It’s the cutest thing ever and she still wants whatever we’re eating even after a full belly! Whenever she hears a food wrapper, she will stop whatever she’s doing and see what it is haha.

Ren started showing interest in food around 4.5 months. While her pediatrician gave us the green light to start solids because she had strong neck control, I personally didn’t feel comfortable starting solids until Ren could sit upright without support. By 6 months, Ren was able to sit up without support so that’s when we started solids.

Here’s what I did in the beginning of our BLW journey:

  • I read a lot of articles online and reached out to friends and family to hear about their experiences and ask for any advice/tips. Solid Starts was my most used resource. Their website, Instagram and mobile app are great. This Kelly Mom article is a great starting point. 

  • Educated myself to learn the difference between gagging and choking. Like many others, I was afraid of the choking and gagging that comes with BLW. I watched lots of videos and read a lot of articles to learn the difference so I know I will be able to react properly in any situation. I had to constantly remind myself that introducing solids to Ren is a completely new experience for her. She’s learning what food is through all her senses. While it was very scary and difficult for me to see Ren gag, Ireminded myself that gagging was a way of her learning how to eat and being able to manage move around the food in her mouth, which are important skills for her to develop. Getting through this was the most challenging part about BLW, but getting through this mentally was what made our BLW experience a positive one.

  • Taking an infant CPR class and knowing how to react in the event of choking.

  • Be ok with things getting messy. Ronson and I are clean people and we don’t like mess, especially messy eaters. There is no way to avoid the mess with BLW so we watched a lot of videos on BLW prior and came to a mutual agreement that we will accept the mess since the benefits definitely outweighed the cons (even though that means we’re spending more time cleaning). One fo the most frequently asked questions I get is, “Do you have to wash Ren every day?” The answer is YES! There are some foods that aren’t as messy but I definitely try to keep the messier meals reserved for dinner so she gets a full bath afterwards.

  • I was very nervous about giving Ren finger-sized portions of food her first week of BLW. So in the beginning, I did a combination of mashed foods and BLW. You can still practice BLW with purees/mashed foods and honestly, it is whatever you and baby are comfortable with! Whenever I gave Ren mashed foods, I would pre-load it on a spoon so she could self-feed and touch the food so she was in full control. BLW is really about raising independent eaters so allowing Ren to self-feed (even with mashed food) was still considered BLW to me and that was a win in my book.

  • I introduced one food at a time then would increase to 2-3 foods. I referred to @BabyLedWeanTeam IG story highlights for 100 days of baby’s first foods. It was a great resource to learn how to prepare the food and age-appropriate portions.

  • I introduced allergens as soon as possible. I found Solid Starts “Introducing Allergens Guide very helpful. I’ll start off with a small amount and watch closely if Ren has any allergic reactions. If there are no signs of an allergic reaction, I’ll increase the amount of the allergen in her meals throughout the week (as long as the allergen paired well with the rest of her meal).

  • Whenever I thought something was too thick, clumpy or sticky, I would thin it out with breastmilk.

  • My biggest advice would be to listen to your gut, and do what you feel is the most comfortable for you and baby as that will help set the tone as you embark on this milestone together!

Why I Chose Baby Led Weaning (BLW)

Believe it or not, but I knew I wanted to do baby-led weaning even before I was pregnant. I was always fascinated with the idea of BLW and as someone who loves food, if I had the opportunity to allow my kid to explore the world of food, I said, “why not?” When I became pregnant, I talked to Ronson about baby-led weaning and he was totally onboard. We both knew it would require a lot of work, but agreed it’d be great for Ren so the mess is something we have accepted.

Baby-led weaning is a method of introducing solids to babies where purees and spoon-feeding are skipped in favor of finger foods and encourages babies to self-feed. I chose to do BLW for the following reasons:

Fosters independence. This is the main reason why I chose to do BLW. I love that it fosters independence and allows babies to learn how to eat on their own, and have control over what and how much they want to eat. Ren showed a lot of interest in food, so I believe that helped us have a positive experience with BLW. She was interested in grabbing the spoon to self-feed and interested in grabbing the food in front of her and tasting it.

Exposure to a variety of textures and flavors. The thing with food is there is so many good things to eat out there. For some reason, feeding Ren mainly pureed food just didn’t feel right. I wanted to expose her to different textures and flavors.

Promotes motor skill development. I have seen Ren work on her motor and oral skills since we started BLW. From picking up small pieces of food to learning how to chew, BLW has really helped with her development. Exposing her to different textures allowed her to learn how to move the food around with her tongue. She is 9 months now and she is definitely learning hwo to chew her food and take in larger pieces of food. Her pincer grasp has quickly developed and she’s been able to pick up smaller pieces of food.

Most Useful Tools and Resources

Here’s a list of everything I used to get started and still use to this day! You can view images below and click to purchase.

Weekly Meal Planner

I absolutely love this magnetic meal planner that goes on the fridge! Ronson always asked me, “What’s Ren having for dinner?” and I would always have to check my notebook. This meal planner keeps us organized and accountable. There are some days when I’m working a bit later, so if I can’t take care of Ren’s dinner, Ronson can walk up to the fridge and see what Ren is having for dinner. Also love the perforated shopping list so I can jot down what we need as I’m meal planning.

Stokke Tripp Trapp High Chair

I chose this high chair because of the adjustable, ergonomic features, love the Scandanavian design and most importantly, it is “a chair that grows with the child.” I love the idea that the highchair will grow with Ren so she can use it in every stage. This means I wouldn’t have to worry about getting other seats for her like a booster seat. When it came down to buying things for baby, one of my goals was to be intentional about every purchase and the Stokke highchair made sense. But…if you’ve been following along on IG stories, you probably know how I really feel about this high chair now haha.

I’ve learned not only from my experience, but several other moms let me know that suction plates do not stick to the Stokke tray. I was so shocked to see the number of responses I got because I seriously thought I was just buying the wrong suction plate. Reddit made me feel much better that the tray has become the plate, or even the dining table lol. Our dining table is bit higher than Ren’s arms so I don’t think it’s ergonomic for her right now. Once she gets a bit taller, we’ll resort to using the dining table as her tray.

In addition, the tray is such a pain to clean if you’re not a dishwasher household haha. There are so many ridges/sockets underneath the Stokke tray and it’s such a pain to clean when you’re doing BLW. I feel like you need to get a toothbrush to really get in between everything especially Ren had mashed black beans, sweet potato or pesto.

I really love how this high chair grows with the child because it’s so beautifully built, but I don’t think I would have gotten this high chair knowing the above beforehand. I didn’t even think to look underneath the tray when I saw the high chair in person. Highly recommend you take a peek underneath the tray for any parents to be!

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this high chair if you’re hand washing, but I’m including this in the list because if I used the dishwasher daily I would still get this and probably in black vs. white. 🙂

Beaba Babycook

Love using this for Ren’s meals. It makes cooking and cleaning so easy and convenient for baby-sized portions. I like this one because you can cook larger portions and I can see myself using this for other non-baby cooking needs. I really like the convenience to steam and blend all in one place. I held off on getting this in the beginning to see if I really needed it. It’s definitely a nice to have since it saves you time from boiling water on the stove. In the end, I would recommend getting this/adding to your registry because in the end it does save me a lot of time.

Suction Plates

I liked this aesthetically pleasing suction plate. I liked that it was a smaller size in the early phase of solids. It comes with a spoon as well!

Beaba Spoons

Because we approached BLW with a combination of spoon feeding, these were my favorite spoons to use for spoon feeding. The longer handle is much better ergonomically. The spoon itself is a good size for baby’s mouth and doesn’t dip too much. I love that it comes with a case so it’s easy to take it with you for travel or eating out.

Food Containers

I used these containers so much to pack and freeze food. I love that they “clip” to each other so it doesn’t take up too much space in the fridge and is easy to travel/go out with.

Sleeved Baby Bib

I kind of like this better than the silicone bib w/ pocket. This sleeved bib offers more protection to the high chair harness and also stops food juices dripping down Ren’s arms. This bear print is also cute!

NumNum Pre-Spoon GOOtensils

These spoons worked great when Ren started to learn how to self-feed. I love the flat design of  these spoons because it is easier to load with food and does well with thinner and thicker first foods. The design of the handle was easier for Ren to hold vs a normal spoon’s handle is larger and rounder at the end. I also bought the ezpz plate set and did not like using the spoon. It was hard for Ren to hold since the handle was too wide for her tiny hands to grasp. Highly recommend getting the NumNum spoons!

Silicone Bib With Pocket

The kangaroo pocket is great to catch all the food that falls through their fingers. I personally like the bib from Pretty Please Teethers compared to the Mushie bib because the silicone is softer and more supple, whereas the Mushie bib feels tougher.

Food Scissors

This is probably the most used item. Cutting baby’s food with scissors is easier and faster vs a knife. Take these whenever we go out to eat.

Silicone Baby Freezer Tray

Freezer tray is a must because there are so many leftovers! I bought this one and have been happy with it. Portion size is perfect for a quick meal.

Grosmimi Straw Cup

This is the best straw cup. I love that it’s extremely easy to clean, spill proof and comes in neutrals. 🙂


I get a lot of questions about how I started BLW and I always say I referenced Solid Starts for everything. There are so many (free!) resources on their site to explain what is BLW, the benefits, how to start, etc. I downloaded their mobile app and absolutely love their food database. It’s been such a good resource because I can quickly look up the food and how to prepare and give it to Ren at her appropriate age. It’s been that extra reassurance I needed while doing BLW because BLW can be scary sometimes as a first-time mom. I found their “First 100 Days Daily Meal Plan” and “First Food Essentials” guides to be extremely helpful.


I loved referring to their IG highlights because they provide 100 days of baby’s first foods. They break it down and tell you how to prepare the food and videos of baby eating as well. Really good resource in the beginning when I focused on introducing one food a day and keeping it simple.

Serenity Kids Pouches

This isn’t really a tool or resource, but I seriously love these Serenity Kids pouches. They were so handy when we went to Hawaii and whenever you need an easy, mess-free meal. Ren loves these! I love that the ingredients are simple and organic. They’re available at Whole Foods, Sprouts and Amazon.

How I Plan Ren’s Meals

I spend a good amount of time planning Ren’s meals for the week. I definitely don’t cook like this for myself and Ronson (sorry honey!) I know some people feed what they are eating to their baby and slightly modify it with no salt. Unfortunately I can’t do this because Ronson and I eat pretty much the same thing Mon-Fri. It’s important for me to diversify Ren’s meals, which is why you’ll see her eating a lot better than us haha.

In the first two months, my goal was to introduce new foods every week. I was able to do this by including a new fruit, vegetable, protein and allergen every week. I plan Ren’s meals every week on Sunday and focus on what the new foods will be and then work around that. Some days she eats the same thing because baby portions are so small so there’s always a lot of leftovers. I’ll either freeze it so I can make quick meals on hand or Ronson and I will eat the rest. I do not add salt to any of Ren’s food, so whenever Ronson and I finish the rest, we’ll just add salt to our portion.

One of the challenges with BLW is making sure Ren has a variety of foods, textures and flavors. I found it is easy to find yourself standing in front of the fridge asking yourself, “What am I going to give Ren for dinner?”Solid Starts helped me so much with planning, providing inspo and saved me a lot of time. I got a lot of Ren’s meals off their “10 days Daily Meal Plan” guide. Lately, I’ve been trying out kidfriendly.meals. I’ve been enjoying Min’s recipes because they are so simple and taste good. I recently made Poached Cod with Creamy Orzo and it was such a hit with Ren! Ronson even had some!

Ren eating greek yogurt and steamed cauliflower at 7 months


  • Day 1 Mashed avocado with breastmilk

  • Day 2 Roasted sweet potato, mashed avocado, steamed broccoli florets

  • Day 3 Mango oatmeal + mango pit

  • Day 4 Mashed banana + roasted sweet potato

  • Day 5 Omelet strips

  • Day 6 Ground bison + roasted sweet potato

  • Day 7 Zucchini spears + mango pit

  • Day 8 Watermelon + Greek yogurt

  • Day 9 Zucchini spears + banana spears + ground bison

  • Day 10 Greek yogurt topped with peanut butter (thinned peanut butter with breastmilk)

  • Day 11 Egg salad + avocado

  • Day 12 Stewed apple topped with cinnamon

  • Day 13 Black bean mash with avocado

  • Day 14 Sardine mashed with avocado

Scrambled eggs with zucchini, banana pancakes and golden kiwi (10 months)

Dinner: Poached cod with creamy orzo, steamed green beans and blueberries (11 months)

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, blueberries, avocado toast topped with chia seeds (10 months)

Ren’s Feeding Schedule

Feeding schedule is going to look different for each baby. I’ve had to tweak this many times when we started Ren on solids while considering our work schedules. My advice would be not to stress too much in the beginning and you’ll find the rhythm that works out for you and your family. I loved referencing this Solid Starts post on feeding schedules.

At 6-7 months, Ren had solids once a day. At 8 months, Ren had solids twice a day. She’s now 11 months and having solids 3x / day.

I kept the same number of bottles at 6 months. I did notice somewhere along the way, she didn’t take as much from the bottle which is totally normal after introducing solids.

6 months feeding schedule:

  • 7:30 AM – Bottle

  • 10:00 AM – Bottle

  • 11:00 AM – Solids

  • 1:00 PM – Bottle

  • 3:00 PM – Bottle

  • 6:00 PM – Solids

  • 7:00 PM – Bottle

  • 7:30 PM – Bedtime

11 months feeding schedule:

  • 7:30 AM – Bottle

  • 8:00 AM – Solids

  • 11:30 AM – Bottle

  • 12:00 PM – Solids

  • 2:30 PM – Bottle

  • 5:00 PM – Solids

  • 7:00 PM – Bottle

My Advice:

  1. Keep It Simple – In the beginning, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. I recommend sticking with one food at a time in the beginning to keep things simple. Remember, one food may not seem a lot to you, but it’s a whole new world for baby!

  2. If Baby Doesn’t Eat Everything, That’s Ok – I would feel a little hurt when Ren didn’t finish her food. Sometimes she’d just look at it, take a bite and throw it on the floor. It was hard to accept, but I reframed my thinking and said “hey, if Ren doesn’t want to eat, that’s fine. She’s in control and my job is to offer her food.”

  3. Stay Calm – I know I know. This is easier said than done. But trust…once you can remind yourelf to stay calm if baby has gag reflex, you will be surprised how much you can trust yourself and your baby. I coached Ren how to spit out the food whenever she took too big of a bite. I’d have a conversation with her and tell her “Oh I think you took a big bite huh?” “That’ okay…you can spit it out with your tongue. Like this” Then I would show her how to move the food forward with her tongue by dramatically sticking out my tongue and coaching her through her. She eventually learned by modeling and caught on this skill so when this did happen again, she was able to recover on her own! Babies are so smart!

  4. Make It Work For You and Your Family

  5. Leftovers Are Okay – Baby portions are so tiny. I’m a working mom so I don’t have time to cook a different meal every day. I meal prep on the weekend and buy groceries that allow me to mix and match things. However, sometimes that means leftovers and that’s totally ok!

  6. Embrace The Mess – From my experience, there truly is no way to keep it clean with baby led weaning. Just remember that this is temporary so hang in there and remember to have fun!

And that is my BLW experience in a nutshell. If you made it to the end I appreciate you for reading it through and being here. One of my intentions for 2022 is to show up here on my blog. I want to be able to share more about my experiences in hopes it’ll help someone out in any way, small or big. So if you read this post, it really means the world to me!

Feel free to leave me a comment or questions!

Your friend,


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Introducing Solids to Baby: My Experience with BLW



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