Baby Led Solids: Research & Experiments

Baby Led Solids: Research & Experiments

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Lessons Learned

Baby-Led Solids musings at one year:

So, we made it to one year. Most babies are eating table foods by this point, but most have not been doing so for six months. Here are some things we have discovered about the baby-led solids method of introducing solid foods:

  • Buttercup has never been iron deficient. Yep, she's had her blood work done and everything! There is this myth that if you don't use the processed baby cereal starting at 4-6 months (or earlier in lots of families) that your baby will somehow be nutritionally deficient. Not true! Breastmilk is an amazing source of bioavailable iron. Also, Buttercup has always had a wide array of foods from all the food groups, so she has eaten plenty of naturally high-iron foods (as opposed to the fake stuff they use to fortify baby cereal that is difficult to digest and absorb into baby's body). 
  • Buttercup has never been constipated once in her life. I know constipation is a frequent problem when introducing solids to your baby. I strongly believe that by giving your child control over what goes in her mouth and down her gullet you are helping her digestive system to not get overloaded with foods it's not ready to break down. 
  • Buttercup is anything but a picky eater. She has eaten spicy foods, any number of exotic fruits and vegetables, fish, tofu, goat cheese...She loves it all! I think because she's always been the one putting food in her own mouth it makes her more excited to try new things. Food has never been something that's been imposed on her; rather it's like a fun game with toys she gets to swallow!
  • Someone recently told me that Buttercup has more dexterity and more refined motor skills than any baby she's ever seen. I definitely attribute this to baby-led solids. Food is a great motivator. Buttercup learned to use her hands to move food to her mouth starting at six months. She had a solid pincer grasp at 7 months, and could drink out of a cup on her own at 7 months, too. I don't actually care about these "milestones" because I know babies develop in their own good time, but it is interesting to see the differences.


  1. She could drink out of a cup? Like real cup...not a sippy cup? How did you go about teaching her that? Did you just put it on her tray like the food?

    By the way, your discoveries about BLW are wonderful! They ,make me even more sure of my decision to do this with my LO in 2 months!

  2. Stephanie-
    YEP! Real cup. Check out my post on "water in a shot glass" and the video on drinking out of a cup. I talk all about our process of teaching Buttercup to drink from a cup. And, yes, BLS is definitely the way to go. So easy and natural. Good luck!

  3. I have found your blog super helpful! Even for just getting some ideas on what to give my son.. He loves food, and I'm so happy about that! Did you notice a slow or quick change in your daughters poopy diapers (and in the color etc)? My son used to go 2 times a day and now he goes back and forth between once a day or every 2-3 days. Just wondering what your experience has been in that area, my son is almost 8 months now and I haven't noticed a huge difference really.

  4. Hi there!

    Buttercup's poop changed gradually. She wasn't swallowing a ton of solids, even though I was offering it regularly. It kinda looked like breastfed poopies with little bits of carrots/pear skins/broccoli leaves mixed in.

    It is really normal for the frequency of pooping to decrease when solids are started, BLS or purees. Buttercup switched from pooping multiple times a day, to every day/every other day. She is now back to pooping at least once a day. Some days it's more. She takes after her dad...HA!

    Unless your little guy is noticeably straining or red-facing it then I wouldn't worry. :)

    Hope that helps!

  5. Thanks for the reply! Sounds about the same for my son..I know people talk about it getting more solid, just wasn't sure if it would take a lot longer :)

  6. I love your blog. We just started BLS 2 weeks ago and my LO is already loving broccoli and carrots!
    I just have a quick question about your LO's eczema. You has said that egg whites had made it worse. Did you find any other foods that made it worse as well? At what age did her eczema clear up?

  7. Hi there! Egg whites were the only thing I could pinpoint with Buttercup's eczema. She turned a year in January, and at that point she only periodically had it on her cheeks. Since the weather has changed she hasn't had it at all. Not sure what to expect once cooler temps/lower humidity hit...