Does my baby have to eat pureed food and for how long?
When does your baby need to stop eating pureed food? Or more like, when can I give something else than puree to my baby? And that’s if you even decide to give pureed food at all. In any case, there is no one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to feeding your baby. Offering a variety of pureed food to your baby when they are ready to start solids is a new world of textures and tastes that’s opening to them. But you also don’t want to delay by too much the introduction to finger foods as it will be key to help your baby learn important skills.
How early can I give puree to my baby?
Typically, you would read that infants are started on pureed food between 4 and 6 month old. And that will depend on cultural beliefs, advice from the health care provider or even family and friends. But what it should really depend, on on your baby’s readiness to start eating other foods than breastmilk or formula. You can read more about signs of readiness and when to get started in our guide.
Ok but... Is pureed food really necessary?
Technically no, but that might depend on your baby, and on your own level of comfort. Some parents or caregivers might decide to start with finger foods from the get go with baby-led weaning but maybe some other parents or caregiver might want to stick with the more traditional method of spoon-feeding pureed food and that’s absolutely fine, as long as the method that you choose is what works for you and your family. And it will be key to follow your baby’s cues. If you notice that your baby is having struggle eating or refusing either pureed food or finger foods, consult your pediatrician.
If you are having trouble deciding between finger food or pureed food, now that at Bébé Foodie we are huge fans of the combo method. More on that not in our guide: Parent-led Weaning or Baby-led Weaning?
Now if I decide to only give pureed food, when should my baby stop?
Well… Never really! We all eat purees even as adult and there are amazing recipes! The question is more, when do I have to stop puree everything for my baby? Again, your baby will show signs of readiness that will indicate early on their ability to eat solid foods, pureed or not. So you should really give it a go with finger foods as soon as you are ready. BUT, keep in mind that there is what we call a window of opportunity. It is when you baby is the most curious and adventurous with food. We like to encourage parents to not wait after 9-10 month old to introduce finger foods before this window closes. It will be the discovery and familiarity to a wider variety of textures easier. Not also to mention that eating other foods than pureed food will also help develop chewing and swallowing skills.
Baby doesn’t have teeth yet? No worries at all! A baby doesn’t need teeth to handle pieces of food. They can do it with their tongue and the roof of their mouth. Just ensure that the food is soft and finger-shaped to be easy to grab.