With the third baby, you sort of consider yourself an experienced mum. You think you get it, know how it’s done best, and it truly makes parenting a lot easier because you’re a lot less bothered. (Most third babies I know are very easygoing — must have something to do with the parents being more relaxed!)
However, when it’s regarding eating solids, Ava is in no way like her siblings, and I honestly am at a loss here. The thing is this: where Sara and Pim at six months would eagerly open their mouths for their first bite of solids (baby rice), baby Ava was not very keen to try at all, and the little bite that I managed to get into her mouth was not met with a lot of enthusiasm (if you want to see photos of me feeding Ava her first bites you can have a look here, the look on her face is classic). From that moment onwards, Ava has kept her mouth shut and turns her face away as soon as she sees a spoon coming her way. And don’t think I haven’t tried it all: home-cooked, not home-cooked, mix with breast-milk, have other people try, same taste for a few days, different tastes, etc. etc. She’s now 8 months old and not much has changed! The only thing that sort of works is to give her a plate, set her down for dinner with us and give her chunks of food (like broccoli, carrot, fish, or bread). She will suck on these (and analyse them, play with them, and throw them on the ground together with the plate). I wonder if this means we’re skipping the pureed food stage all together? It surely means we have a very stubborn little lady on our hands here!

xxx Esther

PS – the cute over-sized bib is from Coq-en-Pâte and made of 100% organic cotton and non-toxic ink.

25 COMMENTS - Add your own

1. Kat | February 1, 2011 | Reply

Sounds like she wants to be in control! There is a ‘method’ of weaning called Baby-Led Weaning which assumes kids will pick up food and eat it themselves when they are ready. Both of mine went this route. Milla, my first, was tiny and hungry and was eating whatever she could get her hands on from 5.5 months. My second, Monty, was a big baby and quite indifferent to solids until about 8/9 months when he got going with a bit more gusto. Who knows what #3 will be like. good luck to Ava x

2. Esther in Amsterdam | February 2, 2011

Hi Kat, congrats on your pregnancy! The third one is the best 😉

3. peggy | February 1, 2011 | Reply

same here:)
anything babyish like baby rice… NO WAY!
home cooked like potatoes or pasta…yes.. a few spoons!
but what he really wants: bread! bjust bread…. I mean it is fine but I feel a bit sad for him…eating plain bread the whole day…
I mean he would take banana as long as he can feed himself but if I do this all the time…well you know :)
Good luck Esther… maybe we can put them together and watch… *lol*

4. Esther in Amsterdam | February 2, 2011

That would be funny — they would probably be stealing each other’s bread!

5. Erin | February 1, 2011 | Reply

Baby-led weaning worked amazingly well for us. Elliot’s first meal was roast beef, sweet potato fingers and steamed carrot batons. We never looked back! I loved going out without having to carry pots of mush with me, he always eats whatever I’m eating. Which makes me eat much better as well, so win-win.

6. Molly | February 1, 2011 | Reply

I am on my third too and I am sooooo much more relaxed that I have been doing this…

Mine is the same age as yours and my only concern is she eats too much. I think you’re onto the right idea of having her eat what you eat! Good luck :)


7. Kristel | February 1, 2011 | Reply

Ach Esther, mijn jongste wilde geen fles en ook geen eten. Met vijftien maanden heb ik haar van de borst gehaald omdat ik helemaal uitgeput was. Ze at toen alleen volle yoghurt en cracottes. Heel, heel langzaam ging het beter. Nu een normaal etende vierjarige. Maar eten is nog steeds niet haar ding. Conclusie: gewoon volhouden (soms lang) en het komt goed.

8. Esther in Amsterdam | February 2, 2011

Hmmm, misschien moet ik het borstvoeden alvast een beetje afbouwen, inderdaad vermoeiend! Zal ook eens volle yoghurt en cracottes proberen ;-)!

9. Mariana Della Barba | February 1, 2011 | Reply

Hi, Esther!
I know that over there babies start eating solids with baby rice and so on… But here in Brazil, doctors recommend starting with soft fruits, like pear, banana, papaya… Theo (today here is 2 yrs old) used to love plums. We bought the dried one and boiled it for just 1 or 2 minutes. Very soft, tasty and naturally sweet. Maybe little Ava likes it, who knows? ;o) Good luck!

10. Esther in Amsterdam | February 2, 2011

Good idea, I’ll try that! Thanks!

11. Joslyn | February 1, 2011 | Reply

Too funny! I feel your pain. We had the same trouble with Uma, and we did about everything, including plugging her nose (for a second!) so that we could get her mouth open to push some food in. It does sound like what she is doing is like Kat said above, Baby-Led Weaning, and it seems like she is very intuitive and knows what and how she wants to eat! I’m sure she’ll learn by example just by being with you all at the table, and once she starts to mimic the big brother/sister you’ll be wondering when these finicky eating days went! (PS: priceless pic of her eating BTW!)

12. Esther in Amsterdam | February 2, 2011

Ha, I admit doing the same thing! Too funny!

13. Nadia | February 1, 2011 | Reply

Yeah! baby led weaning!!! is just what your baby is doing!!! mine is the same, everything with her hands! and never tooo much!

14. Courtney in London | February 1, 2011 | Reply

It’s a good thing she’s so cute, that stubborn little Ava! I say just feed her the bigger bits (steamed broccoli, banana, kiwi, blueberries, steamed carrots, cheeries, etc.) and skip the whole puree phase all together!

15. Emilie in Paris | February 1, 2011 | Reply

Ah, she is going to be quite a teenager! I let Violette wean herself, as she seemed to enjoy it and simply because if was a really easy thing to do once she was sitting up.

16. Esther in Amsterdam | February 2, 2011 | Reply

OK, so none of you seems to be worried ;-)!
Thanks for the feedback! I think you all convinced me that Baby-led weaning is the way forward… xxx

17. Anna | February 2, 2011 | Reply

Go for the BLW!! (Baby led weaning) – since 6 months my son has been in control and eats everything and loves meal time (also as a complete side benefit to BLW his fine motor skills seem incredibly deft for an 8 month old). There is great book by Gill Rapley who has put pen to paper about the subject and she makes some great observations about how dull it must be receiving all foods in the same texture and not having control over what is put into your mouth – she also suggests that spoon fed feeding may be a cause of obesity because the baby is not having control over quantity…it is a very mess route, but buy a large plastic mat for under the highchair to ease clean up and go for it!. Ava will love it! (Gill Rapley has also published the Baby Led cookbook which I have found much more useful than the ‘theory’ book.)

18. Mo | February 2, 2011 | Reply

Hi Esther
Lio didn’t really ‘do’ any ‘baby-foods’ either – she had reflux and threw everything up (but I must say she was never in a bad-mood about that). Like Eva she just curiously ‘picked’ at foods which took her interest until she was about 10 months old. But you know what she eats practically everything and loves to try new foods and is a fabulous eater now. Which is such a huge relief as her brother eats only 8 foods, none of which are fruit or veg but he ate all the baby foods. I never set out to do baby-led weaning but we kind of did and it really seems to have worked ….

19. Veronica Diaz | February 2, 2011 | Reply

Been there.. and it didn’t get better until she turned 2! and decided to start eating everything from one day to the other. Until then I just kept trying and trying and trying.. She would spit most of the fruits out but I kept offering them to her. It sure was frustrating to see other kids her age wolf down their panckakes and sausages while she would just spit them out! I googled and googled about it.. but it finally got better although I admit that sometimes I still have to entertain her A LOT while she eats. She plays, she cuts paper, she colors while I feed her new stuff.. I admit it! I’ll do anything to introduce new food in her diet! (I know, I know..)
She just started going to a nursery school where they prepare and serve food for the kids. I am sure that will help a lot!
Hopefully it doesn’t take that long for you though! My best wishes for you. Hang in there!

20. ChantaleP | February 2, 2011 | Reply

I must admit, when I read this post I had to chuckle. Brought back many frustrating memories of my own. My girl was the same way.. so not interested in eating or drinking anything. But she grew! lol. Miraculously. And after 6 years of bird like eating, she is now eating whole meals (and thensome) with seconds. Ava is beautiful ! She will be eating in no time.. and catch up with her siblings. : )

21. Solveig | February 3, 2011 | Reply

I baby-led weaned both my children (now 5 and 2) and would also recommend it. My second took a lot longer to actually start eating the food but he got there in the end. Good luck!

22. Esther in Amsterdam | February 9, 2011 | Reply

Ava finally started to eat!!!!!!! She’s tasting things, and starting to eagerly open her mouth. Gosh, now that she’s eating, I wonder what I was even worried about. You were all right — baby led weaning is the way with Ava! Thanks!!!

23. capucine | February 18, 2011 | Reply

My first did exactly this. She didn’t really go gangbusters with food until she got her first teeth, at 12 months, and suddenly poof! Time to eat! So she never did eat babyfood; we offered her various things before her first birthday and if she ever reached for food I let her have it, but in her case the teeth seemed like the magic moment. Her digestion worked better after teeth, I have to add – her tummy was very bothered by most foods we tried, then suddenly after she got teeth nothing gave her problems. So I have to think she knew best for herself, whatever the whole thing was.

I wasn’t bothered by it because breastfeeding worked well for us, but with two other children the luxury of full-bore breastfeeding an almost-toddler could be tougher. Good luck! Let it be what it is!

24. Food is Fun! « Babyccino Kids: Daily tips, Children's products, Craft ideas, Recipes & More | February 23, 2011 | Reply

[…] — she has loved food since I first put a spoon in her mouth (unlike her little baby sister Ava). So this fun food book by Anorak is just perfect for her — we’ve been reading it […]

25. Some thoughts about weaning your baby « Babyccino Kids: Daily tips, Children's products, Craft ideas, Recipes & More | July 17, 2013 | Reply

[…] Thankfully Sara was a good eater and the whole process went well. So for the second child, I repeated the process. So far, so good. My third baby however, refused to eat. After her first taste of baby rice, she decided that food was not her thing, and she refused to open her mouth again! (I wrote a post about it here.) […]