An infant experiences everything for the first time with complete innocence and wonder. Something as simple as enjoying food is brand new to them. When introducing a baby from breast milk or formula to solid foods, they might not take to it as excitedly as you might think. Here are 5 tips for introducing solids to baby.
When To Start Your Baby On Solids
The American Academy of Pediatrics says you should start your child on solids between 4 and 6 months. All babies are different and may or may not be ready at that time. Before introducing your baby to solids, be sure to speak to your pediatrician to see what they recommend. There are few signs you should look out for that can help determined if your baby might be ready for solid foods.
- He can sit upright and hold up his head.
- She is curious, looking at everything around her--especially what you're eating!
- He has lost the tongue thrust reflex that automatically pushes food out of his mouth.
- She still seems hungry after getting a full day's portion of milk (eight to 10 breastfeeding's or about 32 ounces of formula).
Babies don’t have the ability to swallow foods and their digestive system isn’t mature enough to handle it. Don’t introduce anything other then milk prior to your baby being 4 months old.
First Foods For Baby
It’s common more most families to start baby on infant cereal. This can sometimes help infants get used to the idea of eating, swallowing and tasting something new. Since baby has never had anything like this before, it’s important that the cereal isn’t too thick. Thin it out with formula or breast milk so it’s almost ‘soupy’. Use a soft tip plastic spoon to feed to baby.
Note: expect lots of drooling (ha!)
You can also speak to your pediatrician about what foods to introduce baby too. Soft purees such as sweet potatoes, apples, peaches, bananas, squash and pears are all great to start.
Although there’s nothing you can do to prevent an allergic reaction, it’s good to be observant when your baby starts on puree foods. The first foods are not typically foods that cause allergic reactions but it’s a good idea to follow a few tips.
First, when introducing a new food give it at least 3 days before introducing another new food. This will help you if baby does have a reaction you’ll be able to know exactly which food was given and if that was the cause for reaction. If you introduce too many new foods at once, you won’t be able to narrow down which food caused the reaction.
Also, don’t give brand new foods before bedtime. Incase the food doesn’t agree with baby and causes gas, upset stomach or reaction of any kind, you’ll be able to tell through out the day and not send baby right to bed.
When Is My Baby Full
Similar to when baby is nursing or drinking bottles, you might wonder if they are really full. Are they eating enough food? These are some signs that’ll help you determined if you’re baby has had enough of his meal.
- Leans back in his chair
- Turns his head away from food
- Starts playing with the spoon
- Refuses to open up for the next bite
Does Your Baby Still Require Milk?
It’s important that your baby still has formula or breast milk until their first birthday. There are many vitamins and nutrients that they are still soaking up from their milk. Your pediatrician will let you know how often you can feed your baby solids, but it’s usually recommended to start off small.
Give baby a small breakfast after their morning bottle and continue with milk the rest of the day. As baby starts to get the hang of eating you can start introducing more meals and get on a breakfast, lunch, and dinner schedule.
A Milestone For Your Baby
This is a big milestone for your baby but don’t let it stress you out. Baby might not take to food as excitedly as adults do. That’s okay, just like everything else they have to learn. Be patient and just keep trying. Never force baby to eat their pureed food, just take the food away and move on with their day. Eventually baby will love the taste of food and will be demanding more and more!