Starting solid food for your baby can be super exciting, but before you jump right into it, you might want to look into some tips that will help you make the whole experience easier and a lot more fun for both you and your little one.
Before you start, know that not all babies are the same, so the response to solid food may not always be positive. But with some helpful tips and tricks, you can rest assured that they will come around.
So here are 7 great tips for starting your baby on solid food.
1. Start at the Right Time
The right time for starting your baby on solid food is generally around 4-6 months as per the American Academy of Pediatrics. Health experts however say that 6 months is the best time to start feeding solid foods to your baby. For one, go for brands like Serenity Kids that offer quality baby accessories.
Either way, you should never feed solid foods to your baby before 4 months as their digestive system will not be able to handle the solid food. This may increase the chances of your baby developing food allergies.
There are other signs you can look out for to confirm that your baby is ready for solid food. Signs like good head control, loss of tongue thrust, ability to sit upright when supported and the desire to eat solid foods are all positive signs that the baby is ready.
2. Feed Wholesome Food
Cereal is usually the first thing that comes to mind when you’re starting your baby on solid food. It contains iron and is also easy to digest but isn’t particularly tasty. There is no ground rule that you must start with cereal as the first solid food. You can also opt for fruit or vegetable puree like banana, sweet potato, and avocado.
3. Check for Symptoms of Allergy
Do not introduce different varieties of food all at once. Instead, wait for 2-3 days before you introduce a new food item. This gives time to watch out for any symptoms of food allergy like rash, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Some common food allergies include egg white, cow’s milk, berries, and fish. Make sure that you also steer clear of honey during the first year as honey contains botulism spores which have a greater risk on infants.
4. Don’t Stop Your Baby from Playing with His Food.
Starting solid food is a completely new experience for your baby so give them some time to familiarize themselves with the food. Place some of the food on their tray and allow them to get used to the smell, taste, and texture.
This will make them feel less intimidated by the new food and be more comfortable with putting them in their mouth.
5. Check for Cues While Feeding
The best way to know if your baby is hungry or full is by watching their cues. Babies are very good at regulating their appetite. They let you know when they are hungry and they also stop eating when they are full.
You can tell that your baby is hungry if they start pointing at food or gets excited and opens their mouth when you offer them food. On the other hand, if their pace of eating slows down, it means that they are full. They may also start throwing the food or turn their head away from food and push them away.
6. Reintroduce Rejected Food
Don’t worry if your baby does not give a positive reaction to certain food like broccoli. It can take several exposures to the food before they begin to like it. So keep reintroducing the food they don’t like right away or better yet even mix it with the ones they like.
The whole process of starting solid food is to get them accustomed to the food and different textures and taste of the food. So give rejected food several chances for them to start liking it.
7. Make Feedings a Wonderful Experience
The best way to make the whole process of starting solid food an easy ride is to make it a wholesome experience. You want your baby to experience food in a positive manner. So adjust whatever else you need to, such as the time of the day, the baby’s position, and the type of food. This will make the whole process a lot more fun and easier, both for you and your baby.
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