Feeding Your Baby Their First Solids
4 - 7 month old babies are the recommended age for babies to be introduced to solid foods. But of course, it all depends on your baby's readiness and nutritional needs.
Before feeding your baby any solid food, be sure to check with the pediatrician first.
How can you tell if your baby is ready to eat solid foods? Here are a few hints:
- Is your baby's tongue-thrust reflex gone? This prevents infants from choking and causes them to push food out of their mouths.
- Can your baby support his or her own neck? For an infant to eat solid food, he or she needs good head and neck control and should be able to sit up.
- Is your baby interested in food? A baby who stares at your food every time you eat obviously states that your child is ready for some mixture in the food department.
If the pediatrician gives you a go signal but your baby seems uninterested as you're introducing solid foods, try waiting for a few days to few weeks before trying again. No need to worry if your baby is still rejecting solid foods at 6 months, since solids are only an add-on at this stage, breast milk and formula will still fill your baby's basic nutritional needs.
So how do you start feeding your baby solids?
- When your baby is ready and got the pediatricians OK to try solid foods, pick a time of the day when your baby is really hungry but not starving, not tired and cranky.
- Secure and sit your baby in your lap or in an upright infant seat. Infants who sit well can be places in a high chair with a safety strap.
Most babies' first food would be rice cereal mixed with breast milk or formula. Place the spoon near your baby's lips, let your baby smell and taste it. If the first taste gets rejected, wait for a while and try again. Most food offered to your baby at this stage will end up on their chins, bibs, high-chair trays.
Always consult your baby's pediatrician on what to feed your child. It's always best to get instructions so your baby would learn how to eat solid foods. Don't just feed your baby anything, as this can cause your baby to become overweight.
Once your baby gets the hang of eating cereal off the spoon, you could start introducing fruits and vegetables. For babies, fruits and greens are new for them, so go slow. Introduce once food at a time and wait several days before trying something new. This will help you identify food that your baby may be allergic to.
Do not panic when after some time, your baby wouldn't show any interest in these new foods and solid foods. Introducing new foods and solid foods to your baby will take some time. They will reject it, but they'll get used to it eventually.