When and how is the best way to transition your baby to eat solid food?
Are you wondering if your little one is ready to move onto eating solids? It can be a confusing time for any parent since there appears to be a lot of conflicting advice out there. With that in mind, here is our expert advice about timing as well as some tips and tricks to help you to make the transition to solid food as painless as possible.
Is It The Right Time?
In the past, parents were sometimes encouraged to start their children on solid food at a much younger age, however it is now recognized that waiting until your little one is at least four months old, and preferably six months, is the best course of action. This is to allow your baby’s digestive system to develop fully so that it can adapt to the change and prevent any possible issues arising due to digestive disturbances.
If you aren’t sure whether your baby is ready, here are some signs to look out for that indicate your little one is ready to try solids for the first time:
- They can sit up and hold their head up independently
- They are a healthy body weight
- They are beginning to be interested in watching other people eating
- They have sufficient control over their tongue and can swallow independently
The transition to solid food is never a quick one. It is something which should be introduced slowly over an extended period of time. Thin purees of cooked cereal, fruit or vegetables are the best place to begin. For the very first solid feed, mix one teaspoon of baby rice with around 5 teaspoons of formula or breastmilk. You should only give your baby solids once per day before increasing to 2 or 3 times daily as you both become more accustomed to it. Once your baby is coping well, you can start decreasing how much liquid you use in the puree. You can also increase the serving size to around a quarter of a cup.
Top Tips For Introducing Solids
Introducing solids to your baby can be exciting, but it can also be challenging. It can be a messy and sometimes stressful process. Here are our expert tips to make the experience a more pleasant one for both of you.
- Keep some cloths or wipes to hand – feeding with solids is a very messy process. You should also put a bib on your baby or even feed them in their diaper to minimize mess.
- Try introducing sweeter foods first. Babies naturally prefer sweeter flavors and will be more likely to try pureed banana or apple.
- Use the airplane or train technique to make eating fun for your baby – mealtimes should be a pleasurable experience for both of you.
- Involve your baby at the dining table at family meals. Babies are more likely to eat if you are all eating together.
Follow these top tips, and you should find that introducing solids to your little one isn’t as worrying an experience as you might have imagined.