How to introduce solids to babies? A first-time parent is often a bit nervous while introducing solid foods to a baby.
Well, at least I was. There are so many questions that come to your mind every time we try to introduce solids to the baby. You need child nutrition along with digestive comfort for the baby.
At least I used to be very scared of giving anything new to my baby.
What if he can’t take it? Is this ok for his age? Will he digest? Will this cause stomach upset?…went my mind…on and on…
With time and experience, here are a few things I learnt about introducing solid to your baby. I will be glad if my readers find this helpful.
[su_heading style="default" size="25" align="center" margin="20" id="" class=""]Important facts to start baby on solids[/su_heading]
1. Your baby might or might not accept solids in the first attempt, and that’s perfectly normal.
2. In case a baby shows dislike for some particular food item, do not force. Try after a week again.
3. Introduce solid foods to babies, one item at a time. In case she is allergic to some particular food item, you can quickly identify.
As a result, you will know early on when to eliminate this item from her diet.
4. Introduce variety gradually and try to follow tradition. Tradition is usually time tested hence safe too. Discuss with elderly members of your family who have experience in bringing up children.
5. Be prepared to see a change in the bowel movement of your baby after introducing solids.
6. Combination of solids and Breastfeed is what is needed after six months. Do not eliminate mother’s milk.
7. Feed solids to your baby after breastfeeding or between two feeds. This way, she will not reject breastfeeding as she will be hungry.
[su_heading style="default" size="25" align="center" margin="20" id="" class=""]Right time to introduce solids to babies[/su_heading]
First, check with your pediatrician if your baby is ready for solids.
Mostly your doctor will tell you or give you a food chart for what all babies should be prepared for. Checking for food items is a must.
Some general observations tell you if your baby is ready.
1. Baby can sit upright, and her head is steady.
2. Baby shower interest in food or try to grab food when you have them.
3. When you feel your baby is still hungry after breastfeeding
4. When baby opens her mouth and is ready to swallow.
[su_heading style="default" size="25" align="center" margin="20" id="" class=""]13 things to know while introducing solids to babies[/su_heading]
How to introduce solids to babies?
Your baby’s system is not ready yet for solid food the way we have it. Her digestive tract is still growing.
While it is essential to give her food other than their mother’s milk after she turns six months, You should be careful about the form.
It should quickly digest, and the nutrition should assimilate.
Make your schedule regarding what to introduce when. and make sure your doctor is informed and approved of it.
TIPS and important factors...
1. To introduce your baby to a new taste apart from milk, you can start with one spoon of freshly squeezed fresh juice once a day.
Increase the quantity or the number of times over a week to give her around three spoons a day.
I gave my kids sweet lime juice as it is accessible on the stomach.
Make sure at least one hour gap is maintained between juice and milk at all times.
2. If you wonder how to introduce solid food to babies, rice is the preferred choice for first proper solid food most of the time. Try to give organic rice to the baby.
Anything laden with chemicals is not what you want.
Wash the rice well with clean water and boil it to to a point where the rice starts releasing starch and the boiling water thickens.
At this point, please remove it from the flame and cool it completely.
Once the rice cools down, you can add grind it to a smooth paste.
You can add little water if you want to if you feel the rice is too thick.
At this stage, you can add a little salt and feed the baby immediately.
Please do not keep the prepared food for long as it can cultivate bacteria.
3. Once the baby is used to the rice, you can gradually start with other steamed, boiled or pureed food. Just do it once at a time.
It is not good to mix items the first month she has baby food apart from milk.
Let the digestive track become used to different kinds of food the first month.
Usually, doctors prefer to wait for 3/4 days before starting a new food.
4. Refrain from introducing new food late in the day or night. Mornings are an excellent time to introduce new food.
5. Remember your baby does not have a tooth, and hence her system of taking in the food and swallowing will be not as smooth as adults.
6. She will tend to take in half of what you are giving, and the rest is just going to come out of her mouth.
7. To ensure cleanliness, have a bib around the baby during the feed and keep her drinking water handy.
8. For 6 to 8-month-old babies, you can try feeding half a cup of semi-solid food 2 to three times a day.
But this depends on a lot of other factors like body weight, taste development and other conditions. It is not a good idea to force-feed ever.
Just give your baby as much as she wants. Also, consult your pediatrician for the quantity as doctors consider all aspects of your baby and decide.
The following table shows a sample schedule of a six-month baby.
This is more or less what I followed during my two children.
You can create your chart. I feel it is essential to do so. This way, you will be more organized and well planned the entire day.
As your baby grows, you will make minor changes and adapt to your growing baby’s needs.
Have them stuck to your fridge or where you can always keep an eye.
Later you can add different food items to make sure your growing baby gets various types of food.
If you a six month old...
[su_note note_color=”#FFFF66″ text_color=”#333333″ radius=”2″ class=”” id=””]Sample Schedule of 6 month old
Feed 1 (Breakfast)
On waking up
Mother’s milk or formula
Oil massage,Shower ( at least 45 mins after feed)and nap
Feed 2 (Mid morning)
Usually after Approx. 2 hours of first feed
Fresh juice/puree – Sweet lime juice/ apple puree/banana puree
Feed 3 (Lunch)
Feed 2 + 2 hrs(Approx.)
Porridge – Rice/ Oats/ Ragi
Feed 4 (Late noon/evening)
Feed 3 + 2 hrs
Mother’s milk or formula
Feed 5 ( Evening)
Feed 4 + 2 hrs
Feed 6 (Night)
Mother’s milk or formula
More on how to introduce solids to babies...
9. Honey is one item that you should avoid during the first year. Though it is highly nutritious and has several medicinal benefits, it is not suitable for human babies less than one year of age.
10. Around 9 to 11 months, your baby can handle more quantity of food. Half a cup of semi-solid food around 3 to 4 times a day should be fine.
However, remember this is no benchmark. Keep your convenience, comfortability, doctors advice and baby comfort in mind.
Now you can also make tiny pieces of vegetables and fruits before steaming them and give your baby without mashing. She might try to eat by herself, which you must encourage.
11. While preparing baby food, wash your hands and vessels well.
12. Look for nutrition in the food you are giving your baby rather than the amount. Once you start doing that, you will automatically keep changing the food items.
13. Keep breastfeeding even if your baby starts solids. Immunity comes from mothers milk. Even if you do not feed, make sure the baby gets an adequate amount of formulae as this is fortified with essential nutrients.
14. In modern times, there is no particular order in which food needs to be introduced to the baby as long as it does not have chances of choking.
As I always believe it is best and safe to follow tradition in certain things, this is one of them.
15. Keep watching your baby’s height and weight which tells you if you are on the right track.
However, some babies take time to put on weight, and some do very quickly. Food is not the only factor that determines weight and height.
My experience says genes are also a prominent deciding factor.
Most importantly, enjoy every phase of your baby…trust me, you will miss all this someday.
Do not panic over every small thing OR neglect things that need attention due to time crunch. How will you do this?
Well, there is no particular answer that I could find for this. Parenting is mainly intuitive.
The one thing I can tell you is to create BALANCE. Balance your days, your thoughts and your emotions.
You are a fantastic parent, and parenting is a learning process throughout.
After all, it is a generation of people we are in the making, isn’t it?