Introducing solid food to a baby takes a very important event in your baby’s life as well as your life as a parent.
Because you need to answer why, when, what and how you should introduce solid foods to your baby. This article will provide you an in-depth insight regarding the matter.
Read about the seven signs of your baby’s strong nourishment and other valuable facts regarding your baby’s weaning.
Introducing solid foods to a baby is a memorable and very important experience for the parents. What you can do here is introduce a simple food ensuring the best safety for your baby.
When the baby opens the mouth for the first time for the purpose of feeding, then the entering food creates a remarkable first impression on the inexperienced taste buds.
Think about AAP recommendations that will give you a clear picture
According to the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP), you should start solids between 4-6 months.
you need to drill down the breastfeeding or the formula into art and need to get this exciting experience gradually.
You don’t need to rush for this milestone. you need to maintain a fair ratio between breastmilk vs supplementary breastfeeding until one year of age
It is very important to ensure that the food goes into the baby’s stomach through the baby’s gut and mouth.
As parents, I suggest from this article that you should not bother about the actual consumption and that is not of great significance as long as the breastfeeding or bottle feeding is continued.
It means in the first two or three months of solid feedings, parents shouldn’t be concerned about sustenance and the experience with the foods is much more important for the baby.
I give you all the basic guidelines and the essentials for the first few months of solid feedings for the baby in the article. Read it carefully till the end.
According to the American Academy of Paediatrics recommends ( AAP ) the age of 6-12 months is the best time for a child who is prepared to eat strong nourishment.
07 Seven Signs that the Baby prepared for Strong nourishments
1. Rigid neck movements
This is considered the main physical sign ( Keep the neck unassisted ). The babies can keep their necks straight.
2. Sit upright on a chair
When you place your baby in a normal chair or a high chair in a sitting position, they can sit upright. you can freely introduce feeding at this point.
3. Chewing mechanism of your baby
Test your child by giving your small finger to chew. Then if your baby can perform the action of chewing going on, I would suggest that they are ready to practice eating.
4. Looking at foods with caution
Does your baby look at foods with caution? I suggest that the baby is interested in eating.
5. Doubling the weight
If your baby reached the doubling amount of their birth weight and that is a signal
6. Baby can put their tongue out ( tongue thrust reflex )
Baby can put their tongue out and lick the lips and perform a few tongue movements looking at you, then they are eligible to eat selected solid foods
7. Baby feels hungry frequently
If you have breastfed the child sufficiently and still he is hungry then we can think that baby is looking for solid foods.
When you decide that your baby is ready for solid foods, that given solid food should be smooth, mashed, or soft pieces depending on what the baby likes. Try to introduce a variety of food textures to them.
This will helps to develop the chewing ability and that chewing ability helps speech development. Always supervise choking when they are experiencing solid foods at the very first.
What do you know about solid food introduction and food allergies?
There are a set of food types that cause food allergies.
- Cow milk and its products
- Soya food types
- Peanuts and Tree nuts
No evidence of delaying the above foods can prevent food allergies. It is better to start high allergenic foods with a readily available antihistamine. Do not try these food types at a restaurant the first time. If there is no sign of food allergy, you better start and gradually increase these food items.
Always keep an eye on any signs of an allergic reaction or any intolerance like rash, hives, wheezing, the difficulty of breathing, committing, excessive gas, diarrhea, blood in their stools, etc. immediately call the pediatrician if you see any of those signs.
What are the best food types to feed as the first food?
Introducing solid foods means you are just getting used to new foods types, textures, and meals while giving them nutrition with breast milk or formula.
Some parents offer babies rice-based cereal as their first solid feeding. This is no longer a problem but most pediatricians recommend vegetables or something that they are more nutritious.
Don’t be in a hurry to experiment with these food items babies just play with these at the beginning and then their perforation is set with experience.
You can give the first food with a pureed thin consistency. These can be thinned by breast milk or formula
- Sweet potatoes are some of the ideal foods as the first solid food.
After you start veggie, you can start with various fruits such as
Some parents add little meat with pureed fruits.
Do you have an idea of how many solid foods you can offer
Each and every baby is different. There is no such solid feed schedule for babies. You can start with a few bites.
To begin with 1-2 tbsp of solid food three times a day. I suggest you can arrange three meals per day for nine months. At first, it may be 1 tbsp. But try to cover the three-time rotation of solid feedings if possible.
As the baby gradually increases the amount. Don’t force them sharply three solid meals per day if they are not ready.
How many meals a day
As I above mentioned, each baby is different. So their requirements are also different. Before implementing any guideline you need to think about this statement thoroughly.
How often are new foods introduction
It is very important to introduce solid food varieties to your baby as early as possible. This will strengthen their palette and oral muscles which gives them a lot of additional advantages.
You need to give nearly ten times food items to your baby to confirm whether they like that food item or not.
If they turn it down or refuse, it is essential for you to try continuously
What about introducing juices to my baby
Babies younger than 12 months should not be given juices, But you can give little water at the same time you give solids to them.
Use a strawed or sippy cup to limit the water intake and never put your baby in bed with the bottles if you need to prevent tooth decay in your kids.
Breastmilk and formulae provide your baby with an adequate amount of water intake to their body. So you do not need to give additional water.
If you have to give water, always try to limit the water intake by giving a straw or a sippy cup.
Expected changes after introducing the solids
Here you can see the baby’s stools become solid and variable in color. If you add sugar and fat to their meals you can expect stronger order.
Meanwhile, the peas and other green vegetables turn stools into deep green colors.
Sometimes undigested pieces of food can be seen if the baby’s meals are not properly strained. Sometimes you can find hulls of peas, skins of tomatoes, or other vegetables.
This is a very normal thing as your baby has a very immature digestive system.
some times you can see irritating signs in your baby’s digestive system. There, the stools are too waterly or full of muse and you should reduce the number of solid foods and need to introduce solids gradually. if it continues further, talk to your doctor immediately.
Solid feedings and Constipation
When introducing solid foods, constipation is a very normal part of a baby’s early life. But it adds a bit of discomfort to your baby. So you need to do everything possible to keep their going regularly.
If you observe the most obvious sign of your baby’s constipation. That is the loss of pooping consistently Or you can notice a variety of usual pooping patterns as soon as you introduce the solid foods to your baby.
Also, we can identify various remedies to prevent this constipation issue.
- Reduce all starchy foods and high-fat foods. Instead, you can give a small number of fruits to their meals regularly. This is a short-term solution and you can increase the food varieties sooner.
2. Give pureed prunes every day as laxative food with pears and apples.
3. Give a small amount of sugar and water with the added food. Suger in the foods attracts more water and that will be beneficial for the digestive system.
4. Try pediatric suppositories as the last option. Do not use this on a continual basis without the directions of your doctor.
Importance of Baby-led weaning and its Importance.
This is the procedure that allows your baby to introduce new foods at its own pace without all the puree and graduation.
This will additionally improve the other skills such as hand and finger functions, motor skills, learning to chew,hand-eye coordination, and other fine motor skills of the developing toddler and infant milestones
You are developing eating habits for your kids in their life. So you need to ensure that they take a sufficient amount of milk from their mother meanwhile taking solid foods.
You need to keep your eye closer to your baby when you practice baby-led weaning to your baby to ensure whether they are on right track.
Tips for Managing Mealtime
1. Start with Simple Steps
I suggest starting with a single-ingredient food item at once with no sugar and salt. If you need new food types consecutively, make sure to keep a five days gap for each item.
You need to observe closely the reactions such as diarrhea, rashes, or vomiting.
Continue this single food ingredient for some time and then think of combinations starting with little amounts.
2. Essentials of nutrients
Iron and Zinc are the basic nutrients that are needed in the second six months of your baby. So I suggest here if you can fulfill this requirement with the newly introduced solid feedings, that would be advisable.
You can add iron-fortified cereals, pureed meat, or single-ingredient food to the solid food of your 7-8-month-old baby.
3. Start with the Cereal Basics
Make a mixture including the following items
- 01 tbsp of single-ingredient grain
- 01 tbsp of iron-fortified cereal
- 04 tbsp of breast milk or formula
4. Manage sitting position when feeding
Use buckles with safety straps with using a high chair aboard.
5. Introduce utensils
Offer your baby a spoon as soon as the dexterity of the baby improves they will handle the spoon well.
6. Avoid struggles to introduce solid foods to your baby.
If your baby moves away from one food to another don’t force them to take food types. Choose a separate time to feed them and try various varieties.
The order of solid food introduction may be varied according to cultures or customs. Also, you need to address certain concerns such as child development, food allergies, constipation, etc.
It is always recommended to offer only one new solid food at a time and wait 2-3 days before introducing a new one.
Good eating habits should be started early. You can observe the early experiences such as sitting up properly, taking food from the spoon, resting between the two bites, and stopping when full.
These early experiences will help your baby to learn good eating habits and try to teach them slowly and gradually.
The solid food you introduce should be a supplement to your baby’s main diet. That is breast milk or formula feeding.
It should not be a replacement for milk until one year old. At solid feeding time, you need to ensure dental hygiene by wiping the baby’s gum and palette.