I vividly recall introducing my first baby to solids. It was such a big deal. So much anticipation. After all you are a mommy with your very own baby (a little miracle) to take care of. Having a baby depend on you feels amazingly wonderful and a little overwhelming at times too. You wonder if the time is right to introduce solid foods to your baby. You wonder which solid foods to start with. And you can’t wait to see your baby’s reaction to solid food! What will baby think and how will baby react to solid baby foods?
Is It Time To Introduce Solid Foods To Baby?
Is your baby ready for you to introduce solid foods? The general guideline that most people use for introducing baby food is that the baby should be between 4 and 6 months of age. It is also pretty accepted that the baby gives you the cue that they are ready to begin to try solid foods when they show interest in what you are eating. When they begin watching you put food in your mouth and start reaching for it, then baby is typically ready for the introduction to solid foods. It is a good idea to consult your baby’s doctor about when to introduce solid foods to your baby.
Cues to Look For:
- Your baby can sit with support
- Baby can hold his/her head upright
- Baby is starting to stick things in mouth to chew on
Now bear in mind, this doesn’t mean baby transitions immediately to solid baby food- that is why I used the words “introduction to solid foods”. Baby should still continue to breastfeed like normal because when solid foods are first introduced, baby is just tasting them initially and not consuming large amounts of solid foods.
There comes a time in every baby’s life when the food on your plate starts to look better than what she’s been eating. Is it time to start feeding your baby solid foods?
Here are a few questions to consider when coming up with an answer:
- Is your baby around 6 months old?
- Can she sit up with support and hold her head up on her own?
- Does she show interest in solid foods, say, by watching you when you eat and opening her mouth or moving it as if chewing along?
- When you offer her a spoonful, does she take it into her mouth and move her jaw instead of pushing it out with her tongue?
- Has she doubled her birth weight (to about 13 pounds or more)?
- Is she still hungry after eating a full meal of breast milk or formula?
If the answer to these questions is yes, your baby may be ready for her foray into solid foods.
How To Introduce Solid Foods To Baby
When your doctor gives you the go ahead, introduce one type of baby food at a time. Baby has to learn to use their tongue in a whole new way to take food in and swallow solid foods. Be patient as most of the first solid food will go in but much of it comes back out too!
Perfect first foods include baby food purees of single veggies, single fruits, and baby cereals. Instead of trying bland white rice cereal for baby, you may want to try something more nutritious and flavorful such as Plum Organics Hello Morning™ Stage 1 cherries & oats or pears & quinoa. The Plum Organics baby food is made with nourishing whole grains & real fruit. It is a perfect first breakfast food for baby.
For baby’s first solid foods, use organic, non-GMO, whole, and simple ingredients when possible. Make sure to offer a variety of baby food fruit and vegetable purees to baby so they can expand their palate. You will also want to offer a range of flavors and textures. Taste buds are constantly evolving so don’t give up. If she doesn’t like banana now, try again in a few weeks and she may suddenly like it.
As we introduce solid foods to baby, we have the opportunity to introduce healthy habits and help healthy taste preferences be formed. It is important to introduce a variety of solid baby foods that expose baby to many flavors, textures and ingredients. Have fun with it and baby will too!
You can also refer to these age by age guidelines at the babycenter.com for a general idea of what to expect when. Make sure to consult your baby’s physician. Ask them any questions you may have about when your baby will be ready to try solid foods and what they suggest you try first.
Here are a few helpful guidelines from Jane Chou at Love Sleep Play:
- Introduce new foods one by one. Wait two to three days between each new food to watch for an allergic reaction, such as diarrhea, rash, or vomiting.
- While they’re called solid food, your baby’s first foods won’t actually be solid. Instead, the foods will be soft or pureed. These are the consistency of what we generally think of as baby food and find in baby food jars at the store. If you like, you can also puree food in a blender or food processor. Just make sure everything is reduced to the point that it no longer requires chewing. You can also mix in a little breast milk or formula to make your baby’s first solid foods more familiar.
- Offer small bites — half a spoonful or a smidgen on the end of your fingertip is enough. And don’t expect your little one to start feeding himself yet. That will come a little later when he’s ready for finger foods.
- If your baby balks, don’t force it. Back off and return to breast milk or formula for a while. There’s plenty of time for your baby to learn to enjoy solid foods.
- Don’t forget breast milk or formula. Just because your baby has started solid foods doesn’t mean he’s ready to be weaned. On the contrary, breast milk and/or formula will continue to be an important part of your baby’s diet until he’s at least 12 months old.
You can learn more about my sponsor, Plum Organics, and their complete line of organic baby foods including fruit puree, toddler snacks, and, portable baby food pouches at plumorganics.com
I hope you found these tips for how to introduce solid foods to baby helpful. Are you excited about introducing solid foods to baby? What are you planning to give your baby first? With my daughter I introduced peas first and at 10 years old now, she still loves peas!