Starting Baby on Solid Food
How to Give Your Baby New Food to Try
By: Kelby Carr on: Fri 04 of May, 2007 [00:20 UTC] (3657 reads)
When your baby is ready for solid foods, you want to be sure to be careful how you introduce the new baby foods. You want to give your baby a chance to adjust to each new food, and you need to watch for your baby's reaction and possible allergy to any new solid foods. Here is a step-by-step guide to introducing your baby to solid foods.
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The main thing you want to do is to be very aware of each new food, and you may even want to initially keep a journal of the foods you introduce and any mood changes, fussiness or reactions of any sort. This doesn't need to be elaborate, but can just be a simple wipe board on the fridge where you just down the food, the date and notes.
Be Sure Baby is Ready for Solid Foods
It is usually recommended that babies start solid food no earlier than six months. Some mothers do start earlier, but be aware that starting solid foods earlier has been shown to increase the risk of allergies in children. Eeven just putting rice cereal into a bottle is a potential choking hazard.
You can look for signs that your baby is ready for solid foods. Usually, you will notice your baby is drinking several 8-ounce bottles daily, or is nursing vigorously and often.
Choose Your Solid Food Strategy
It is usually best to start with the solid foods babies are least likely to react to, such as rice cereal or pureed apples. Avoid anything with more than one ingredient. You might also take the approach of going in this order to avoid a baby who only wants sweet fruits:
- Cereals, with rice cereal tried first
- Green vegetables
- Vegetables of other colors
Don't Rush the Feeding
You should also start slowly. Don't rush things. Initially, try giving even just a small dab on a spoon a couple times. You would not want to start by feeding your baby a bowl full of cereal. Your baby has to learn an entirely new skill to understand how to eat solid food versus nursing or drinking from a bottle.
Also understand that your baby might not be interested, or might not want to try certain foods. Sometimes you have to introduce a food several times before your baby takes to it, so just try that food again later.
Give Each New Food Time
While it is an exciting milestone to introduce solid foods, don't let your excitement cause you to rush things. You should be very deliberate in your introduction of every single new food. Remember that your baby has never had these items, so you are testing them each time you choose a new food.
- Try a new food in the morning. If your baby will react to the food, you don't want that to happen right at bedtime.
- Give your baby the same new food for at least three days in a row. A reaction might not be obvious the first time, and if you move on to a second food too quickly you might mistake which one is causing trouble.
- If your baby gets gassy from a food but seems to otherwise have no reaction, your baby might just not be ready physically to digest that food. Try introducing it again in a few weeks.