The day has finally arrived that we have been anxiously waiting for! Baby K has been cleared by his doctor (and Mom & Dad of course) to start dabbling in solids. This is such and exciting time, but there is a lot to learn for both him and us!
It is reccomended to start solids anywhere from four to six months depending on your preference and more importantly your child’s readiness. There is a lot of mixed reviews and opinions out there as to why starting earlier or later than six months is good, however it seems that six months is the “Golden Number”. There are also a few different methods to choose from as far as introducing solids goes such as jumping into purees or opting for “Baby Led Weaning”. I recommend that you research each option thoroughly before making your decision. I would also add that there is no right or wrong here. I truly believe every baby and family is different and so what works for me may not work for you. That is ok!!
Baby K just turned five months old so we are in the middle grounds of the reccomended age. We have been on the look out for the “Signs of Readiness” that you always hear about and he seemed to have hit all of them.
Signs of readiness include:
1.) Head Control –Your baby’s ability to hold head upright and steady unassisted.
2.) Assisted Sitting – If your baby is able to hold their torso upright while supported (sitting in highchair, on your lap, in activity center, etc..).
3.) Interested In Eating Habits – Are they watching your every move at the dinner table? Do they reach for your food? These are all signs of interest.
4.) Doubled Birth Weight
5.) Loss Of Tongue Thrust Reflex– In order to properly chew and swallow a baby must lose this reflex and be able to move food to the back of their mouth for swallowing.
All of these signs indicated to us that he was more than ready to jump in to the wonderful world of solid foods and after discussing this with his doctor at his wellness checkup, she agreed! Yay Baby K! So on Wednesday after running errands we came home and strapped Baby K into his high chair, attached a bib and airplaned some warmed up banana mush into his mouth. Reaction: Priceless! The face he made should have been an America’s Funniest Home Video Moment IF mama would have successfully hit the record button, which I didn’t (insert ugly cry here!). He was not crazy about the bananas…and that’s OK! We tried them again two more times and then moved on to sweet potatoes, which he LOVED!
Babies are born with taste preferences, so they will definitely have likes and dislikes (and they will let you know). We picked up bananas to be his first food because I thought they would be sweet and he would like them better than a vegetable. Boy was I wrong! The difference between his reaction to the bananas and the sweet potatoes was extremely noticable. Bananas, he was making icky faces, turning his head, not opening his mouth well, and spitting most of it back out. Sweet potatoes, he was leaning towards the bowl and grabbing, opening wide and swallowing all of it down. So watch your little one carefully and you will be able to pick up on their preferences pretty quickly!
Important points to know:
1.) Start Off Small – When starting your baby on solid foods they do not need a lot. A great saying I have heard, and you likely have too is “Food before one is just for fun”. At this age solids are not meant to replace their primary source of nutrition (breastmilk or formula). Start off with 1-2 teaspoons and see how they do!
2.) Use The 3-4 Day Rule – In order to give your little one a chance to get used to a new flavor/texture and more importantly to make sure that there is no allergic reaction, you should start with one food once a day and feed that for 3-4 days. Watch closely for signs of allergy, and stop/ contact your doctor if you do notice any adverse reaction. Once a food is cleared with no reaction then you can move onto the next!
3.) Follow Baby’s Cues – Watch your little one closely. If they don’t seem interested, then just wait and try again in a week! As we know, a week can make a HUGE difference. It is important that your baby is truly ready for this big step! Also watch for signs of being full such as disinterest, turning head away, or spitting food out without eating any. We do not want to over stuff them!
4.) Use A Baby Specific Spoon – This may seem like a no-brainer, however, it is very important to make sure the spoon that you are using is small and soft enough not to cause damage to your baby’s gums. We love these Munchkin Soft-Tip Infant Spoons.They are beautifully brightly colored which is a huge hit with my little guy!
5.) Use A Highchair – It may be tempting to feed your little right from your lap or propped up on some pillows but that may not be the best idea. Being in a highchair allows your child to be postured correctly. This is very important especially when they are infants as they are still developing their core and back muscles. Picture trying to swallow food while slumped over, that can’t be very comfortable! I can definitely say that Graco hit it out of the park (yet again) in this area. We received our Graco Blossom 4-in-1 Convertible High Chair as a baby shower gift and LOVE it! I never thought that I would really have a preference on a highchair, but Baby K is so comfortable in it. It is extremely convertible too so we will not need to purchase any additional boosters or other seats as he grows.
If your baby has reached this exciting milestone, congratulations! It is so much fun watching them explore this new part of life, something that Baby K, my husband and I look forward to every day! I hope these tips were able to help you along the way!
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*This post is based on my views and opinions and should not be substituted for professional medical advice. Please always discuss starting foods with your doctor to make sure that your little one is ready. Also be sure to discuss allergic reactions with a medical professional to be able to recognize the signs and how to handle them!*