Do you feel as though you are the only one feeling unsure about starting your little one on solids? Do you think that you are the only one having difficulty getting your baby to try, and like, food? Feeding your infant solid foods for the first time may be a struggle, and I guarantee that you will feel as if you did not accomplish anything on the first go round.
Besides that, I am positive that every single mother you will ever talk to will have just exactly the sure-fire advice on how to make the introduction of solid food smoother than the puree you are trying to get your child to eat.
After all, other moms have all the answers, right?
News flash, here. Truth be known, even if no one will admit it, no introduction of solids goes tickety-boo the first time. Many moms have to try dozens, that’s correct, I said dozens of times before babe will readily enjoy slurping mushy peas off of a spoon, instead of lazily lying at your breast suckling on comfort food.
To start, babies should be around the age of 4 to 6 months when you begin introducing solids. Truth be known, the jury is still out on that one - some experts recommend waiting until 6 months while others think 4 months is just fine. Look for signs that he is ready, such as showing an interest in your food when you are eating. Be sure that your baby can sit upright and support his head on his own, to avoid choking. The tongue thrust reflex must be present also.
Set up your feeding station, have plenty of cloths or wipes on hand, and get ready for much laughter and definitely a few tears, as you experience the joys of guiding your little one towards her first taste of solid food.
7 Your Baby May Cry
So we’ve got to appreciate the whole process here. I mean, take it from a baby’s point of view. For several months she has been enjoying the same sweet flavor of breast or bottle and has been enjoying the whole relaxing state of affair. She has been cuddled by you, lying down, making a sucking motion which can be very soothing, and more often than not, falling asleep while doing all of the above.
All of a sudden, you are asking your baby to satisfy some of her hunger in a very different, very slow way. When babies are really hungry, they guzzle the bottle or breast like there’s no tomorrow. Now we are feeding them at the pace of a snail crossing the road.
Your baby may be hungry and have a lack of patience for this new method of reducing pangs of hunger. Some parents, when kicking off the solid food game, make sure their infant has had a satisfying meal of liquids whether bottle or breast, before bringing out the solids as a dessert.
They're just a baby after all, let them cry
Other moms and dads opt to try the cereal or pureed veggies first, when baby is hungry, with the aim of getting their little one to eat a fair amount and then topping off the meal with the breast. This may work well especially if it is bedtime in virtue of the fact that baby will nurse to sleep. Just remember to start the tooth and gum care along with the introduction of solids by wiping baby’s gums with a cloth after eating.
With either method, you may be greeted by a crying baby who wants nothing to do with this lead into food.
Remedy: Don’t turn it into a food fight. Keep the tone light and try feeding your baby when everyone else is eating to see if that sparks some interest.
6 You Will Cry
While your baby may or may not cry when you put forth the solids, you most certainly will. Before you even put spoon to mouth, you may feel that once your baby starts on solid foods, he won’t need you so much anymore.
For a fact, that is far from the truth, but our emotions may tell us otherwise. You may have a bit of the baby blues or some anxiety about your parenting skills. Our hormones are still off balance for several months after baby is born, so it is no surprise that we may burst into tears at the very thought of our babies growing up and leaving the breastfeeding nest.
You will also feel the tears flow when baby is crying during the solid food introduction. Simply put, it can be pretty darn frustrating when you don’t know what your little one is trying to tell you.
They will always be your baby no matter what
Is he still hungry? Has he had enough? Am I doing this wrong? Baby’s first bites are a big thing for everyone. Relax, take some funny pictures and in a few months this will all be a distant, hilarious memory.
Remedy: If at first you don’t succeed, and the event is just a little too much for you (or for baby), put the spoons and bowls away for a few days and try again another time. It really is no big deal. Keep things positive on your end. Your baby will eat solids eventually, and don’t worry if every other baby at the park is loving solids, and your’s isn’t in the groove yet.
5 Baby Will Try to Wear the Food
No doubt you’ve seen, and laughed at, oodles of pictures of cute little kids with noodles covering their heads, underneath the bowl which is being used as a hat. Or the countless photos of sweet, smiling infants with pureed carrots smeared all over their hands, chest, face and hair.
Many parents, who want to free up the entire experience for their babies, allow them complete freedom with the food. Chock it up to different opinions on how to let your infants chow down. Baby led weaning is an approach to starting your baby off on hand fed foods that encourages the baby in taking charge of his feeding time.
Many moms and dads think that giving the chance to play with the food is teaching babies to love the variety of tastes and giving them the enjoyment of sensory play. They time the feeding of the messiest meal so it is just before the bath, making baby cleanup less stressful for all involved.
If you're in the splash zone you will get some on you
Even if this feeding method is not your cup of tea, or your intention, I can guarantee that the first time you feed your baby solids, she will be wearing more than she will be eating. Because most commercial baby foods and cereals are very runny, the consistency makes it pretty hard to feed your infant solids in a non messy manner.
Remedy: Try first time foods such as very ripe mashed up banana or avocado. Full of vitamins and nutrients perfect for first time meal takers, these options are also there, along with more liquefied foods.
4 Your Baby Will Clamp Their Jaws Shut
I get the picture. You have followed all of the guidelines that you know of:
●She can sit up well and has control of her head.
●She acts hungry even though she has had 8 to 10 breastfeedings or 32 oz. of formula per day.
●She seems curious about food and shows much interest.
●You have bought all of the proper gear for feeding time.
Still, when you put her in the high chair she coos and smiles, but as soon as the spoon comes near the mouth her jaws clamp shut. And there are no ands ifs or buts about it, she will not relent and try the food.
There may be a few reasons for this. The scoop on this just may very well be that baby does not like your choice of spoon. Make sure the spoon has a rubber tip, just in case the spoon hits the gums or an emerging tooth.
This is usually when you start making airplane noises
Your little girl may be asserting her independence in that she wants to feed herself. More than that, she could be trying to indicate a preference for certain foods. Did she eat the peas yesterday, but today is clamping her mouth shut because you are offering pureed beef? (That was a given in my house - never could get my kids to eat any of the pureed meats!)
What’s more, it is not an issue if your little one wants to eat the same food over and over. Eventually she will want to expand her horizons. For certain, sweet potatoes will get boring eventually.
Turn off the TV or any loud music that may be distracting your infant from the task at hand. Another idea is letting a different family member try feeding the baby solids for a few days. Every effort you make to help her get into the mealtime routine is a step forward.
Remedy: Buy your little girl a pretty suction cup bowl and spoon, keeping in mind that pulling a suction cup bowl off of the high chair tray can be a very fun game. Be prepared for food to end up everywhere, and remember this messy mealtime won’t last forever.
3 Your Baby Will Fall Asleep While Eating
I’ve heard the story many times; babies fall asleep in their high chairs very often. Chances are, the first time you feed your baby solids, this will happen to you.
Quite frankly, trying solids for the first time can be tiring for your little munchkin. It is a pretty stimulating, sensory event after all, which may cause your baby to nod off and do a face plant right in the bowl of squash puree.
Many mothers trying the solids regimen feed their babies cereal in the morning, when they are fresh and perhaps more open to new things. Chances are they will have nursed a few hours ago, and won’t be famished, which may make the introduction of solids more appealing.
Once the eyes close, there's not much you can do
Get into a routine. Wash his hands, and sit him in the high chair. Honestly, the first several feedings are more about getting him used to the idea of eating solids than they are about providing nutrition and calories. Most of baby’s nutrition still comes from the breast or formula.
Let your baby lead the way. It’s all about experimentation for now. If he is tired, this can lead to crankiness and you don’t want your baby to consider the high chair to be a negative place.
Remedy: Feed your baby little experimental snacks in the high chair to start. Short sessions at first will lead to longer periods in the chair as he gets older and becomes more engaged in tasting foods.
2 Great Food for Introducing Solids
I agree that breastfeeding your baby is the ultimate. No mess, no fuss, no dishes to wash, or squash to clean out of baby’s ears.
But the time has come to introduce food, and for a fact, experts state that at 6 months, your baby’s nutritional requirements become more complex. Iron levels begin to drop off at this age, necessitating the need to add solid food to your child’s repertoire.
Most moms and dads start off the solid food feedings with single grain cereals. There are conflicting discussions as to whether one should add breast milk or formula to the mix. This may be a personal decision.
You may not be ready, but they are
Other great foods for getting things rolling in the solid food department are fruits and veggies. Many of us go the bottled food route, but it is also very simple to make your own baby food. Here are a few suggestions of what to feed your infant:
●sweet potatoes mixed with chickpeas (best to wait until baby is at least six months old to ensure a less sensitive tummy)
●asparagus is a wonderful choice as it contains calcium, protein and B vitamins
●many young eaters enjoy quinoa mixed with vegetable broth and cooked squash
●after 9 months, rice and casseroles.
When you add meat, be sure to tenderize it well. Stewing meat is a good method for making sure the dish is tender and appealing.
Be on the alert for allergies. The eight most common allergy triggering foods are wheat, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, milk and seafood.
1 Tips and Equipment
Having the right tools for establishing a pleasant eating environment are the key to starting off on the right foot.
Buy a sturdy high chair, and make sure your child sits comfortably in it without slouching or sliding. Some dads and moms choose to buy a booster seat so baby can be close at hand at the table when mealtime is taking place.
Shop for plenty of bibs - you will need them! A good choice for those extra messy days is a smock type bib that covers the arms.
Baby food grinders are essential equipment for those who choose to go the homemade baby food route.
Having the right stuff make feeding time easier
Variety is the spice of life. And don’t forget to add spices to your baby’s food if you think a less bland diet would be more appealing. Start off light and mild - no hot tamales for sure!
Textures may be a problem for some babies during the time that they are experimenting with solid foods. Keep trying, infants can try a food dozens of times before they decide to like it.
In the case that your child is showing an extreme aversion to solids of any kind, consult with your pediatrician to rule out a feeding difficulty that may not be evident.
Don’t fret if introducing solids is a difficult stage for your child. Your daughter may prefer to finger paint with her food. Your sweet son might prefer throwing food to eating it. Keep your cool and before you know it, your child will be a happy, healthy eater.