One of the most exciting and likely messy milestones in the life of your baby’s first year, will be when she starts solids. Breast milk and formula will be replaced partially with a new myriad of flavors and tastes, from fruits to vegetables and more.
It can be a bit tricky at first, and a lot of the food will likely end up on the floor or on a bib, but here are a few tips to get started and to make sure you’re fully prepared!
No fine cutlery here. You’re going to need a plastic, silicone or similar spoon, which will be much easier on your baby’s little gums. Be sure to put a bib on your baby too to avoid the hassle and resistance later. The other major piece of equipment you’ll need is a high chair, but be sure to let your baby by practice getting comfortable at least in the days leading up to the first trial of solids.
Adjust the height, fasten the straps and away you go!
Introducing New Foods
Before trying to feed your baby something new, get her to give it her tick of approval after a little inspection. Put a little onto the spoon or tray and let your baby examine it first, so when she does go to taste it, it’s not totally uncharted territory.
Also, make sure you choose the right foods, to begin with.
“Studies have shown that babies can do fine with mashed fruits, strained vegetables, full-fat yogurt or even pureed meats as a first food. Brightly-colored foods like carrots and spinach tend to be more nutrient-dense — and more interesting for little ones to look at, too. Just be aware of the foods you should not feed to baby, and never mix food (including cereal) into your baby’s bottle (she could choke or overeat).” // whattoexpect.com
Your baby could have totally different tastes than you, could prefer a thicker or thinner puree, or may not like purees at all! So choose the right foods based on what she takes a liking to, and test different consistencies and flavors in small doses before moving forward to a full serve.
There is no perfect time of day to feed your baby, it really is when it is best for both of you. If you are breastfeedings, perhaps trying solids when your milk supply is low will work. Just experiment, starting with one meal per day then working your way up from there.
Take it easy when starting on solids. For baby, she will obviously have experienced nothing like it before, and the new way of feeding along with the new textures and flavors can give quite the shock. Start with as little as a quarter of a teaspoon of the food just on the tips of your baby’s tongue, and if that all goes well, try the next spoon a little farther back.
Your baby may respond quickly, opening her mouth as you approach with the spoon, others may take a little more time to warm to the idea.
Monkey See Monkey Do
What your baby sees, she is more likely to do. Open your mouth wide (which you’ll probably do instinctively anyway) and take a make-believe gulp from the spoon.
“Don’t forget to smack your lips and relish your make-believe bite enthusiastically.” // whattoexpect.com
If allergies run in the family, talk to your doctor before beginning any solid routine. He may recommend delaying solids or having a staggered start approach to certain types of food. Also, be aware when enough is enough, and don’t give too much of a good thing. If your baby is turning her head or closing her lips, she’s likely had her fill for this meal. There is no point forcing a baby to eat, and always remember how tiny her stomach really is!
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