The first few years or life are full of all sorts of milestones. Making the leap from an all liquid diet to one that includes solid foods is a particularly fun one. It’s also quite messy! Still, the look on your baby’s face when they start to taste different foods is priceless. That’s not to say that things always go smoothly. Some babies take to food right away, and others act like eating is a form of torture. If you’re thinking about starting solids soon, check out the advice below.
How Old Should Babies Be When Starting Solids?
Most babies are ready to begin eating solid foods somewhere between 4-6 months of age. Starting any sooner is problematic since before reaching 4 months, babies have issues with a lot of different types of food. A lot of parents wait until their little ones hit the 6 month mark, which is perfectly fine as well. At this age, babies should still be relying primarily on breastmilk or formula for their nutritional needs. So, don’t throw out those bottles just yet.
A Few Solids To Start WIth
Baby cereal is a great first food. It can be mixed with breastmilk or formula, so that the consistency is runny. This will also give it a familiar taste, which may make for an easier transition.
Fruits and vegetables are another good early option. You will want to puree these in the beginning. Then, when your baby is 8-10 months old, you can chop these up into small pieces instead of pureeing.
Meat is fine as well, provided that you puree it after it’s cooked. While the idea of pureed chicken or beef might not sound appetizing to you, it might just hit the spot for your baby.
By the way, be sure to avoid honey as this can be dangerous for babies under one year of age. Be sure to avoid anything that could be a choking hazard as well.
Tips For Feeding Your Baby
When you start solids, just introduce one new food at a time, and stick with if for 4-5 days. That way, if your baby has an allergic reaction, it will be easy to identify the culprit. This will also let your little one develop a taste for each new food.
One thing to keep in mind is that meal time should be a fun experience. So, if your little one is putting up a major fight, don’t force it. Instead, just wait a day or two and try again.
In order to help everything go smoothly, you should pay close attention to your baby when they begin to eat. That means turning off the TV, and putting down your phone so there are no distractions. Babies are often eager to please. Once they realize they are the center of attention, they are most likely to get down to the task at hand.
One day, your newborn is just laying there totally helplessly. A short time later, they are crawling, walking, talking and eating. It all goes by really quickly. So, be sure to stop and enjoy each step along the way. Your little one might just be having a few bites of runny cereal today. But, before you know it you’ll be out dining together at a great restaurant.
Author Bio: Ryan Howard runs SmartParentAdvice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Ryan writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase for babies and toddlers.