Five Absolute Musts When Introducing Solids into Baby’s Diet
Your baby is getting ready to start taking solids into their diet.
But instead of being excited, you’re wracked with doubt and fear… “Am I going to do something wrong? What if my baby doesn’t like what I’m offering?”
Don’t worry; we’ve got this.
We Will Answer all of Your Questions about Introducing Solids:
- When is the right age to introduce solids?
- What is the best first food for babies?
- What utensils do I need when introducing solids?
- What is the right position for my baby when I feed?
- How do I avoid going into snack feeding?
So let’s get right to it, shall we:
1. When is the Right Age to Introduce Solids?
For the first six to seven months your baby’s main source of nutrition is milk. So, when you feed first offer milk and then solids (in the same sitting).
At about nine months you can flip the order and start offering solids first and then milk.
You can start introducing solids from around four to six months of age.
There is generally a better response to the spoon and the texture of solid food around the six month age bracket.
Before that, some babies just end up playing with the food with their tongues, with more of it ending on the table / floor / your face / your clothes than actually chewing and swallowing.
2. What is the Best First Food for Babies?
From a digestibility point of view, we find that fresh, raw fruit (like banana or paw paw, or, even better, the ‘complete food’ avocado, if they can handle the texture) is the easiest for young digestive systems to process.
Sometimes going straight to a carbohydrate like rice or porridge results in cramping or constipation; this is agonising for little ones and traumatic for parents.
Start one week with one meal and one food type.
If there is a reaction to a certain food, you need to know who the culprit is, so keep it simple in the beginning. Don’t go crazy with three different fruits in the first meal.
After the dust has settled and you’ve survived the first week, try introducing another meal or another kind of fruit.
At around nine months you can start introducing cooked simple veg like butternut and peas. Please never season baby’s food. Clean and simple is the best way.
Thankfully, you will get tired of their bland menu before they do, so don’t worry about serving the same meal five days in a row.
3. What Utensils Do I Need When Introducing Solids?
As Mary Poppins said, “Well begun is half done!”
Starting out with the right tools on this new part of your journey will not make it perfect, but it will make it amazingly easier.
- Try our Easy Hold Bowl and Spoon (please always use a plastic spoon to protect little gums).
- Catch and fold bibs are a must.
- Weaning containers means that you can bulk prepare meals, put them in containers that are the right size for small portions and pop them in the freezer for a later date.
- Or get it all in one go with our Mixed Mealtime Set.
4. What is the Best Position for My Baby When I Feed?
We find that a few positions work well for babies when you are introducing solids:
- Reclined in a bouncy chair: Sitting upright on their own steam is a bit of a challenge for little ones at this age, let alone sitting upright AND taking solids for the first time.
- PS: You can even try using the car seat in the inclined position if you are limited for options.
- On your lap: This is great because you can support your child’s back and tummy with your arm as they sit on your lap, while feeding with the other hand. However, it does limit control slightly as you only have one free hand to handle spills and thrills with.
- In a highchair: Highchairs are not recommended at this early stage. However, these are indispensable from around your baby’s first year, and you will continue to use your highchair well into the second year, so it truly is a worthwhile investment.
5. How Do I Avoid Going into Snack Feeding?
You’ve worked hard to keep your baby in a solid routine. This is great because of the benefits associated with a flexible routine, like uninterrupted night sleep and a happy, content baby during the day.
At six months of age your child should be feeding three to four times a day – almost at the same time of the day as the rest of the family.
Introducing solids should be done with the milk feed.
Don’t add it as a new feed in between milk feeds, as this is just snacking and will interfere with the lovely long naps your child is enjoying at this stage.
Rather, supplement milk feeds with the introduction of solids.
Hope this has helped! Happy weaning 🙂