While you probably were excited about your baby starting to eat solid foods, you might not have expected how difficult it can be.
Some babies are very fussy, and getting them to eat foods can be a challenge at first. On top of that, you might be worrying that you’re not giving them enough vitamins, nutrients, or enough food in general. There’s no need to worry yourself into a frenzy!
Feeding your baby solid foods isn’t so complicated once you know what you’re doing.
Here is some advice that should make it much easier when it comes time to get your baby onto solid foods.
When to start baby on solid foods.
Breast milk has all of the nutrients your baby needs. However, you’ll want to start them on solid foods eventually.
The Mayo Clinic says that most babies will be ready to be introduced to solid foods around 4-6 months of age. (source)
However, that’s just a general guideline. They suggest the following guidelines:
- Can your baby hold their head up on their own, in a steady position without support?
- Can they sit up with support?
- Is baby mouthing his/her hands or toys?
- Does your baby seem to be interested in what you, or other people, are eating, and maybe even try to grab it from your plate?
If so, it’s possible that your baby is ready to start eating solid foods along with their baby formula or breast milk. Of course, you should always talk to your doctor before starting them on solids.
It’s not a good idea to start them on solids too early; their digestive system won’t be ready for it, and it can possibly cause food allergies.
Some good solid foods to start out with.
Generally, anything that can be easily pureed is probably a good first food to start out with. Some good examples are:
- Sweet potatoes
You can also start with small, bite-size pieces of food. Consider things like:
- Well-cooked, finely-minced shredded meat or fish
- Cooked egg, beans, tofu or lentils (all mashed)
You could consider investing in a baby food maker to make your own food, or make it by hand, which a lot of people do, too.
How often to switch it up.
Most parents follow a rule of switching up the type of food about every four days. This gives your child the opportunity to get used to that particular food, and it also gives you the opportunity to make sure that they aren’t having any allergic or otherwise adverse reactions to the food.
If you notice diarrhea, rash or vomiting, you should cease feeding your baby that food immediately and talk to your doctor; these are all signs that they might have a food allergy.
Tips for getting baby to start eating solids.
When it comes time to feed your baby solid foods, there are some things you should remember. These tips can make it easier to get your baby to eat the food, and also make sure that they stay healthy while doing so.
- The best time to try introducing your baby to solid foods is when they’re having a good day, and aren’t cranky. They’ll be much more likely to be open to it on a good day, when they’re well-rested. You should also wait until they are hungry, but not overly hungry.
- First of all, always feed your baby from a container rather than straight from the baby food jar. If you feed your baby with a spoon and then put it into the jar, you’ll be contaminating it with bacteria.
- Microwaving the food can make it more appealing, but be sure to stir it and check it yourself to make sure it’s not too hot before feeding it to your baby.
- When feeding your baby, be sure to make lots of eye contact and give them lots of encouragement. They will definitely pick up on this, and it will help get them started.
- Remember that they won’t be switching over to solid foods right away. It will take a little while to slowly introduce them to the food, while continuing to feed them their usual formula or breast milk.
- If your baby refuses certain foods or seems to be taking a little while to get used to it, don’t worry. It’s perfectly normal, and it will usually take some time and effort before a baby starts being more open to trying solid foods.
If you have any questions on introducing your child to solid foods that weren’t listed here, I’d love to hear them! Please feel free to ask any questions you might have on your mind on the comment form below, and I’d be happy to help.