Solid food Starting signs & tips
Breast milk or formula should be baby’s main source of nutrition until at least 6 months of age. Your six months old baby is ready for solid foods. The following signs ensure you he is ready for solid food
- If baby can hold hishead up
- When sits well with support
- If he can grab finger food and put it in his mouth
- can take food off a spoon using his upper lip
- eat more often than “usual”
- has a healthy weight at least 13 pounds (about double his birth weight)
- curiosity about what you’re eating
- Seems hungry after getting breast milk/formula
When stop feeding?
Knowing when it’s time to stop feeding is as important as knowing when to start. Following signs may be help you to ensure that your baby is full:
- When starts playing with the spoon
- When she leans back in his chair
- When turns his head away from food
- When refuses to open up for the next bite
Starting Solid Food:
Parents should follow the “4 day wait rule” and choose to wait 4 days between introducing new foods. After each new food, watch for any allergic reactions such as diarrhea, rash, or vomiting. If any of these occur, stop using the new food and consult with your pediatrician.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that your baby has so many years of food experiences ahead that there is no need to rush things.
Each day try to include the following foods:
- Breast milk and/or formula
- Eggs and fish
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Breast Milk /Formula during solid foods:
Solid food can’t replace the nutrients that breast milk or formula provides during that first year. Both provide important vitamins, iron, and protein in a form that’s easy to digest. First give the breast or bottle before or after meals, and before bedtime. At the beginning, you’ll have to experiment. If she’s a big drinker – say, if she’d drink a whole bottle before a meal, given the chance — feed her first with food and then with a bottle. If she’s a moderate drinker, try the opposite.
Age: Up to 9 months
Feed her 20 to 28 ounces of formula daily or breast milk every 3 to 4 hours.
Age: At 9 to 12 months
Feed her 16 to 24 ounces of formula daily or breast milk every 4 to 5 hours.
What Should Baby Eat what Avoid?
Child’s doctor suggests meat as a first food because the iron in beef, chicken, and turkey helps to replace her iron stores, which start to diminish at about 6 months of age. Other good first foods include pureed sweet potatoes, squash, applesauce, bananas, peaches, and pears.
- Cereals (4 to 6 months)
- Fruits, and meats (4 to 8 months)
- Chopped, ground, or mashed foods (9 to 12 months)
What Foods Avoid?
Stick with breast milk and formula; both are rich in iron, unlike cow’s milk.
Nuts, Popcorn, Raisins, Dried Cranberries, and Globs of Peanut Butter:
These foods are choking hazards.
It can cause botulism, a serious illness, if introduced too early.
Check with your doctor to determine whether baby’s at risk for an allergic reaction. If she is, citrus can cause eczema or a nasty diaper rash.
Solid food feeding tips:
- Baby’s first solid foods can be served cold, slightly warmed or at room temperature.
- Let your baby enjoy touching and holding the food.
- Allow your baby to feed themselves, using their fingers, as soon as they show an interest
- Don’t force your baby to eat – wait until the next time if they’re not interested this time.
- If you’re using a spoon, wait for your baby to open their mouth before you offer the food. Your baby may like to hold a spoon, too.
- Start by offering just a few pieces or teaspoons of food, once a day.
- Cool hot food and test it before giving it to your baby.
- Don’t add salt, sugar or stock cubes to your baby’s food or cooking water.
- Babies are always preferred to sweets, so you don’t have to worry about introducing sweet or savory foods instead of fruits or vegetables.
- Without pediatrics advice doesn’t add cereal to her bottle – he could choke or end up gaining too much weight.
- Ensure all food of her menu whether you like it or not
- A particular food, your baby may dislike but don’t worry she may change her mind with time. Don’t force her.
- Don’t give your baby foods that might make him choke.
- Adding high-fiber fruits such as pears, prunes, and peaches to a baby’s diet, if you notice that your baby is having less frequent bowel movements, or that his stools have become hard or dry and seem difficult to pass.
- Before your baby actually takes bite one, let him or her practice sitting in the high chair.
- Give baby a chance to examine selected food–squish it, mash it, rub it and maybe even taste it. So that baby will try this food to mouth automatically.
- Studies proven that babies like 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.
- You can start with one meal per day, then move up to two. You might try solids when your milk supply is at its lowest.
- Monitor baby’s mood. If sleepy may want only breast (or bottle) -you might want to skip solids at that meal and try them next time.
- You should follow pediatrician advice, if your baby or other family members have food sensitivities or allergies.
Note: Baby’s stools color and odor may be change when you add solids to his diet.