- When to Start?
- Where to Start?
- What is in Hands?
- If the Baby is Rejecting Solid Foods
- How to Introduce a Baby to Solid Food
Introducing Solids Plan
The experience of neighbors on the playground is not truth in last instance. And when you hear someone saying "we are already 6 months and we are eating everything" do not go seeking to match the suit. The specialized literature, a competent pediatrician, and, first of all your baby’s peculiarities - that is what you should pay attention to while accustoming the child to solid food. Believe me, when the time is right your baby will also start eating everything – no one drinks milk from a bottle his entire life.
When to Start Introducing Solid Foods to Babies?
Up to 4 months, the baby is quite happy to have breast milk or adapted mixture. Moreover, the natural protective "pushing out" reflex is triggered in such a way that the baby starts automatically using his/her tongue to push out any foreign object, so as not to choke. This reflex weakens between 4 and 6 months, which is why the doctors recommend at this time to introduce complementary foods to baby's diet to gradually start developing solid food going from sucking to chewing.
Purees are recommended to start. In the period from 4 to 6 month, and the best time for food containing small lumps is 6-7 months.
First, the baby’s organism is ready for this. Second, this is the period when due to active eruption of teeth, baby is putting everything into his/her mouth to "scratch" gums. Baby’s behavior will tell you of his/her “readiness”. The baby starts showing interest to the contents of your plate, widely opens the mouth when eating, and puts a spoon in the mouth, trying to chew...
Where to Start?
The differing professional opinions on the issue mean that you have a choice. You can start with either porridge or a grated/pureed apple. Do it at your own discretion, but be aware that compared to porridge babies are more enthusiastic about fruits, but fruits can cause allergies.
So, at about 6 months you start giving your baby pureed apples (can buy a puree at a store, or make one on your own).
A week or two later pureed pears, peaches and apricots can be gradually added. Sometimes some sugar is recommended for your homemade puree, but better not to do this, choosing sweet apples instead.
As has been said, porridge is introduced around the same time as a fruit puree.
Whilst unaware of your baby's taste preferences offer him/her various porridges: rice, buckwheat, semolina. Be patient, because most babies initially don’t find porridge too much tasty.
You should start with one teaspoon, gradually bringing portion up to 2-3 tablespoons. If your baby refuses to, do not make him/her eat porridge at once, take a break. Otherwise, you may face the problem of appetite and the aversion to the not accepted product can spread to other foods.
2-3 weeks after fruits, offer your baby pureed vegetables or strained soup. A little bit of salt should be added to the dishes. Start with potatoes, carrots, vegetable marrows. Very soon, you will figure out what vegetables your baby likes and which not. Don't be too insistent. Try again in a month.
This product reach in protein and amino acids should be introduced in baby’s diet since 8 months. Beef is the first meat. Use meat grinder to process a boiled piece of meat two or three times, for babies over 10 months meat can be processed only once. Liver is a very useful alternative to meat prepared in the same manner as that of the meat.
What is in Hands?
The first baby teeth appear somewhere in 7 months, around the same time, a toddler can hold food in hand. The first tooth has appeared? Fine! You can give the baby a rusk, a cookie or a dry bread crust.
The baby will be sucking and chewing this crust or cookie until bread is gradually dissolved in the saliva having a part of it got into the mouth.
After 2 Months
The baby is already 9 months and you’ve been having a 2-3 months’ transition to solid food. And in addition he/she has a few teeth. Now try to mash the food with a fork instead of grading it. You may also offer your baby some slices of fresh apple or pear. In the period from 9 to 12 month you are supposed to start giving food in slices, lumps and pieces, but don't expect any effective chewing. It will come soon after baby’s first year, when his/her molars have appeared. Your task now is to pave the way.
If the Baby is Rejecting Solid Foods
Several reasons can be the reason for such a behavior. Example: large pieces of food, complementary foods have been administered too early; mom’s rushing and quickly introduces new products in the diet. We can advise the following: do not rush, follow the recommendations on the timing of complementary feeding, and make sure the food consistency you offer to the baby is corresponding to his/her age.
Most problems arising are caused by the above reasons, unless rooted in medical issues. So if you're doing it right, and your attempts are unsuccessful, consult a specialist: the gastroenterologist or neurologist.
Fortunately, statistical analyzes are quite convincing to assert that the health problems causing the baby to reject solid food, are quite few. Therefore, treat your baby with understanding, keep patient and merely in a few months, your baby will be eating everything with gusto.