So finally it is that time when you are recording this beautiful memory in a camera while introducing your baby to solid foods. This will be such an exciting and memorable moment of your life. Well done! you are doing so good so far but are you sure it will go as you have planned? Is the baby ready for solid foods? What kind of food for 6 months old? Most importantly are you ready to clean your sweetie pie’s face?
Relax! We got you. Dr. Junaid Jahangir Abbasi has been asked many times about how to introduce a baby to solid foods and how starting solids at the right time impacts positively. Following are the answers to these questions and 5 tips to introduce your baby to solid foods from the best child specialist in twin cities.
Importance Of Starting Solid Foods At The Right Time
According to the research, a baby has iron stored in their bodies from when they were in the womb. By the age of 6 months, they have used 80% of that iron. Breastfeeding or formula feeding do not have enough amount of nutrients required to develop the baby’s body. As your baby is growing, he/she needs more nutrients to carry on their energetic activities and learning.
The earlier you teach baby the “good eating habits” the better. Properly sitting, using the spoon, and proper bites will not only develop eating etiquette but also have a positive impact on the child’s development. Eating with the family also helps the baby in developing psychosocial skills.
When To Start Solid Foods
Many parents are confused about the right time to introduce the baby to solid foods and starting solids early or delayed do have negative impacts. Researches have proven that a baby is ready to start eating solid foods at the age of 6 months. Nonetheless, not every baby is ready at 6 months of age; in fact, every baby develops at slightly different rates.
Doctors suggest that you should trust your observation and “mother’s instincts”. You can decide to start solid foods by simply answering the following question:
Can your baby sit and hold their head up on their own?
Is your baby showing interest in watching others eat?
Does your baby have control over their tongue?
Is your baby mouthing his or her hands or toys?
If the answer is yes, congratulations! Your baby is ready to start solid foods. Don’t rush the process as some babies develop the skills a little later on. Visiting a pediatrician near you is always the best to consult the milestone development of your toddler.
How To Introduce Your Child To Solid Foods
If you are tired of cleaning the mess your baby has created while eating, maybe you are not doing it the right way. Once you are sure that your baby is ready, you can try different approaches to introduce solid foods. Here are the 5 tips from dr. Junaid Jahangir Abbasi that will help you in achieving this milestone with a lot less hassle.
Start with simple and basics
Your baby is ready to start solids but starting with complicated combinations of meals might not be a good idea. Start with a thin-puree of iron-enriched vegetables or cereals. Don’t start with sharp flavors but gradually add a little sugar or salt. Make sure to continue feeding breast or formula milk also.
Feed on demand
Let your baby decide how much he/she wants to eat. You should only feed your baby the quantity he/she demands. If your baby is starting to cry or turning the head another way, it means he/she has eaten enough. Never force the baby to eat a little extra. It is completely untrue that feeding a little extra will not wake the baby up at night.
Create a routine
Creating a routine will help your baby focus on eating. Washing their hands and making them sit just to eat is the basis of eating etiquette. In this way, the sole focus of your baby will be the food and he/she will be conscious about the food.
Gradually mix up the menu
At this age, your child is just starting to develop habits. This is your opportunity to introduce healthy foods. Slowly and gradually change the menu and introduce more healthy foods but let them try only one food at a time. The food you are feeding your baby now will be on the menu for the rest of their life.
Know what’s off-limits
You should know what foods are not good for baby and what are the risk factors of starting solids. Strong but not strict supervision is required and make sure that your baby is sitting in an upright posture. Don’t feed from the bottel and prevent foods that are likely to make them choke. Do keep your family history of food allergies in mind before trying out new food.
The best way to know the do’s and don’ts of starting solids is to consult a child specialist near you. Your concerns and ambiguities will reduce and you can enjoy these moments of happiness with your baby.