Introducing your baby to solid food is a milestone that both parent and baby can enjoy together. Experiencing a world of new flavours and textures is key in your baby's development, opening up their taste buds and focusing on obtaining nutrients from new sources other than breast milk or formula. But as with any milestone it can be difficult to know when your baby is ready to be introduced to solids, with fears that they may be encouraged to try too much, too early. Below we have created a guide to introducing solids to your baby to make this process stress free and an enjoyable experience for the both of you.

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When To Introduce Your Baby To Solids?

It is recommended that you typically start to introduce solids to your baby when they are around 6 months old. Although many babies show interest in food slightly earlier, waiting until they are ready allows their digestive system to form properly, helping them to digest food effectively. There are also three key signs that together show that your baby is ready for solid food. The first is that they must be able to hold their head up and sit up on their own. They must be able to co-ordinate their hands and mouth themselves, e.g. be able to put their hand to their mouth, and they should demonstrate that they can swallow food. Babies that are introduced to solids too early tend to push food back out of their mouth with their tongue, demonstrating that they aren't yet able to swallow effectively.

Taking The Next Step

Now that you have determined that your baby is ready for solid food, here are some techniques to ensure that the experience is enjoyable and safe.

  • Ensure That You Stay With Your Baby Whilst They Are Eating

It is imperative that you stay with your baby the entire time that they are eating to ensure the risk of them choking is kept to a minimum, and that you can instantly assist if choking occurs. Babies that are new to solids may find the sensation of eating solids strange and will look to you for reassurance.
  • Start Slowly

If feeding your baby with a spoon, ensure that you start with just a few small bites to not overwhelm your baby. If your baby refuses to eat then don't force them as this will make them associate future feedings with negative feelings. Instead simply leave the food and try again when they are next hungry.
  • Always Test The Heat Of Food

Before feeding your little one heated food make sure that it is properly cooled and test it before giving it to your little one. This will prevent your baby from scolding its mouth and lips which can cause serious damage.
  • Let Them Touch Solid Food

Introducing solids is an exciting sensory experience for your baby. To help them get excited about trying new food, allow them to hold and touch it under supervision. You can also let them use their fingers to try and feed themselves as soon as they are ready to help them get used to portions and textures.

 

For a collection of great baby feeding products that can make the transition to solid food easier, click here.

Sources; www.nhs.uk


Post By Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith