Introducing solids to your baby can be a little nerve-wracking, particularly for a first time mom. I wasn’t so much concerned with allergies (not that this isn’t a valid concern, I just wasn’t) but I was nervous about how my son would actually do with eating and swallowing… basically not choking! I was also concerned with his little tummy’s ability to digest food.
These two concerns are the primary reasons why I waited for specific signs that he was ready, like sitting unassisted, as well as holding off until he was 6 months old.
I think it’s only natural for a mom to have a few jitters about feeding her baby solids, especially with so many different methods and philosophies floating around there.
But, really, introducing your baby to solids does not have to be stressful, difficult… or expensive!
Here are some helpful hints (at least, I hope they’re helpful) on how to introduce your baby to solids:
- Excuse my redundancy but you are introducing your baby to solids. The point when you start your baby off with food is not to fill his or her belly. It is an introduction to the wonderful world of food. You should be giving your baby a variety of foods and textures but his nourishment is still coming from breast milk or formula.
- Start with bananas (for nursing babies) or avocado (for formula-fed babies). Breast milk is sweet, so offering your nursing baby banana is a perfect first food. If your baby is formula-fed, start with avocado as it is more bland like formula.
- Use your finger for the first couple of feedings. The first few times that I “fed” my son I just took a small chunk of banana on my finger and gave it to him. I had read that the finger makes a great “spoon” because it is soft, the perfect temperature and the baby is familiar with it.
- Introduce foods one at a time every 3-4 days. It’s important to only introduce one food at a time. In the event of a reaction, you will know exactly who the culprit is.
- Don’t force your baby to eat. If your baby seems uninterested in eating, don’t force it. If it’s during a feeding and he stops, take that as a sign that he’s done. If you’re just introducing and the baby is tight lipped, just wait and try again later. Follow your baby’s cues!
- Start small. Think appetizer, not feast! When I started my son off by using my finger, I only gave him a few bites. It was not substantial whatsoever. I just wanted to get him used to eating. After that I moved on to ice tray size servings.
- Save time, don’t puree. I initially thought I would puree my son’s food but after one time I decided that it was completely unnecessary. I started off by mashing all foods for the first few feedings, once I felt like he had the hang of eating I started serving small chunks of foods like banana and avocado.
Happy feeding! (It really is fun.)
Ask Dr. Sears is a great place to get information on feeding your baby!