How to understand that your baby is ready to take solid foods ?
It is suggested by pediatricians, that solid food should only be introduced, when your baby is at least 6 months old and is physically ready. All the nutrient that a baby usually requires is provided by breast milk. Before they are 4 months old your baby’s body is not completely developed to consume solid foods.
If you start feeding them solid foods earlier, there are at risk of obesity. When you find your baby wanting to sit too often with support and do not want to lie down all the time, it is one indication that the child is ready for having solid food. This generally happens when the child is 6 months.
Here are a few signs which indicate your baby is ready to have solid foods in their diet:
Your baby has gained head control: Head control simply means the ability of the baby to hold her head upright and sit on a chair with negligible support.
Your baby keeps opening their mouth when food is around: Do your baby try to eat from your spoon? Is your baby imitating the way you eat on the table? These can be subtle signs that your baby is ready for solid foods.
Your baby does not push food out of their mouths.
Your baby is bigger: If your baby weighs twice as much from their birth weight, they are ready for solid foods.
Your baby is Still hungry: If your baby is hungry even after having breast-milk and if he keeps putting their toys in their mouth, your baby needs more nutrition and thereby, it is a good time to introduce solid food.
How to start feeding solid foods to your Baby?
Approach your baby when he is not being fussy or feeling sleepy. First, breastfeed your baby and then feed your baby solid food like rice cereal with a spoon.
For the first time, your baby might not consume much and the baby might keep pushing the food out of their mouth since you are just introducing them to solid food. Do not worry about your baby’s nutrition, if your baby rejects solid foods, babies get most of their nutrients from breast milk.
Once they get into the habit of eating from a spoon, start feeding them pureed vegetables or fruits. Try feeding them something different every week, this will also help you identify if they are allergic to any foods.
Do consider your family’s allergy history, before you feed them risky foods like peanuts, soy, dairy products, wheat and also consult a pediatrician if you plan to introduce such food items.
Here are a few signs your baby is having an allergic reaction:
– Rashes/Skin problems like Eczema, hives
– Diarrhea or loose stools
– Difficulty in breathing
Suggestions for introducing solid foods to your 4-6 months old baby:
Be Patient with your baby: Your baby will most likely reject solid foods at first go, as they will never eat any solid foods. Eventually, babies do develop a taste for different foods and do not continue to reject solids.
Do not use Force: Do not try to stuff your baby or try to make them swallow with food especially, when they are crying, this can lead to choking and vomiting.
Make sure you burp your baby: When babies swallow solid foods, air tends to get trapped in their windpipe and stomach, which can be uncomfortable to your baby. After feeding your baby solid foods make sure you burp them.
Make them drink water: While feeding them solid foods make sure you make them sip some water side by side, as it will help them wash down the food with ease.
Let your baby smell the food: While, feeding place the spoon near your baby and let them smell the food before feeding them anything.
Adding solid foods to your baby’s diet can be a confusing step; while some experts may suggest starting with the solids after 4 months and some say after 6 months, some suggest introducing pureed fruits first and some suggest vegetable or cereals first.
Before making any such decision, you should consult a reliable pediatrician. Take their opinions on whether your baby is ready for solid foods and how to feed solid foods to your baby? What is the right portion of food to feed per meal? What kind of food is best for your baby? And most important ask them about the safety precautions, you should be taking beforehand.
1. Your baby has gained head control
2. Your baby keeps opening their mouth when food is around
3. Your baby does not push food out of their mouths.
4. If your baby weighs twice as much from their birth weight, they are ready for solid foods.
5. Your baby is Still hungry: If your baby is hungry even after having breast-milk.
6. If he keeps putting their toys in their mouth, your baby needs more nutrition and thereby, it is a good time to introduce solid food.