Introducing solids is an exciting (and messy) time in every infants life. Generally speaking solids are to be introduced somewhere between four and six months. Although, the American Academy of Pediatrics states babies should be exclusively breast fed for six months. Often times these days, Pediatricians are suggestion the introductions of solids at/around the four month appointment. If yours doesn’t, think about asking their opinion at this appointment. So you are ready for solids…
Before starting the introduction offer your baby a bottle. It is okay if they finish the entire bottle. You don’t want to put a starving, cranky baby in a high chair for the new experience. And they aren’t likely to be eating too much just yet.
What food to start with? Well it’s really up to you. It is an old wives tale that you must start with veggies to avoid your little one having a taste for only sweet solids (I mean who isn’t going to like bananas more than peas?!?). We polled our readers via Facebook and the most popular first time foods (not including oatmeal/cereal):
1. Sweet Potatoes
If you are using pre made food and plan to not use the entire jar, spoon a serving into an unbreakable bowl for sanitary purposes. For the first few times it may be helpful to mix in a little breastmilk to smooth out the consistency as well as add a familiar flavor.
So you are geared up, food of choice ready, baby in the high chair now what?
- Start slow, make meal time fun
- Be prepared for a negative reaction! Between the texture and the spoon in mouth there is bound to be some opposition
- Be patient when introducing spoon to mouth, let your little on explore not only the food but the spoon and bowl too
- Be ready for a mess and
try to be okay with it. You and your baby (and maybe even your wall) will likely need a bath afterwards
Spend a good amount of time (at least 20 minutes or so) offering the solids. If your babe is just having fun hanging out in the high chair, take a break, hang out and try again. If they get fussy or seem totally disinterested, call it a day and wait for tomorrow.
Important: Introduce one food at a time so you can watch for an allergic reaction. Feed the same food, solo for two-three days to be sure there is no reaction. Even if your baby seems to hate the food, stick with it and even try it again after other foods have introduced. They say it can take up to ten times before a baby likes the flavor of a food!
How many times and how much should your baby be eating? Get into a routine by starting with one feeding at a convenient and happy time for both you and the babe. By about six-seven months you should be up to two feedings a day and by about eight months you should be up to three feedings a day. As always, each baby is different and your Pediatrician’s input is invaluable too. You shouldn’t start feeding less formula or breastmilk as it will still be your babies main source of nutrition.
So what about us? With a five month old we are at the stage. Back at our four month appointment our Pediatrician suggest that sometime between then and the six month appointment we should introduce solids. She suggested starting with oatmeal and advised against rice ceral due to the recent studies regarding arsenic in rice – mostly because the studies are inconclusive but to avoid the unknown she suggested oatmeal.
For us, oatmeal did not go well. Not because Eloise was against it but because she had an allergic reaction to it. It was terrible. She almost had to go to the emergency room but luckily we were able to avoid it. I will dive more into this in a Real Mom Dielmma or “experience” if you will. Following our bad oatmeal experience our Pedtirican suggested we move straight to fruits and veggies.
I did a ton of research on baby food, which probably merits a separate post and thought about making my own – which I would still really like to do. We opted to start with the Plum Organics, Just Sweet Potato. I like packaging of the Plum Organics and I tried the sweet potatoes and they aren’t all that bad for a totally unseasoned root vegetable! Our experience may be best said in pictures…
We started this Monday and have developed a routine to have our little meal time around 4:30pm and it is going really well. Eloise LOVES it in her high chair. She seriously as so much fun and is w-i-l-d in there! Letting out shrieks, giggles and bouncing all around. Murphy spends his time circling like a shark, waiting for a morsel to drop. She seems to love the “experience” of eating too. She likes to pick up the spoon and is really warming up to the sweet potato texture and flavor. I know she is actually eating because her poop has changed. And wow. We have entered the stinky diaper stage! Ha. Being a primarily breastfed baby we haven’t really dealt with stinky poop but we sure are now. I know, you probably weren’t expecting to read about my baby’s poop but I think you should be prepared for these new smelly diapers!
Fill me, how was your first solid experience?