From Boob To Bottle To Spoon 👶🏼
Author: Jen Hamilton, Mothercraft Nurse & Founder of WOTBaby
Puree, mashed foods, finger foods, spoon feeding, self feeding, allergies, baby led weaning, gagging, choking, start at 4 months, don’t start till 6 months, foods on the go, first foods, food preparation…
What a mouthful. These may be just some of the thoughts which have crossed your mind if you are a new parent about to embark on the journey of feeding your little one’s solid food. This doesn't even begin to touch on ‘When do I start?’ and ‘How?’
Healthcare experts recommend babies are introduced to solid food any time between four and six months. Keeping in mind, all babies are different, and they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes with different metabolisms. It is important to follow your parental instincts and judgment when pondering some of these thoughts regarding introducing solids to your baby.
This is a whole new stage of parenting as your easily milk fed baby is now requiring real food that requires some preparation and forward thought. If your baby is healthy and thriving with no medical issues, deciding on when, why, and how you introduce solid food to your baby is a personal choice. It’s a decision you must make with the help of some general guidelines and an understanding that this is a developmental requirement for your baby. T heir bodies require the calories, vitamins, and minerals that only solid foods can provide them.
And I won’t lie to you! It’s going to get messy and sometimes ugly but the fun part of being a parent is being able to constantly be inventive and creative with ways to make feeding time fun.
Whether you start closer to 4 months, start with pureed foods, hold off until closer to 6 months and then start with finger foods, or you decide on a combination of both purees and finger foods - there is one thing for certain – your little one will be discovering the different flavours and textures of food. It will all be a learning process. They don’t have to be excellent eaters at the start. It depends on how quickly your baby accepts the food you’re introducing, but always use your parental instincts and choose what’s right for you and your family and never rush the process.
So, tap into that parenting instinct of yours with these tips in mind and discover the joys of nurturing your baby with solid food. 🥄
Tips to remember when considering the introduction of solids:
- Do not start offering solid food under the age of four months without permission from your paediatrician or Child and Family Health nurse. Your baby’s gut is not mature enough to properly digest solid food just yet.
- If your baby has had any kind of intolerance to breast milk or any formula, eczema, or allergies thus far, only introduce solids under the strictest guidance from your paediatrician or Child and Family Health Nurse.
- When starting solids, it’s important to introduce different foods slowly. Only introduce one food at a time and stick with each new food for a day or two before introducing something new.
- Offer small amounts and only offer it once a day for a few days before you begin offering the same food more than once a day.
Check out the WOTBaby resources on the guide to when and how to introduce solids.