It’s time to start feeding your baby solids. For many new mothers, this can be both exciting and stressful. Where does one start? What should and shouldn’t you do when feeding your baby solid food for the first time? Here are some tips to help you learn how to feed a baby solids and all the rest that come with it. To start, here are three things that you need to keep in mind:
- You have to decide on whether you will start with cereal or pureed food. If you choose to start with cereal, just pour some baby milk or water into a bowl of rice cereal and feed the mixture to your baby. If you choose to start with pureed foods, you can either buy a prepared one from your local store or make a baby puree yourself.
- Your baby feeding schedule when it comes to solid food should be once a day. This helps your baby slowly get acquainted with the new taste and texture of the food.
- You need to continue feeding your baby the same food for four days. By doing so, you will be able to have enough time to observe and find out whether your baby is allergic to that food or not.
- Do it when your baby AND you are most relaxed. Babies will more likely welcome the new experience when they are in a happy and relaxed mood. You also need to be relaxed in order to properly handle all possible situations (like the mess that comes with feeding a baby).
- Do offer new food in the early part of the day so that you have enough time and energy to observe for allergic responses.
- Do feed your baby new food when he is mildly in need of food. If your baby is full, you have little to no chance of convincing him to try out the new food. If your baby is extremely hungry, he will be too impatient to try the new food.
- Do know that your baby’s ways of signaling that he is full are turning his head away from the food, refusing to take more food, or getting anxious in his seat.
- Don’t force your baby. If your baby rejects the food after your third try, stop feeding him the food. You can try it again after one or two days.
- Don’t feed your baby foods that may possibly choke him. Foods like cherries, solid candies, dried plums and peanut butter.
- Don’t try to nourish your infant with honey or cow’s milk. They can be harmful to your baby’s health.
What is the best baby feeding schedule? The World Health Organization (WHO) advocates the following:
- Babies who are 6-8 months old should be frequently breastfed or given formula and then fed solids 2-3 times a day. Feeding your baby solids does not guarantee that he gets all the nutrition that he needs. This makes it necessary to still feed your baby milk.
- Babies who are 9-11 months old should still be breastfed or given formula and then fed solids 3-4 times a day.
Just remember, don’t be so stressed about learning all the rules on how to feed a baby solid food. This is a joyful occasion because your baby is growing and learning to try new things. Best of all, in feeding your baby solid foods for the first time, you get to share the new experience with him or her.