In the first few months, your baby is going to be on breast milk or formula. But soon she would need to be introduced to baby food. As a first-time parent, you might be unsure of how to start with solids for your baby. Here are the most common questions answered on your babys first food.
Last Updated: Oct 22, 2020 11:29 GMT
The World Health Organization and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommend exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of age after birth. It is ideal to introduce solid foods to your baby at 6 months of age while still continuing breast milk or formula for at least 12 months of age. Post 12 months, it is up to you and your baby to continue or not with breast milk.
If you have personal constraints to breast feeding like getting back to work, you may consider beginning solids at 4 months though it is not a nutritional necessary, but you must make sure that your baby is ready for solidsHow will I know if my baby is ready for solids?
By around six months, babies have their head steadied and can sit upright. Sitting upright in a high chair or an infant seat is an important consideration before you introduce baby food. If your baby tries to grab food from your hands while you are eating, it may ring a positive sign to begin solids. If your baby often puts objects in her mouth, it could be an indication that she is likely to get the grasp of taking food to her mouth.How do I get started with baby food for my baby?
While there are no strict rules to go about starting with solids, here are some helpful tips to get you started:
· Make your baby sit upright on a highchair during a meal time ensuring baby’s head is held up. This prevents food from getting choked.
· You might prefer to begin solids when baby is not hungry so that anxiety or bad mood does not come in between the new experience.
· It is best to begin with home-made, cooked and pureed food as in the beginning days your baby is not going to need more than a few spoonfuls of food.
· When you take a spoon of food near your baby’s mouth, your baby is likely to open her mouth or show expressions of eagerness towards food. If your baby turns her head away it is a signal to wait and try again in a few days.
· Introduce only one food at a time and have a gap of three days before letting them try something new. By this way, you will have enough time to observe if they are prone to allergies by a particular type of food.What is the best baby food to start with?
Here’s a list of recommended age-appropriate solid foods for babies:6-9 Months
· Home-made, cooked cereal or infant cereal in breast milk or formula
· Mashed avocado or banana
· Cooked and pureed vegetables like carrots, peas, beans or sweet potato
· Cooked and pureed meat or poultry9-12 months
· Small chunks of soft cut fruits like banana
· Cooked and small-sized pieces of vegetables like squash
· Cooked and minced meat or poultryHow much solids should I feed my baby?
There is no set limit to how much a baby must eat. Every baby is different and they’ll give you cues when their tummy is full and would want you to stop over-feeding. You will in time catch the cues by yourself and here are a few starters:Signs that your baby wants more food:
· She leans forward to the spoon
· She feels upset when the bowl is empty
· She refuses to get down from the high chairSigns that your baby is done with her mealtime:
· Turning away from the spoon
· Spitting out food from the mouth
· Pushing away the bowl or spoon