Starting baby on solids is an exciting but daunting milestone for many new parents. When my babies first started to show an interest in food they were around 6 months young and I had no idea where to start!! I soon learnt to keep it simple!
It really helps to choose a time when both you and baby are happy and comfortable. Sit baby in a high chair or on your lap. Have a couple of bibs, a moist face cloth and towel at the ready.
How to tell your baby is ready to try baby food:
- Still hungry after their normal milk feed
- Showing interest in what you are eating
- Trying to grab food off your plate
- Can hold their head up with ease
- Mimics chewing
- Can move food to the back of their mouth and swallow
Start with offering 1 to 2 teaspoons of puréed baby food once a day. The consistency should be smooth, runny and slightly warm (please test it first to make sure it’s not hot as it could burn your babe’s mouth).
Offer a breast or formula feed before offering solids until your baby is 8 to 9 months young. At this age milk is still the most important part of their diet. After 8 or 9 months, you can start giving them solids before milk.
It’s normal for them to spit out their first solid foods as they learn to move the food to the back of their mouth to swallow it. So while this can be messy and very frustrating, take a deep breath and relax, there is no rush. If you are finding you or your baby getting upset, stop and try again another day.
If your baby continues to spit out a food, wait for a few days and offer the food again or try another food.
Mealtimes get messy, you have been warned! Babies do enjoy dropping their food over the side of the high chair and watching it fall. Use a splat mat under the high chair to help contain the mess and protect your floor!
It’s important to let your baby’s appetite guide how much they eat. Don’t force them to eat all the food on their plate if they have had enough. If you feel they haven’t had enough, offer more food in a little while.
Our next article will cover making your own baby food with some great recipe ideas!
Share your experience of your baby starting baby food with us below.
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