6 Tips for Introducing Solid Foods
There are no hard and fast rules for how to introduce solids, but there are some strategies. Some parents begin with single-ingredient infant cereals, while others opt for simple, single-ingredient fruits or vegetables. If you choose infant cereal, mix about 1 tablespoon of cereal with 2-3 tablespoons of breast milk or formula. The consistency should be somewhat thin to start. If you choose to lead with purees, select a single-ingredient fruit or vegetable puree with a smooth consistency. Keep in mind that thinner consistencies are easier for baby to swallow, and thicker textures and pieces should be introduced as your baby progresses.
When you decide it’s time to begin solids, here are a few tips:
- Breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby first, so that she is not too hungry or impatient to appreciate this new way of eating.
- Have your baby face you, either supported on your lap or in an infant seat or high chair.
- Use a softly-coated infant spoon to protect baby’s delicate gums
- Place a small amount of food on the tip of the spoon and bring it to your baby’s lips. She may try to suck it off the spoon, or she may open her mouth for the spoon. Let her try it her way and be sure not to empty the spoon into her mouth.
- Try letting your baby feed herself…she might just love showing off her independence!
- Remember that if your baby rejects a food at first, it doesn’t mean she won’t learn to like it eventually. Reintroducing foods will help your baby learn to love a variety of tastes and flavors!
Expect things to get a bit messy, and don’t be camera shy…you’re making milestones here!