Up until the age of six months, your little one will most likely be tucking into a bottle full of milk.
Deliciously nutritious, milk does not just serve as a wholesome meal but also as a source of security and comfort. But what happens when your tiny tots become interested in what you’re eating, and their little taste buds are ready for more solid foods?
Yes, you guessed it! You are bound to spend hours in the kitchen whipping up colourful and tasty homemade purees, only to be met with resistance and tears. Being a mommy can be tough, and sometimes the resistance that meets our excitement and hard work can be a little overwhelming. Not only does this provoke the temptation of giving up and simply mixing up a bottle of formula, it will also almost always end in a good deal of laundry.
To reduce your stress, remove any lingering scent or stain from the pureed food, and ensure that you have more time to spend with your little one, be sure to pop any soiled bibs, baby grows or towels into the washing machine with a generous capful of baby safe fabric softener. The fabric conditioner will ensure that any puree stains are removed while leaving the fabric feeling soft and delicately scented.
This type of reaction to solid foods is perfectly normal – there is no need to worry! Babies can sometimes take a month or two to get used to the idea of not suckling on a bottle or from Mom herself.
Here are a handful of simple tips on how to introduce your little one to solid foods, and avoid the emotional struggle:
How to Check If your Baby is Ready for Solid Foods
Between the ages of four to six months, your little one will be ready to start eating solid foods. Whether you opt to introduce solid foods intermittently with breast or bottle feeding, or on its own, you’ll need to time the transition. The following signs will alert you as to whether or not your little one is ready for solid foods:
- Is your baby able hold his or her head in a steady and upright position?
- Can your little one sit up in a seat?
- Is your baby sucking on his or her hands and toys?
- Is your little one interested in what’s on your plate?
What to Serve
Begin the transition with 1 tablespoon of baby cereal that is mixed with 60 ml of breast milk or fortified formula. Keep the mixture soggy, and repeat this twice a day. Ensure that your little one is sitting up, and make use of a small bowl and a soft spoon. Once he or she gets the hang of swallowing the cereal, you can introduce pureed meat, vegetables and fruits.
Opt to whip up single-ingredient foods that do not contain any sugar or salt. Always remember that the stage will determine your child’s attitude towards food. Wait three to five days between different foods to avoid any diarrhoea or vomiting. Also use this time to test for food allergies.
To ensure consistency, you will need to manage your mealtimes. Not only will a consistent routine comfort your little one during the transition, it will also ensure that he or she is comfortable with eating solid foods. Ensure that you’re seated, that the child is safely strapped into a high chair, and that you stick to the same feeding times each day. Use this time to slowly introduce utensils, and avoid power struggles. If your tiny tot refuses to eat, try at another time – again, and again.
Introducing your little one to solid foods can be an overwhelming process, but with the right timing and approach, you’ll have your baby happily enjoying their new diet in no time!