start

When and how do I start my baby on solid foods?

a lot of parents want to know when they

should introduce solid foods and when

it's time how do you go about doing it

this is an excellent question and most

babies are ready for solids between four

and six months of life but the American

Academy of Pediatrics recommends

exclusively breastfeeding your baby

until six months of life sometimes

babies are ready before that point but

if you have any questions about it talk

with your pediatrician and they'll be

able to help you make a decision about

whether or not it's time generally

speaking there are a few guidelines to

go by your baby needs to be able to hold

their own head up they need to wait at

least 13 pounds or so or have doubled

their birth weight and for most babies

this happens around four months of age

they also need to be able to get excited

about food coming their way and move it

from the tip of their tongue to the back

of their mouth and swallow it and

remember that it's a new taste it's an

entirely new texture all a baby is

handled up to that point is liquid

breast milk and or formula and so it can

be a little horn to them and the first

time they may kind of make a funny face

or spit it out that's different than

having the ability to actually swallow

it so the first time you introduce foods

once you decide they're ready for it

just start with one spoonful just a tiny

little bit and bring it towards your

baby and make fun positive expressions

and like moon noises and move it to

their mouth see how they do with it if

they move it to the back of their throat

and swallow it easily then you can try a

little bit more you might also think

about thinning it out slightly with

express breast milk or formula this will

give it a more familiar taste and a more

familiar texture but if your baby isn't

doing well with it they're not excited

about it especially if they're screaming

then just stop what you're doing and

give it a little while before you try it

again like I said you want to start with

just a small teaspoon full and if the

baby is welcome to it then you can try a

little bit more and what you're

gradually working up to is one meal per

day that about four ounces of prepare

and pureed baby food and once a baby

gets one meal down during the day then

you move on to the next and the next and

so between about eight

twelve months of age babies are

well-established on solid foods and

eating them for breakfast lunch and

dinner and snacks in the morning in

afternoon you want their schedule to

more closely mimic ours and it's also

good to eat together sit down and feed

your baby and eat to have them sit up

use a spoon eat at the appropriate time

and this will help to establish good

eating routines for them later in life

so again that the key is remembering

that it will be gradual start out small

and slow and then slowly add in meals

and amounts now you also need to

remember that a baby's primary form of

nutrition and hydration is going to be

breast milk and or formula until they're

well established on solid foods and so

there are varying opinions on this some

say to feed the baby solid food and then

follow it up with either a bottle or a

nursing session others say to give the

baby the nursing session or bottle first

then followed up with solid foods but if

a parent is noticing that the babies too

full after drinking and won't eat then

you can reverse it and see if that helps

the baby eat more solid food because by

the time they're a year of age solid

foods are very much a part of part of

their nutrition and well-being now as

for what foods to start with many

parents start with traditional single

grain cereal like rice cereal but you

don't have to start here and in fact

rice cereal could be constipating and so

can bananas and so if you notice that

your baby's really plugged up after

introducing solid foods and you started

with rice cereal that might be why and

you can try other foods that are higher

in fiber and not so constipating so you

know there's also debate on do we give

the baby fruits or vegetables first

because fruits will taste better but

then will they have a sweet tooth for

the rest of their life and there's no

scientific information to show that if a

baby has fruits first that they won't

eat vegetables as they get older so

really you can choose any stage one food

to give your baby that's pureed and see

how they do with it as a baby gets older

vegetables and meat are especially

important to their nutritional

well-being and so there are prepared

baby foods that have meat and then that

you can consider and then of course also

vegetables

now it's important to wait two to three

days before introducing any new food as

well because you want to watch for signs

of allergy

this can include upset stomach diarrhea

vomiting rashes even difficulty

breathing so if you notice any of these

things

stop giving your baby that food and call

your pediatrician a lot of parents want

to make their own baby food and there

are just a few things to keep in mind if

you're considering this if you want to

make peas corn or sweet potatoes at home

those are great options but vegetables

like spinach beets carrots squash they

can all have really high levels of

nitrates in them and that can contribute

to anemia so commercially prepared

vegetables are generally safer unless

it's peas corn or sweet potatoes now as

babies get older like between eight and

twelve months of age they might start to

get excited about food that's on your

plate and want that too and they can

actually start eating bite-sized pieces

of steamed softened vegetables cut up or

diced chicken cheese yogurt eggs like

smashed egg or scrambled egg there's

lots of different things you can start

giving them once they're well

established on the pureed solids and

eating those for breakfast lunch dinner

and snacks in the morning and afternoon

if you have any questions about your

baby's well-being talk with your

pediatrician and based on their

knowledge of your baby's growth and

overall health they'll be able to give

you tailored information and advice

about what's best for them if you have

any other questions in the future for me

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