Introducing Solids to your baby
Getting your baby to start on solid foods besides milk is a major milestone in your baby’s development stage. As your baby reaches about four to five months of age, you can consult your doctor and introduce him to solid foods. However, do not give him solids until three months of age. A change in his habits, like his ability to keep his head steady, sit up well with support, a growing appetite, and weight gain are all indications that baby may be ready for solid food. Start baby on one new food at a time. Proceed gradually, giving a 15-20 day gap before offering a second type of food, observing the foods your baby likes and doesn’t like.
The Ideal Foods and How to Introduce Them:
When you start giving solids to your baby, remember to keep the foods soft initially, in a pureed form, to make it easy for baby to chew and easily digest his meal. The traditional choice has mostly been semi-liquid cereals of rice, barley or oatmeal. Apple sauce, pureed carrot, banana, and sweet potato are good choices to start with.
Wait a few days before introducing each new food and observe if there are any negative reactions such as stomach issues, gas or allergies. You can offer a couple of spoonfuls of the pureed food while breast-feeding or bottle-feeding in the beginning. Do not cut down the milk supply because the solids basically provide some extra calories, but most of the protein, vitamins and minerals that baby needs come from milk. You can slowly increase the amount of solids over the next few weeks.
Tip to Feed Solid Food to Your Baby:
Sit your baby in an upright position in your lap. Don’t forget to put on the bib to protect his clothes. Use a plastic bowl with a long-handled weaning spoon. Ensure that baby's bowls and utensils are well sterilized before use. Your baby may take about a month or more to get used to being fed from a spoon.