ils babycare

How to introduce solids to your baby

Having a baby around the house is the most joyful experience. They laugh, cry and as they grow to make every day quite special for the lucky parents. But babies are very vulnerable to changes and nutrition is very important for their growth so there should be proper consultation before making any changes to their feeding patterns. As a new parent, you should consult either other parents, a midwife or a doctor before introducing solids to your baby’s diet.

When is your baby ready for solid food?

Experts recommend babies to be breastfed exclusively for at least six months. However, you can start introducing solids slowly during the fourth and fifth month period depending on how ready your baby is. The signs that they are ready for solid food to include the ability to support their own and a curiosity about what you are eating.

What you should first feed your baby

At the start of feeding solid food, it is advised, to begin with pureed solid food. This could include pureed potatoes, squash, and fruits like banana, peaches and papaw. Baby food is easily available at market nowadays but it is also easy enough to make your own baby food using a grinder or a blender. Cereal with milk is also suitable.

Adjusting to solid food

Solid food should be introduced while nursing. After you nurse or bottle-feed the baby, you should give him two or three spoons of solid food. If it is difficult to multi-task between breastfeeding and feeding solid food you can use the help of a breast pump to pump milk and store for necessary times. Using a soft tipped, plastic spoon when feeding your baby is advisable to avoid injuring his/her gum. The baby might not get used to the feeling of having food in his mouth or swallowing at first but with time he/she will get used to it, so you have to be patient at first. If he or she does not seem interested at first let them smell and taste the food first till they become accustomed to the idea of eating. As they get used to it, you should slowly decrease the liquidity of the food. And as they start eating more add extra feedings.

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image courtesy- the bump

 

Things to pay attention to

When feeding you should make sure that you do not overfeed. To do that you must pay attention to any signs that show that the baby is full. Also, you must continue breastfeeding for one year even though the baby is eating solid food because breast milk contains easily absorb able nutrients such as iron and proteins. Solid foods are unable to fulfill all these needs. If you have time constraints, especially as working mothers it is advisable to purchase or hire a breast pump for this period as it will make baby feeding tasks much easier. Despite the work, nurturing a baby is a very rewarding task that should be enjoyed.

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Maya