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When & How to Introduce Solid Foods to your Baby.

When & How to Introduce Solid Foods to Your Baby

When do you introduce solid foods to your baby and what method do you use? This is a question that every mom has an opinion on, and for good reason. There are so many different schools of thought on the matter, and it can be hard to know what’s best for your child. In this blog post, we will explore the different feeding methods available to you when it comes to introducing solid foods to your baby. We will also look at the benefits and drawbacks of each method. By the end of this article, you will be better equipped to make an informed decision about what is right for you and your baby.

Developmental Readiness

  • Head control
  • Supported sitter (5 point harness or highchair)
  • Loss of tongue-thrust reflex
  • Shows interest in others’ eating.

Developmental Readiness is an important factor to consider When deciding when to start your baby on solid foods. The four signs of developmental readiness include Head control, and the ability to hold the head, neck, and trunk steady. Being a supported sitter, the ability to sit up with support using a highchair or five-point harness. Loss of the tongue-thrust reflex, pushing the food forward out of the mouth, and interest in watching others eat. If your baby is showing all four of these signs then they are likely ready to start solid foods. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends between 4-6 months of age. However, it is best to consult with your child’s pediatrician before making any major changes to their diet.

Why Start Solids?

It is important to start your baby on solid foods for a number of reasons. Around the 6-month mark, infants begin to lose their iron and zinc stores and they are no longer able to meet their nutritional requirements from formula or breastmilk alone. Delaying solids can also delay oral and motor skill development. Additionally, delaying solids past the six-month mark can increase the risk of developing food allergies later in life. Starting your baby on solid foods helps to ensure that they are getting the nutrients they need and helps them to develop skills that will be important later on. Check out  http://”The Big Book of Organic Baby Food” “for some excellent food recommendations 

Feeding Methods

  • Baby lead weening
  • Purees/ spoon-feeding
  • combination

What Method to Choose?

  • Evaluate your Cultural preferences
  • Monitor your child’s ability to swallow & gagging reflex
  • Watch for signs of choking
  • Take into consideration your lifestyle, work, family dynamics

Baby-Led Weaning Pros

  • Promotes Independence
  • Appetite Control
  • Less Expensive
  • Introduces multiple foods at once 
  • May prevent picky eaters 
  • Easier when dining out

Baby Led Weaning Cons

  • Wasteful
  • Messy
  • Choking

Puree/Spoon Feeding Pros

  • Controlled amount
  • Less Mess
  • Prevents choking

Puree/Spoon Feeding Cons

  • Less Independence
  • More likely to be picky eater
  • Delayed oral/Motor Development

Nurse Drea Recommendations

In my experience, it is best to introduce solid foods between 4-6 months of age unless otherwise specified by your pediatrician. Delaying high allergen foods like milk, eggs, fish shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans,  until after baby has been introduced to their first foods helps avoid gastric discomfort, and  mild allergies such as eczema or other skin reactions.  In some cases severe allergic reactions can occur.  If you don’t plan on starting with the baby led weaning method I recommend giving them their first finger foods around 8 -10 month however this can vary per person so watch closely for cues regarding developmental readiness.  And whichever method you choose remember Fed is Best!!

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