Babies grow up so fast that you don’t even realize that when milk, no longer remains the ideal diet for them and it’s the time to introduce the solids. Doctors suggest that for first six months, you should only treat your baby’s taste buds with breast milk, and if, there’s some problem you can opt for formula milk. But, they grow, they start noticing the people around them eating food, and this is the time when you know that it might be the time to introduce solids to your baby.
Here are a few indicators that will tell you that it’s the right time to introduce solids to your baby:
The first sign that you should notice is the head control in the baby. Babies should not be given the solid foods or purees until they are able to maintain a head & neck control and keep their head steady in the upright position.
Watch Out for the Curiosity About Food
Babies themselves start giving signs that they are ready for the next phase of their life, and you can introduce solids to them. Your baby may start reaching for your plate, may open his/her mouth when you are eating, move their tongue in a way as if they are eating food and get very excited to see the food.
Look Out For the Weight Gain
One of the most natural indicators exhibiting that your baby is ready for the food is the significant weight gain. You will understand that your baby is ready for the food when he/she has doubled their birth weight.
Most babies start moving their tongue inside their mouth around 4 to 6 months. So, start looking for signs like back & forth, tongue movement, can close their mouth around the tongue and stop pushing the food outside their mouth. Pushing the food outside the mouth is called “extrusion reflex” and when babies start losing it, they become able to move the food towards the back of their mouth and ultimately swallow it.
Sitting Well, in Supported Position
Another imperative sign that helps you comprehend that your little one is now ready for the solids, is when the baby is able to sit upright in a supported position such as in a high chair on infant feeding seat. Sitting in this position will make the child swallow the food well and digest it.
What To Feed?
Once you are sure about introducing the solids to the baby, the next significant question is what to feed and when to do that. Well, you can start with the single grain cereals and rice is the best one to start with. Fortified with iron, the cereals can provide the required nutrients to the baby in an easy to digest serving.
You can also offer mashed food like a boiled & mashed potato. Pureed veggies or fruits. However, it’s vital that you only feed twice a day when you start it to check the reaction of the baby’s body towards the food and ensure that you don’t give any complex foods which can become a little difficult to digest by the teeny weeny tummy of the baby. Gradually, you can increase the variety and the number of servings.