When you first get pregnant you do lots of research on pregnancy and birth. Then all of a sudden you realize you should probably research some about breast feeding, diaper changing, baby sleep, and more. Well, we are finally on to a new stage in the baby world that needed research: solid foods!
Many people have asked why we haven’t started solids before this! The American Academy of Pediatrics generally recommends you exclusively breastfeed until 6 months, but they also recommend you check for some telltale signs to see if your baby is ready for solid food.
1. Head control – is your child considered a supportive sitter? Does he/she have pretty steady head control? This is necessary when starting solids so they don’t choke on their food accidentally.
2. 4 months old – baby should be at least 4 months old so that their digestive system is mature enough. Sky is 5.5 months old!
3. Interested? Does your baby show interest when you are eating your food? Do they follow your fork to your mouth and seem like they want to try what you try? I know Sky stared intently at the dinner table the last couple of days before we started solids!
4. How hungry? Does your baby always seem hungry even when you nurse him every 2-3 hours? Feeding solids may help satisfy your baby’s hunger. Sky wasn’t necessarily acting starving, so this one didn’t apply for us.
5. Tongue thrust reflex – Does your baby still automatically push food out of his mouth? This might show your baby is not ready for solids! When we give Sky his Vitamin D drops we could assess this reflex.
After you assess all of these criteria and decide yes, I think my baby is ready for solids, what do you feed them? How much? How often?
We decided to go with sweet potatoes as the first food because it is supposed to be easy on a baby’s digestive system as well as is rich in vitamins and minerals! Other great options are volcanos, bananas, butternut squash, and carrots. You can also go the traditional method of rice or oats as a first food. The latter two are also helpful for thickening the puréed vegetable and fruits!
Overall, Sky liked sweet potatoes and took to them easily! He opened his mouth almost from the beginning begging for more! Our second food was banana. He LOVES bananas. He ate half a banana on his first night only 4 nights after starting solids!
Even though I have enjoyed how easy it is to breast feed since we don’t have to prepare anything for the most part (I do have to prepare bottles for while I’m at work), I am still super excited to feed Sky solids.
We are going to aim for one meal a day until about 7 months and then start to transition to 2 meals a day. Around 9 months we will then transition to 3! We’ll see if we stick to this schedule (nothing is exact of course). The nice thing about this age is that the babies still get most of their nutrition from breast milk or formula so you can’t mess up their diet too badly at this point! It’s just practice!
Anyway, just thought I would share our adventures with baby food so far! I must say, the one thing we are not excited about is the transition baby poop. Lol. Eww gross. It’s been so bad already. And since we are doing cloth diapers we have to WASH those diapers! Yikes! Haha. Anyway, hope ya’ll have a good night 🙂 Might finish my first Advent post tonight too.