So your little one is nearing the six month mark and you are wondering how and what exactly to do to start feeding your baby food! As exciting as this time may be, it is also probably the start of many questions and worries. What's best to give my baby first? What if he is allergic to something? How do I introduce baby food and the spoon? This post will helpfully help you get going on how to start this exciting milestone and make it successful for yourself and your baby!
Here are some important things to keep in mind when starting your baby on food:
- Always consult with your pediatrician about your baby's diet.
- Starting your baby on food too early can result in food allergies and more. Until six months of age your baby does not need anything but breastmilk or formula.
- After your baby starts foods, the breastmilk/formula is still the most important thing your baby needs. Until your baby really gets the hang of it, the food is just for practice anyways.
- Make the consistency of your baby's first meal VERY thin, fine and smooth; basically liquid. Mix it with breastmilk/formula so that there is a familiar taste.
- Be patient while starting baby food. This is new for both of you. It may not be successful the first few times. It's ok, try again every day and eventually, when your baby is ready, he/she will start eating it.
- When introducing a new food always do it one at a time and give the same food every day for at least 4 days. This is to make sure that your baby is not allergic to it.
- If you decide to make your own baby oatmeal, talk with your doctor about iron supplements because your baby might not get enough from your oatmeal and breastmilk.
- Find a good time to give your baby his/her daily baby food meal (usually around lunch time or the third feeding time)
- During your daily baby food meal, give a partial feeding of breastmilk/formula, then baby food, then finish with the second half of breastmilk/formula
- Your baby only needs around 3-4 tablespoons of baby food per day when starting.
- It is a myth that your baby will not eat vegetables if you start him/her off with a sweet fruit. Breastmilk is sweet so do not worry.
- Wait until your baby is around a year to give him/her any foods that you or your spouse are allergic to.
Making your own baby food is SO easy, a lot cheaper and healthier than commercial baby foods. Here are some great first foods to introduce to your little one:
- Ripe Banana- puree bananas until very smooth. Add water to make the bananas thinner. Make sure that the strings from pealing the banana does not get in the food. Bananas are very healthy and have potassium.
- Ripe Avocado- Just scoop out the avocado and puree just like the bananas. Avocados are high in the good fats that your baby needs
- Sweet Potatoes- Cook like you would normally cook a sweet potatoe, scoop out and puree with water to make it a thin, smooth consistency.
- Baby Cereal-the most popular ones are rice and oatmeal. If you decide to get the instant baby cereal, make sure it is single grain. My personal favorites are Earth's Best Oatmeal or Gerber Organic Oatmeal. (I am allergic to rice so we went with oatmeal instead)
**This information was gained from several sources including Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron, and my local pediatrician.
We started our son out on Earth's Best Oatmeal and he did pretty good. We did just oatmeal for around two weeks so he could get used to eating off a spoon. Then we tried to move to fruits and vegetables and he refused to eat anything and cried for the oatmeal. We tried for a few days without success and finally went back to just oatmeal. We waited a few more weeks and tried bananas again and he did just fine. We just had to be patient and wait for our son to be ready.
I hope this has helped you prepare yourself for a successful solid food transition! Good luck and as always, God bless you and your family!
Until the Whole World Hears,