Our best tips for first solids
To give this new and exciting chapter in your baby's life the best chance of success, think about the following before you begin:
- Time of Day. You want to choose a time to introduce solids when your baby is happy and awake, hungry but not starving - lunch time is usually the best bet.
- Position. Until she's big enough to sit in a high chair, you may have to sit her in your own lap or put her in her pram at meal times. If you do use the pram, make sure that she is upright so that she won't gag on her food.
- Cutlery. While you can just use a teaspoon, there's a huge range of baby spoons out there - they tend to have a shallower bowl so the food can be easily sucked off, and many a plastic-coated which protects little gums.
Our best tips when introducing solids:
- Learning to eat can be a very messy and slow business - don't expect your baby to have anything resembling table manners for a long, long time.
- Your baby will learn how to eat by touching her food and carrying it to her mouth using her hands - she'll discover the texture and temperature of foods this way.
- Try to eat with her - sharing a meal together will teach your baby from on to develop early good habits and that mealtime is enjoyable.
- Never leave your baby while she's eating; she needs constant supervision. Who knows what she can do with a carrot stick?
- Don't get tense about how much or how little food your baby is eating - to begin with, her diet will still be mainly made up of milk. Try to take the long view and understand that she may takes months before she's eating what you would consider a meal.
- Many babies will reject a new food not because she doesn't like it but rather because it's a new taste. Offer a new food multiple times before giving up on it.
- To begin with, solids should supplement your baby's milk diet not replace it. Initially offer solids after a milk feed, or between feeds. Once she's eating solids three times a day and is eating a god portion at each meal, you can begin to serve solids first.
- Don't stress! Most babies take to eating solids with gusto. If your baby seems to be a fussy eater, just try to persevere.
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- Introducing solids
- First solid foods
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This article was written by Ella Walsh for Kidspot - New Zealand's parenting resource for newborns and baby. Sources include The Royal Children's Hospital , Raising Children Network and The Children's Hospital, Westmead
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