Week Thirty Eight
From almost the very minute you ladled your first loving spoonful of rice cereal into her mouth, your baby has been battling with you for control over the spoon. Certainly in the early days of solid food, you needed to be in charge of the spoon in order to get her food into her mouth. So what's changed now? Certainly not her ability to successfully guide a spoonful of food to her mouth!
The desire to self-feed is strong in young children, so sometimes your best tactic is to give her a spoon to hold and a small amount of food in a separate bowl to 'eat' while you do the actual feeding. As she becomes more experienced with a range of textures and food types, she may prefer finger food so that she can gain more independence at meal times.
Read our best tips for feeding your baby solids
When you first introduced solid food to your baby, his food was about as solid as a fruit smoothie! Starting out with such thin, pureed food, it can be difficult to judge when it's the right time to introduce thicker foods with a range of textures. While rice cereal was a great way to start, your baby will quickly progress to the more robust textures of pureed vegetables and fruits, and once you see that he's comfortably moving these to the back of his mouth and swallowing them without any difficulty, you can slowly make his food chunkier.
Babies who only ever eat commercially made baby-food (all of which has pretty much the same texture and consistency despite containing different ingredients) often baulk at the chunkier textures of home-made food, so make sure you offer him a range of textures. As your eventual goal is to have him enjoy family food, you'll do him no favours by continuing to puree his food long after he's able to munch down on more meaty textures.
Discover when to introduce new textures and food types to your baby's diet
Babies get hungry often - the concept of three meals a day is laughable at this age - and so it pays to always be prepared with a couple of healthy snacks for those moments when everything starts go pear-shaped. Aside from a quick breast-feed (which is the best snack of all), try to keep a couple of baby snacks in a small sealed container in your nappy bag at all times. If you get in the habit of always replenishing the box - just as you top up your bag with a fresh stock of nappies and wipes -you'll never get caught out.
Browse our healthy snack suggestions
Find more about your baby’s week by week development
This article was written by Linda Drummond for Kidspot.com.au and has been adapted for Kidspot.co.nz