Baby, Parenthood

Feeding Your Baby Solids – When Is The Perfect Time?

Introducing your child to solid food is a huge milestone for all involved. It is surreal to see your baby consume and enjoy something other than their regular milk. Many mothers actually find the experience a very emotional one. Right up to that point they may have been the sole reason for their baby thriving, growing and developing. For others it is emotional because their baby is entering an entirely new stage and becoming less of a dependant baby every single day.

The official recommendation from the NHS is that we should wean our babies on to solid food when they are about six months old as from 0-6 months “your baby only needs breast milk or first infant formula”. Waiting until six month “gives their digestive system time to develop fully so that they can cope with solid foods”. There are some signs that will indicate that your baby is ready to have solid foods introduced to their diet. All babies are different but it is rare that all three of these will occur before your baby is six months old.

1. Your baby can sit up unaided.
2. Your babies hand-eye co-ordination is at the stage where they can see food, pick it up and bring it to their mouths.
3. Your baby can swallow as opposed to pushing food out of their mouth with their tongue.

IMG_0634Some parents chose to wean their baby in the tradition purée form by introducing them to different tastes in the form of purées made from just fruit, vegetables and some water or their regular milk. This is an exciting time as you watch your baby react to the different flavours and colours. As time passes you will make the purées more lumpy and the textures will change. Eventually finger-foods will be introduced and your baby will be experiencing an exciting new world of eating solid food like everyone else in the family. There are some other ways of weaning your baby such as Baby Led Weaning. You might like to read the book and seek the advice of a medical professional before choosing the safest ways to wean your baby on to solid foods. Both methods have pros, cons and everything in between. It is another personal choice for you as parents.

Regardless of the way in which you have chosen to introduce solid food to your baby safety is always of paramount importance. Allergies and choking are just two of the very serious and real concerns we must all consider during this time.

Here are some quick tips to help you remember some of the safety factors

– Follow the medical recommendations when it comes to introducing food such as peanuts which can cause severe allergic reactions in some babies.
– Never ever leave a baby unattended when they are consuming food.
– Ensure the food you are offering your baby is not too hot in temperature.
– Keep a close eye on your babies skin to observe any reactions to certain foods. Keep a note of when you introduce a new item.
– Remember to give your baby enough of their regular milk which is very important and essential until they are 12+ months.
– Avoid giving your baby stock which contains high levels of salt. It is also important to hold off on sugary treats and snacks.