How to Feed Your Baby Solid Food
Knowing how to feed you baby solid food, or even when to start feeding your baby solid food, can encourage maximum possible physical development of your child. The following ‘how to’ gives you a general idea of how to get going.
1- Recognise the signs of when to start. Your baby will adopt a few or all of the following signs: Head control. Your baby needs to be able to keep his head in a steady, upright position, your baby needs to stop using his tongue to push food out of his mouth, your baby will sit well when supported, as your baby learns to swallow efficiently, you may notice less drooling, most babies are ready to eat solids when they’ve doubled their birth weight (or weigh about 15 pounds) and are at least 4 months old, your baby always seems hungry even with eight to ten feedings of breast milk or formula a day, your baby will be curious about what you’re eating.
2- Feed your baby from the bottle before each attempt. After a bottle feed, try your baby on one or two teaspoons of pureed solid food or similar. They may not be interested in eating off of the spoon but let them smell or taste it as a start. Feed once a day whenever it’s convenient with you as you want to spend a bit of time over the process. Some babies need practice keeping food in their mouths and swallowing.
3- Slowly increase the regularity and quantity of food. If you’re baby starts to take to this, he’ll be ready for a few tablespoons of food a day. If he’s eating cereal, gradually thicken the consistency by adding less liquid. As the amount your baby eats increases, add another feeding.
4- Appreciate when your baby is full by reading their cues. Your baby’s appetite will vary from one feeding to the next, so an accounting of the amount he’s eaten isn’t a reliable way to tell when he’s had enough. If your baby leans back in his chair, turns his head away from food, starts playing with the spoon, or refuses to open up for the next bite, he’s probably had enough.
5- Keep feeding on milk up until one year of age. Your baby will need breast milk or formula until he’s a year old. Both provide important vitamins, iron, and protein in an easy-to-digest form. Solid food can’t replace all the nutrients that breast milk or formula provides during that first year.
Don’t add cereal to your baby’s bottle or he may not make the connection that food is to be eaten sitting up and from a spoon.
Sometimes a baby will keep his mouth closed because he hasn’t yet finished with the first mouthful, so be sure to give him time to swallow.