Friday, February 27, 2009

Feeding Your Baby Those First Solid Foods

emember, breast milk and/or formula are the main sources of nutrition for your baby! Do not replace a bottle feeding or a nursing session unless you have discussed this with your baby's pediatrician! **

Feeding Your Baby Those First Solid Foods or Jump to Solid Food Feeding Stages

Most Important: Offer your baby only those foods that are appropriate for the age of your baby!

You're baby will be more interested in solids when he/she is a little hungry - offer breast milk and/or formula first and then offer solids. If you are trying to feed a baby solids when she is very hungry, she may be more likely to resist.

Solid foods are a new experience and sometimes, baby may just be too hungry to want to sit for the new experience! She may not want to accept the spoon, the new tastes and the new textures!

Remember, solid foods are not meant to provide for baby nutritionally in the first few months, breast milk and/or formula fill this role!

ALWAYS ensure that your baby is sitting upright! If your baby cannot sit upright unassisted and does not have proper head control, it may not be the right time to begin solid foods! When baby is in a highchair or other infant-specific chair then baby is less likely to choke.

Introduce New Foods During the Morning or Early Afternoon

Introduce new foods during the morning or early afternoon. This will enable you to deal with any adverse reactions when your pediatrician is in office. Should an adverse reaction occur during the morning/early afternoon, it will cause the least amount of disruption in baby's fragile routine.

Further, you should always introduce new foods after a nursing or bottle feeding. Your baby still receives his main source of nutrition from either breast milk or formula up to the one year old mark - do not let solids interfere with liquid intake!

Never leave a baby unattended when eating.

Why not feed baby with the whole family instead of all by himself in his highchair? Place the highchair or feeding seat at the family table. Allow baby to sit at the family table even if baby is not going to be eating! This will help baby become accustomed to mealtime routines. Your baby will enjoy being part of the "action" at the table.

Use a Comfy Utensil When Feeding Your Baby!

Ensure you are using a soft comfy spoon! Remember baby's gums may be tender from teething and a hard metal spoon may aggravate baby's gums. If baby refuses the spoon or if the spoon seems to make baby uncomfortable, use your finger!

Many parents begin offering their babies solid foods by using their (clean and washed) finger as a spoon!

Don't Make a Fuss Over the Feeding Session!

Do not make a fuss over the food - talk about the food you are offering and make some "yum yum" sounds however, ensure that you are not overwhelming your baby with your words and sounds. This may detract baby's attention from the food and over-stimulate baby.

Follow your baby's cues and allow him or her to explore the dish, utensils and the food itself! We always gave our babies their own spoon and a little bowl of food as we fed them.

Don't Force Your Baby to Eat!

Don't force foods on your baby! If your baby does not open his or her mouth for the food immediately, wait for baby to open his mouth when food is offered. Always let your baby eat at his or her own pace and on his or her own terms! When baby turns his head away or stops opening his mouth, this probably means he had had enough! You don't want to continue to offer baby solid food and run the risk of overriding his own appetite control system!

It's ok if baby does not finish a "meal"! When baby signals she is done, then trust your baby's instincts!

Read our article How Much Food Should My Baby Eat? for more information!

Offer a Variety of Foods and Colors!

Offer your baby different foods once you have begun to introduce several foods! Use different ways of preparing those baby foods and be willing to have a huge store of patience!

Don’t give up on a new food because baby won’t eat it the first time; continue offering the food or wait another day or week.

HAVE FUN and Don't Sweat the Mess!

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