As the old saying goes, kids grow too quickly- and I'm sure you are feeling that as you get ready to start your little one on solid foods for the first time. Many moms have a lot of questions on what starting solids looks like, what should the routine be, and where should they start- but just like most things, once you get started, you (and your little one) will get the hang of it! Here's a few of the most common questions about starting solids that we get- hopefully this will help you to get started with confidence.
Is it time to start solids with my little one?
Doctors recommend that you start solids between 4-6 months, and they highly recommend leaning towards the 6 month end. That said, each child is unique, so it's important that you look for signs of readiness- not just the age. A child who is ready for solids will seem a bit unsatisfied after feedings. They will usually watch you or others around them very intensely while you are eating. Sitting up with little or no help is also an important indicator they are ready. If you need more information on if your baby might be ready for solids- be sure to check out this blog post- Is Your Baby Ready For Solids?
When I start solids, what foods do I start with?
Most of the time, it's recommended that you start with a grain of some type- usually rice. Personally, I've always started with the blander tasting foods and saved the sweet fruits for later. No matter what you decide to start with, make sure you try one type of food and then wait a few days, before switching to a new one, to watch for a reaction. It's a good idea to keep some Benadryl on hand, just in case.
What foods should I avoid?
Science has changed on this one recently- it used to be that they told you to avoid foods that were common allergens, but now they believe that we can reduce the number of allergies by exposing our kids to them in small doses. If you have a family history of severe allergies, be sure to talk to your doctor about how to approach that with your little one. Other wise, avoid honey and cows milk for the first year. Also, avoid anything that may be a choking hazard for your little one.
How often should they be eating solids?
To start- just give them one "meal" of solids. It's important to remember that in the first year of life, breast milk or formula should always be their primary source of nutrition. What time of the day you give them solids, depends on you and your baby. For some- it's easier to give it to them after a bottle or nursing in the morning, while others it might be around lunch time, or even right before bed. Decide what time of the day works for you and be consistent. You can increase the number of solid meals as they grow, adjust to the new foods, and their need increases.
Should they be eating finger foods too?
Not to start- they need to learn how to eat thicker and thicker foods- so start with something just thicker then milk and gradually add thicker items. Around 6-9 months, they may be ready to start on those finger foods- you can go with Cheerios (plain) to start then grow to other foods, such as, cut up bananas, peas, pasta, or anything that is small and soft- but make sure the size of the item will not be a choking hazard.
Should I make my own foods?
This is a great option- but it doesn't fit for everyone. With some of my kids I made foods- just threw in the blender whatever I wanted them to have (after cooking to soften it) and poured it into ice cube trays. I would freeze it and when we were ready for solids that day, I took a food ice cube out and warmed it up. With other kids, we were on the run more and that method didn't work so well- so we purchased some ready made foods. They sell foods in pouches, jars, and plastic containers- so pick the option that makes the most sense for you!
Are you planning to start solids soon? If you have started solids already, what tips would you give to those just starting the