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Changing to Solid Foods - What to Expect From Your Child

February 01, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 148

Pediatricians recommend introducing solid foods to babies any time between 4 and 6 months if your baby is ready. Before that, breast-feeding or formula feeding your baby provides all the nutrition that your baby needs. A baby's digestive system is simply not ready for solid foods before this age.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a parent should breastfeed their child until 6 months of age, and then can be introduced to solid foods. Many parents feel that their baby is ready before that and will start on a light solid food diet earlier.

You need to know that your baby is ready to move beyond a liquid- only diet. It is important to look out for the following cues.

Your baby is capable of keeping his head in a steady upright position.Your baby can sit well when supported. Even if your baby is not ready to sit in a high chair, your baby needs to be more upright to swallow efficiently without gagging on thicker consistencies. A stroller or car seat can serve as a seat for your baby while you are spoon-feeding him/her. If you are using a stroller, make sure it is a stroller with a supportive back, so your baby's head will be upright while eating. If you have a travel system stroller or a car seat base-stroller, your baby will have the best neck support from the car seat.Your baby needs to be able to keep solid food in his/her mouth and swallow it. This can only be accomplished by trying, and practicing giving your baby small spoonfuls of baby food.Your baby has made significant weight gain. Babies should double their birth weight, or weigh at least 15 lbs.Your baby's appetite is very strong. He seems hungry even after he is fed eight to ten feedings a day of formula or breast milk.You may find your baby eyeing your food or reaching for food at the table.

These are all some signs and cues that your baby is ready to try some solid food. For most infants your can start with pureed solid food. Most parents start with single grain baby cereal, while some parents are more daring and will try other things first like pureed fruits and veggies. There is nothing wrong with this, as long as your baby is tolerating it. Good fruits and veggies that are good to start with are pureed pears, apples, peaches, bananas, peas, butternut squash and sweet potatoes.

Before you introduce the solid foods, you should first breastfeed or give formula to your baby. Then mix breast milk or formula with whatever food you are starting with to make a runny mixture. Spoon feed him a few small spoonfuls, using a soft tipped plastic or metal spoon. Do not overfed.

Often, initially your baby may seem disinterested in the idea. Let him smell and taste tiny amounts of the food, to get him used to the concept. Many pediatricians will tell you not to add cereal to the baby's bottle, because the baby will not make the connection of eating sitting up with a spoon.

Initially you should begin with once a day feedings, at a time that your baby is not cranky or tired. Your baby may eat very small amounts in the beginning, taking time to get used to the experience.. Many babies take time to practice and learn the skill of keeping food in their mouths and swallowing.

Once your baby has adjusted to this new diet, he will be ready for more. If you are feeding your baby cereal, gradually thicken the mixture by adding less liquid to the cereal. When your baby is a pro at eating solids, you can add another feeding at a different time of day, introducing another food.

Keep in mind that your baby still needs breast milk and formula until he is a year old. They provide certain nutrients that are imperative for your baby's growth an development. Once your baby has reached his/her birthday your pediatrician will give you the go ahead to introduce milk instead of the formula. Many breastfeeding mothers will continue beyond this milestone, if it is working well for them and their babies. Breast milk is still a good source of nutrition for your baby above 12 months of age, and is a secure bonding time for mom and baby.

It is important to make sure your baby is in a good seating position for eating. When your baby gets a little older and squirmy, lap feeding will not work, as your baby is climbing everywhere, and the food goes everywhere (not in your baby's mouth!) Usually restraining him in a supportive high chair, car seat or stroller, with a five point harness, will keep him in place while you feed him his baby food.

As your baby grows and develops, he will learn the cues of mealtime. If you consistently feed your baby in his stroller or car seat, as soon as you place him there in the kitchen area, he will wait for his food (sometimes impatiently!)

Continue to ask your pediatrician any questions, if you have concerns about your baby's feeding habits. If you notice any negative reactions to certain foods, stop feeding your baby that specific food and contact your pediatrician. He will guide you in this area.

Good Luck! - A Mothers guide to baby strollers, which is one of those imperative baby gear products that are inevitable for every parent or caregiver. It is one of the many big decisions you will make as your child grows from infancy and on. We have Reviews of the Best Double, Triple, Sit and Stand, Umbrella and Jogger Strollers and Accessories.

Author: Kamran Minhas

Source: EzineArticles
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