By, Justine Lorelle LoMonaco.
Introducing solid food to babies can be a stressful time for parents—but it doesn’t have to be!
DON’T start too early.
Experts like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) point to six months as the ideal time to introduce solids because your baby can sit up without support and has the coordination to chew and swallow safely. But if you feel like your baby is ready, consult with your pediatrician.
DO introduce a variety of tastes.
The AAP has recently introduced a new set of guidelines for feeding your tiny human, and they’re much less restrictive than they have been in the past. It’s safe to mix ingredients, and you don’t have to worry about introducing foods in a certain order. Bon appétit!
DON’T wait to introduce allergenic foods.
As long as there’s no family history of an allergy, it’s safe to add typically allergenic foods to your baby’s plate. If you do have a family history, introduce the foods slowly until you’re certain they’re safe. Consult your pediatrician first with any concerns.
DO find the right texture.
For baby’s first bites, a thin, smooth puree is best. As they adjust and are able to eat without any issues, start serving more complex, lumpier textures.
DON’T worry if it seems like they’re not eating a lot.
Sure, your baby could nurse for 15 minutes at a time, but that doesn’t mean you should expect them to eat eight ounces of food in the beginning. When you first introduce solids, they might only get a tablespoon down. Don’t give up!
DO feed them often.
WHO recommends two to three meals a day for infants between 6-8 months, then increase it to three to four meals a day from 9-24 months (adding snacks at 12 months).
DON’T give up if your baby seems picky!
Did you know it can take a baby 10-20 tries of a new food before they accept it? Don’t let an early refusal fool you—he’s still just learning about this new flavor!