When should solids be introduced?
The general consensus remains that solids should be introduced around 4-6 months with emphasis on looking for signs that your baby is ready, showing interest in food and/or an increasing appetite. For example, you might notice baby taking an interest in the food you are eating or even mimicking your mouth opening when you are eating. However, whether full term or premature, baby should have good head control and be able to sit with minimal support prior to the introduction of solid foods.
For premature babies, the School of Paediatrics and Child health Uni WA Perth found 3 months – corrected age seems appropriate. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22555187
Once you think your baby is ready, try offering small amounts of soft food and remember, it is going to take a bit of practice so be prepared for mess! Those fabulous mesh bags help contain some of the mess and are great for baby to hold and explore food with (everything at 6 months goes straight from hand to mouth).
Supervision whilst babies and small children are eating is of course essential.
It is very important to introduce only 1 food at a time (so that if a reaction occurs, you can identify the cause). Whilst you might be tempted to give solids in the evening to fill baby up so they sleep longer, it is preferable to always start solids and any new foods in the morning so if you have to deal with any upset tummies, it will be in the light of day.
It may also be helpful to add breast milk to foods as this is a familiar taste for baby and can make the texture softer.
Once you are satisfied your baby is tolerating any one food, you can add additional foods and you can offer proven “safe foods” in the evening.
You might be successful with your first attempt with solids but if you get a flat out refusal, simply try again at another time…the next day, the next week or the next month depending on the age of baby.
If you have any questions or there are any topics you would like to see in future posts please don’t hesitate to get in touch.