Beginning Solids

Starting your baby on solids is always an adventure, and I’ve learned a lot about it from my own 3. Scarlett is now 8 months old, and while she has had some solids off and on, she isn’t yet regularly eating meals of solids. Instead, most days she will have one meal of something like fruit or yoghurt, and breastfeed for the rest.

Breast milk is still the most important food for a baby. It is made for their digestive system, and your body adjusts the nutrients in the milk to meet your baby’s specific needs. This is why you have to continue a nutritious diet while breastfeeding.

A baby will begin to show interest in solids somewhere around 6 months old. There is no rush to introduce food so don’t worry if your baby isn’t interested by then. Usually this coincides with the arrival of the first teeth, which usually happens around 6 months but not always. Scarlett got her first two teeth at 3 1/2 months, but a baby’s digestive system is not mature enough to handle solids until after 6 months, so it is best to not give it to them before this age.

Something interesting I read recently on another mommy blog said that each tooth brings with it certain digestive juices, so foods should be introduced in a certain order depending on which teeth your baby has, but not before 6 months. Here is the order: central incisors – fruits and veggies; lateral incisors – proteins; molars and canines – grains.

She says:

I’m sure many of you are wondering why teeth show food readiness. The eruption of teeth produces saliva with contains digestive enzymes and this generally happen along the same time line as digestion and intestinal development of necessary enzymes. If you are feeding your baby grains before they have the necessary enzymes to digest the grains properly your baby’s body will not digest or only partial digest the grains leading to intestinal trouble and possible allergies.

Read her whole post here.

The first time you give your baby solid food, you are not trying to fill their tummy. Rather, you are just introducing the taste and feel of food to them. I like to use my fingers for their first taste of food since they are softer than a spoon. You could get a rubber tipped spoon for later feeding. My favorite first food is banana. I mash it with my fingers and put a tiny amount in the baby’s mouth, just a taste.

To be continued… click here

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