Ahhhhh, the age tale of 'is my bubba ready to start solids?'. The key word in this question lies in the "MY"! Every child is so different when it comes to readiness - it's important to look for some of the common signs.
- Can they hold their head up by themselves?
- How are they sitting? Can they balance upright? Are they tilting on the highchair, or confidently sitting?
- making chewing motions with their mouths
- Watching you intensely as you eat - and trying to take it off you.
- opens mouth when you hold a spoon up, or just makes chewing motions.
These are all the most common signs that your little one is ready to begin solids - sadly they don't know that their first meal is some seriously foul baby cereal (we all know it's horrible).
Now you're asking yourself, "my baby is doing all these things, but they're only 4 months old, or 5 months old!". It's ok, I know you've read copious amounts of books on the firm 6 MONTH RULE, but lets be real - times have changed, especially diets. I can't encourage families enough to trust their instincts - YOU know your child. If they are born foodies, all you can do is embrace it and start the adventures of solids.
Anca's tips and tricks
Once you have decided to go down the solids path, here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind.
- Make a meal planner! You want to keep track of what you're feeding the little one.
- The first food should be the icky iron based rice cereal - other good first foods are smooth fruits or vegetables cooked, and then either mashed or pureed.
- When your baby is showing confidence in swallowing and digesting the initial beginner foods, then you can start to add some variety in new foods and textures.
- Finely mashed or pureed foods (no salt, sugar, fat or other flavour added) are the foods you should stick too
- Soft and flexible spoons are handy for first use - as well as their little fingers. (it's messy, but let your hair down to their independence)
For any questions, sense of direction or just a simple recipe of mushy puree - leave a comment and i'll get right to it.
Don't forget that you know your child the best, don't go reading a thousand books and doubting yourself.