Parenting is an experience that will throw surprises at you very frequently. Your baby will go through several changes - from smiles to giggles, from babbles to their first words, from crawling to walking - your children grow with each passing moment. There are so many milestones they cross every now and then. While it’s a pleasure to see them grow, it’s also important that you notice these changes and brace yourselves accordingly.
Sleep and nutrition are two of the most important things in a baby’s life. While babies can have their sleep patterns change and settle often, they rely on breastmilk or formula for their nutrition for quite some time. However, as they grow, their need for nutrition will increase. This is when you will slowly begin to introduce solid foods to your baby.
Every child is different and so is their need for nutrition. However, generally, babies are comfortable trying solid foods for the first time around the time when they are six months old. While you might discuss with your family to choose a date to introduce your baby to solid food, here are a few things you might want to take into consideration.
While getting started on solid food is a great milestone to cross, as parents, it’s essential that you be realistic. Your baby’s digestive system is still not as robust as an adult’s. Additionally, they are used to breast milk or formula milk only. Hence, the transition will take time.
To ensure that your baby is getting all the nutrients he or she needs, make sure that you mix the food with breast milk or formula, or alternate between milk and solids to keep their tummies full.
It’s usually recommended to start off with cooked and mashed grains, maybe mixed with milk. Fruits and vegetables are great too, but please keep a few things in mind.
When your baby starts eating solid food, they might show an inclination or liking towards one particular type of food - say a fruit, vegetable, or a taste (sweet/salty). It’s great to let them eat that, but continue encouraging them to try other foods too.
Talking to them while feeding them new types of food will keep them engaged. It will push them to taste and swallow, enabling you to experiment with their solid foods more effortlessly.
Allow your children to feel the food with their hands. When they feel the textures and smells of food, they form a better connection with the food they are eating.
Solid foods will change the texture of their poop. It will be more solid and might be laced with the color of the food they have eaten and sometimes might also contain undigested food particles also. Food like beetroot might even turn their pee red, so please do not panic.
Introducing your baby to solid food can be a fun experience. Just keep the above points in mind and make this phase engaging and nutritious for your baby.