There are a lot of mixed information when it comes to starting solid foods.
When, where and what being the main questions.
Keep in mind that starting solid foods with your baby isn’t rocket science.
Sometimes takes some trial and error, two steps forward, one step back.
Following your baby’s cues is the most important thing you can do.
Tips For Starting Solid Foods
Timing is everything
Before starting solid foods, I always recommend waiting until the baby is fairly comfortable sitting on their own.
This usually occurs at the 4-6 month range. Sometimes it takes experimenting and being ready to take a break.
If your baby is sitting well, but can’t seem to move the food from the front of the mouth to the back of the mouth, they might not be ready.
If there is a lot of gagging, they might not be ready.
The gag reflex in babies is very strong and decreases significantly around 9 months of age.
Exposing your little one to food, a little at a time will help.
If you don’t feel they can safely move the food and swallow, take a break for a couple of weeks and then get back to it.
Thickness and Texture
You will want to decide what texture is best when your baby is starting out.
Start with the thicker cereal and thin it out before adding other ingredients after your baby has been eating for a few months.
As mentioned above, the gag reflex is very strong in the early eating months, so thicker food should cause less gaging that thin liquids.
Some babies are very sensitive to texture, so just like introducing solids, it might take trying to add a little texture (maybe applesauce or whole oats to start) and ‘testing the waters’.
Babies prefer different textures at different “ages”—so you get to experiment and see what they like best.
It might again involve taking a break and waiting a few weeks.
What to feed
This point is where there are many books written about the right and wrong way to begin.
You will likely find as many recommendations for what to start as people you ask.
My recommendation is to start with single-grains and then move up to the mixed cereals and eventually create your own recipes.
It is also recommended to start with adding vegetables over fruit, so babies don’t get used to overly sweet food to start.
Always put nutrition first
There are a lot of shortcuts you can take as a first time mom, but I never recommend doing this in the nutrition department.
When it comes to starting solid foods with our babies, nutrition always comes first.
GERBER CEREALS can be mixed by you and fed by you.
I always know my baby will get the proper nutrition, specifically iron, which is so essential in the baby years.
You can even mix in breast milk to give your baby just the right texture you’re looking for.
Every bit of ‘liquid gold’ a baby gets is beneficial to their health and development, so it only makes sense to use it instead of formula or water if you have it!
Do you have a feeding tip for moms? Please share it below.