One of the biggest questions all parents face is when to introduce solids to baby. This was a tough one for us, as my husband and I come from completely different cultures.
He hails from India and I am Latina. He wanted to start solids at four months but I felt more comfortable waiting until six months. He wanted to give her lentil broth and I wanted to start her on homemade applesauce. Do you see how this could be messy?
We consulted our pediatrician but, in the end, we let baby lead the way (as we do for most baby-related things). If you pay close attention baby will always exhibit signs of being ready for his or her next stage.
In terms of introducing solids, you should discuss this with your child’s pediatrician. There are a few key factors in determining whether or not baby is ready for solids and, according to Dr. Sears, these include:
- baby should sit up by themselves
- baby should have stable neck control
- baby tries to grab food from your plate
Our Little B met the first two requirement by four months but she didn’t start trying to grab food from our plates until six months. Her first solid food was a very thin puree of organic Fuji apple (this variety is sweet and juicy so it’s a natural choice for babies).
From there we progressed to thin purees of green peas and potatoes – starting each food one by one, and waiting three days before introducing the next food. This was what our pediatrician recommended.
As your baby grows they’ll switch from purees to solid foods and here is where they will have a lot of fun exploring different textures, tastes and colors. Here are some tips we found useful when introducing solids to baby:
Tips for Introducing Solids
- Cook the fruit or vegetable until tender (peel the food, if necessary).
- Save the cooking broth (as you’ll use it to thin the puree).
- Puree foods until smooth (we use an immersion blender).
- Pass through a fine mesh strainer to remove lumps.
- Test the temperature, food should be lukewarm or room temperature (test it on the inside of your wrist).
- Feed baby carefully, paying attention to any possible allergic reaction.
Other Things To Consider When Introducing Solids
I should mention we did not add any sweeteners, seasonings or oils to baby’s first foods (that means no sugar, no salt, no pepper, etc.).
Although her first food was pureed apple we made a point to offer a menu that was heavier on the veggies. We figured it’s natural for her to like sweet stuff so it’s better to get her used to other more robust flavors.
Also, remember that you are introducing solids. Which means you are giving baby a taste or sample of what’s in store in the future. Don’t expect baby to eat it all at the beginning. At this point most of their nutrition will still come from breastmilk or formula.
I’ll mention other baby food ideas in future posts but do you have any questions? Please leave them below.
Disclaimer: Neither my husband or I are medical professionals so please consult your child’s pediatrician regarding introducing solids to baby.