Switching to solids is like a milestone in the life of your baby. Before giving him/her solids, you need to make sure that your baby is ready for it. Make sure not to rush the process. Take enough time to realize and decide whether your baby is ready. Let him/her show the signs before you proceed.
When should you introduce cereals to your baby?
Most pediatricians recommend introducing solids to your baby when he/she is at the age of 4 to 6 months. This timing varies for every child. Each child has a particular age when they are finally ready to take in cereals in their system. You should consult your pediatrician before switching to solids and together take the big decision for your baby.
As opposed to what your family members or neighbors might be saying, you should abstain from mixing cereal in your baby’s bottled milk if your pediatrician doesn’t suggest you to do so. When you start baby cereal, make sure that you pick an organic brand that will benefit your baby.
How to know if he/she is ready?
Around the time your baby is of the age of 4 to 6 months, she would start showing symptoms which will give you the green signal to start introducing solids to her. If your baby can sit up straight and hold her head up by herself, you may consider giving her solids. Notice if your baby looks interested while you have food. See if she reaches out for your food. It acts as a signal to go ahead with solids. You may notice now that your baby shows symptoms of being hungry even after an entire session of breastfeeding or even after finishing one full bottle of milk.
Which kind of food to offer initially?
The first thing you introduce to your child should be rice cereals as they are mostly never allergy provoking and are rich in iron. Additionally, rice grains are easier to digest as compared to other kinds of food.
Once the baby is used to rice cereals and makes no fuss about eating it, you can consider giving him other types of baby cereal like barley and oats. After that, you can start giving him small portions of fruits or vegetables that have been pureed. Make sure you are not rushing the process and that the baby is getting enough time to get adjusted to a new food before you introduce another to him.
How much should the baby eat?
During the first twelve months of his life, the primary source of nutrients for your baby is breast milk or formula. So, even after introducing solids to your baby, he might be craving for milk, and that is natural. Do not panic or think that your baby is over-eating.
By the time your baby is of one year of age, his/her diet should be a balance of milk and solid food consisting of at least three proper meals a day.
Keep a check on the position of the baby when you are feeding him. Make sure he is sitting with his head straight. Maintaining a proper posture for your baby is very important to ensure that he does not get choked on the food. The entire process of feeding the baby would be a mess, and it will continue to be like this for a long time before he grows up. You have to be persistent about feeding the baby and consistently switching to new solids to make sure your baby’s digestive system gets prepared to face the world.