How will I know when my baby's ready?
Your baby will give you clear signs when he's ready to move beyond liquid-only nourishment. Cues to look for include:
- Head control. Your baby needs to be able to keep his head in a steady, upright position.
- Losing the "extrusion reflex." To keep solid food in his mouth and then swallow it, your baby needs to stop using his tongue to push food out of his mouth.
- Sitting well when supported. Even if he's not quite ready for a highchair, your baby needs to be able to sit upright to swallow well.
- Chewing motions. Your baby's mouth and tongue develop in sync with his digestive system. To start solids, he should be able to move food to the back of his mouth and swallow. As he learns to swallow efficiently, you may notice less drooling — though if your baby's teething, you might still see a lot of drool.
- Significant weight gain. Most babies are ready to eat solids when they've doubled their birth weight (or weigh about 15 pounds) and are at least 4 months old.
- Growing appetite. He seems hungry — even with eight to ten feedings of breast milk or formula a day.
- Curiosity about what you're eating. Your baby may begin eyeing your bowl of rice or reaching for a forkful of fettuccine as it travels from your plate to your mouth.
How should I introduce solid food?
A good rule of thumb is to start with rice cereal, which is gluten-free and less allergenic than other foods. First, nurse or bottle-feed your baby. Then give him one or two teaspoons of dry cereal mixed with enough formula or breast milk to make a semi-liquid. Use a soft-tipped plastic spoon when you feed your baby, to avoid injuring his gums. Start with just a small amount of cereal on the tip of the spoon.If your baby doesn't seem very interested in eating off the spoon, let him smell and taste the cereal or wait until he warms up to the idea of eating something solid. Don't add solid food to your baby's bottle or he may not make the connection that food is to be eaten sitting up and from a spoon.Begin with a once-a-day feeding, whenever it's convenient for you and your baby, but not at a time when your baby seems tired or cranky. Your baby may not eat much in the beginning, but give him time to get used to the experience. Some babies need practice keeping food in their mouths and swallowing.Once he gets used to his new diet, he'll be ready for a few tablespoons of cereal a day. As the amount he eats increases, gradually thicken the consistency of the cereal and add another feeding.
How will I know when my baby's full?
Your baby's appetite will vary from one feeding to the next, so a strict accounting of the amount he's eaten isn't a reliable way to tell when he's had enough. If your baby leans back in his chair, turns his head away from food, starts playing with the spoon, or refuses to open up for the next bite, he has probably had enough. (Sometimes a baby will keep his mouth closed because he hasn't yet finished with the first mouthful, so be sure to give him time to swallow.)
Do I still need to give my baby breast milk or formula?
Yes, your baby will need breast milk or formula until he's a year old. Both provide important vitamins, iron, and protein in an easy-to-digest form. Solid food can't replace all the nutrients that breast milk or formula provides during that first year. See how much breast milk or formula babies need after starting solids.
How should I introduce other solid food?
Introduce other solids gradually, one at a time, waiting at least three days after each new food. This way you'll get a heads-up if your baby has an allergic reaction to one of them (signs of an allergy may include diarrhea, a bloated tummy, increased gas, or a rash). If there's a family history of allergies, or your baby develops an allergic reaction during this process, start waiting up to a week between new foods.Even though it's a good idea to get your baby accustomed to eating a wide variety of foods, it'll take time for him to get used to each new taste and texture. Each baby will have unique food preferences, but the transition should go something like this:
1. Semi-liquid cereals
2. Strained or mashed fruits and vegetables
3. Finely chopped table foods, including meat and other protein sourcesWhen your baby has mastered cereal, offer a few tablespoons of vegetables or fruit in the same meal as a cereal feeding. Good foods to start with include sweet potatoes, squash, applesauce, bananas, carrots, oatmeal, peaches, and pears. All food should be strained or mushy — at this stage your baby will press the food against the top of his mouth and then swallow.If you're feeding your baby from ready-to-eat jars of baby food, scoop some into a little dish and feed him from that. If you dip his feeding spoon into the jar, you won't be able to save the leftovers because you'll have introduced bacteria from his mouth into the jar. Also, throw away any baby food jars within a day or two of opening them.Some experts recommend introducing yellow fruits and vegetables first because they're easiest to digest, but others advise going green from the start so your baby doesn't develop a preference for the sweeter taste of the yellow foods. It's up to you which route to take. Either way, don't leave any food off his menu simply because you don't like it. And stay away from foods that might cause him to choke.If your baby turns away from a particular food, don't push. Try again in a week or so. He may never like sweet potatoes, or he may change his mind several times and end up loving them.Don't be surprised if your baby's stools change color and odor when you add solids to his diet. If your baby has been exclusively breastfed up to this point, you'll probably notice a strong odor to his formerly sweet-smelling stools as soon as he starts eating even tiny amounts of solids. This is normal. If his stools seem too firm (rice cereal, bananas, and applesauce can contribute to constipation), switch to other fruits and vegetables and oatmeal or barley cereal.
How many times a day should my baby be eating solid food?
At first he'll eat semi-liquid cereal mix just once a day. By around 8 months he should be eating solid food three times a day. A typical day's diet at 8 months might include a combination of:• Breast milk or iron-fortified formula• Iron-fortified cereal• Yellow and green vegetables• Fruit• Small amounts of protein such as poultry, cottage cheese, tofu, and meatThere are certain foods that you shouldn't give your baby yet. Honey, for example, can cause botulism in babies under a year old. For more details, see "Foods That Can Be Unsafe for Your Baby."
Do I need any special equipment?
It's helpful to have a highchair, plastic spoons to protect your baby's sensitive gums, bibs, and plastic dishes and bowls. A splat mat on the floor can help keep messes to a minimum. You may also want to introduce your baby to a sippy cup soon after you start solids.
If you're making your own baby food, you'll need a tool to puree the food, like a blender, food processor, or baby food grinder. You'll also want to have storage containers for refrigerating and freezing extra portions. (Some parents use ice-cube trays — or similar devices made just for baby food — to store and freeze individual portions.)
Where should I feed my baby?
You'll want a sturdy, stable, comfy place for him to sit, at a convenient height for you. To start out, that might be a bouncy seat or even a car seat. (Just make sure that he's upright enough to swallow well.) Once he can sit up by himself, though, a highchair at the table is your best bet. Your baby will be able to participate in family meals, and you'll be able to eat your own meal and feed him at the same time. It'll also be easier to clean up after he chows down.
How can I help my child develop healthy eating habits?
There u go peeps, a little info from baby center.com. It's helps me a lot when i wanted to give semi solid food for ma prince.So Mummies , u should do a plenty of surveys and seek for profesional opinions before starting to give solid for your love one.huhuhuhu.
Till then...... love u. :)