Solid Food : The Conundrum
So your baby's had breast milk to its heart's content and you're at that place where you're anxious to have him or her take a tiny step into our world of diverse and textural food. So where do you begin? And when precisely? You wouldn't want to mess up, a fear that's a part of your entity, ever since, the little wonder was born. Here are a couple of things to look into.
When should I begin?
Okay, so there are a couple of tells to this. The first and perhaps the most interesting tell is when the baby gives up the tongue thrust reflex; if you've observed, your baby sticks out his tongue at you every now and then. This may seem to you, like your baby is cutting an attitude but it's your baby's way of keeping himself from choking. Gradually, at about 4 or 5 months, your baby will give this up, a green light for solid food.
Other tell tales to be on the lookout for are: Can your baby can hold his up his head, devoid of support? Can he sit with support? Is he interested in your food? Is he putting whatever he finds in his mouth? Between the months of 4 to 6 is when the baby exhibits all such signs, they point in the direction of solid food.
Where should I begin?
First things first, solids are not your baby's escape from breast milk. Solid food should be administered in complement to breast or formula milk, that is already your baby's staple. Another important piece of information, dear mums, do not be fooled, for solid food isn't really solid, it has a soupy or pureed texture and is often times an emulsion of milk with the pureed solid component.
Now for the fun part, the experimentation! A golden rule to live by, start off with cereals, ease into veggies then and finally move onto fruits (they happen to be the sweetest and difficult for your baby’s tummy, to come to terms with). Maintain a log, mother. Feed in the details of what you experiment with, stick to that particular food and watch for a day or two. If your baby doesn't take to it, i.e diarrhea, rashes or gagging, occur, you will have a fair idea of the causative foodstuff and will steer clear of it. Consult your physician if the symptoms persist for longer or if your baby doesn't seem to take to anything.
How should I begin?
To start with, find a spoon, the baby pusher spoon preferably. Wet the tip with a little bit of the puree and in an upwards motion, stick the food to the roof of your baby's mouth. If he/she refuses to open their mouth, tap on the lips and tease them into doing so. It is normal for your baby to refuse to eat at first, it is a good idea to try again, next week. Get creative with flavors and formulas, store bought or homemade. A few things to completely dismiss as suitable, in terms of baby food would be eggs, fish, nuts and honey as they may have allergic repercussions. Rice formulas available in the stores are holy at this point, for your child, as they contain iron, something your baby lacks at this stage, in his advance as a little person.
Take it easy Mummies, you're doing your very best. A little rash or temper tantrums from your little one, aren't the end of the world. A little persistence goes a long way. Keep a clear head and an open mind. A month here and there with the advent of solid food is perfectly alright! Don't be afraid to become a little one with your little one, taking tiny steps into the wonderful world of food.