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Home >  Information A-ZAll Kids Information ArticlesSolid Foods

Solid Foods:

Most doctors recommend not starting your baby on solid foods until they are about 4 months old. This is because the baby's digestive system will have a harder time processing the foods before that time. Once your baby has reached this age, you will be able to give them baby cereal and baby foods, as well as some table foods.

When you first begin giving your baby solid foods, you will want to start them on cereal. There are many different kinds of baby cereals. Some are flavored, some aren't. It is a good idea to get several different kinds, so that you can give your baby variety. Then, you can start them on fruits and vegetable baby foods. Later, once they have figured out how to eat, you can give them such table foods as mashed potatoes.

When you first begin feeding your baby solid foods, you may have many questions, and there may be many things that you don't think about. Here is a list of commonly overlooked points to think about:

• Only start your baby on one food at a time—the first time you introduce your child to a new food, you will not want to introduce many others, if any. There is a good reason behind doing this, and it's that you have never given these foods to your child before, which means that you have no idea what food allergies they may have. By only introducing one new food at a time, if your baby has an allergic reaction, it is easy to determine what caused it. The best way to do this is to feed your baby only one or two foods for a day, even if they eat two meals. Just give them one kind at one feeding, and one kind at another, or the same kind of food at both feedings. Once your baby has no reaction to a certain food, you can later give them several foods at one time.

• Using a bottle feeder—many parents choose to use a feeder bottle before introducing them to a spoon. If you decide to do this, you will want to be sure to hold them upright while feeding, and make sure that the food isn't too thick for your child. They are simply sucking it like a bottle, so they can easily choke on a thicker food.

• You will make a huge mess—babies tend to get really excited during their first feeding, and flail their arms, try to grab the spoon, etc. Even after they have gotten used to how it all works, you will make a big mess at almost all feedings. It is a good idea to put a bib on your child, and keep baby wipes or a washcloth on hand during the feeding.

• Your baby will actually eat much—it takes a while for a baby to really learn how to get the food in their mouth. They tend to wiggle their tongue around and almost all of it will get spit back out. Until your child learns how to actually eat the food, it is a good idea to feed them part of a bottle afterwards to make sure they got full.

• Your baby will get thirsty—somehow this gets overlooked with babies. When adults eat, we get thirsty, and so will your baby. We aren't thirsty for food to drink, either. So, instead of having a bottle of formula or breast milk to give your baby during the feeding, you will want to have juice or water. You should give them a drink between every bite or every couple of bites.

In the very beginning of introducing your child to solid foods, you will want to feed them just once a day. Many parents find that a couple of hours before bedtime is the best time of day for this. This way, after they eat that meal and you give them formula or breast milk just before bed, they will stay full longer and possibly sleep longer during the night. Then, within a couple of months' time, you will want to start feeding them twice a day with supplemental bottles in between the feedings. By the time they are a year old, they should be eating three full meals a day with snacks.

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