Introducing solid food to your baby – Is 3 months the right time to start?
There’s no two ways when we say that the time of introducing solid foods to your baby is one of the most interesting milestones for both the baby and the mother. Can you imagine the wide array of textures and tastes that await your little bundle of joy? From creamy avocado to juicy mango to cheesy flavors, there’s a whole world of opportunities waiting for your baby to discover.
Despite a good portion of all the solid food ending up on your baby’s bib or on the floor, you shouldn’t stop encouraging her about enjoying the flavours. It is a part of an experiment that she needs to do on her taste buds.
When is the right time to start solids for your baby?
The AAP or the American Academy of Pediatrics is of the opinion that parents should wait up till 6 months if only the baby has only been breastfeeding. They think that 4-6 months is okay for introducing your baby to solid food based on their acceptability. But what is not okay is starting solids before your baby reaches four months.
There’s no benefit in hurrying your baby to eating solid foods as it can cause more harm than good, thereby boosting the risk of weight issues, choking and food allergies.
Do you think your baby is all set to gulp solid food?
How are you supposed to know whether your baby is physically ready to have solid food? In between 5-6 months, most babies become ready to take in solid food. Here are few signs you may watch out for:
- Having proper control over head. Your baby may still not be able to sit up on her own but she should have the ability to hold her head high before she starts eating solids.
- Having the ability to sit up straight with support.
- No more instinct of tongue thrust. This is a reflex action that makes the baby push out food automatically out of her mouth. This is usually done to avert choking.
- Being eager to try out new food. If your baby is staring at you when you are eating or is trying to grab your food, this is a good sign that you can start solids.
What solid food to feed your baby?
One of the most common first foods is cereals meant for infants but that doesn’t mean this is the only option. Veggies, meats and fruits can even be better choices. Your choice also depends on whether you plan to adopt the baby-led weaning approach or the conventional spoon-feeding approach.
There is no definite order to introduce solid foods to your baby but you can definitely wait for 2-3 days in between the time you start new foods so that you can look forward to any type of allergies. Few of the possible signs include gas, bloating, rash around mouth and anus, runny nose, diarrhea or excessive crankiness.
So, now that your baby is growing up, it is important to expose her to different kinds of flavors apart from the sweet that she has already been exposed to. Be careful about consulting with a pediatrician if you find anything irregular in her behavior.