Any big transition in your baby’s life can be stressful just as it is exciting. Moving from a purely liquid diet to one that includes solid foods is one of these times! As a physician and mother I would like to take this opportunity to calm your fears and reassure you through this transition.
Just like any new thing, sometimes it takes a few tries before your baby will be open to embracing the eating experience. Up until now they are use to a single flavor being offered each time they are hungry and they expect it to be offered via breast/ bottle. So don’t be surprised if they don’t automatically open wide when you eagerly offer their first tastes of solid food. A look of confusion and disgust may come over their face; tears and gagging may also occur. Don’t panic, new flavors and textures take time to get use to. Baby’s are also very ineffective at swallowing solids initially. They may also need multiple attempts before even a few teaspoons are consumed, and that is perfectly normal. Introducing new foods should be a fun and exciting venture for the whole family. Watching your baby make confused and silly faces is a great photo opportunity and a chance to make lifelong memories as your tiny one joins the rest of their family at the table.
Pick a first food you are comfortable with, avocado, sweet potatoes, bananas, apple sauce, or baby oatmeal. Pick up a soft silicone spoon (Beaba makes our favorite) and slowly offer small tastes. As they become a more skilled eater, you can give them larger bites. Congratulations! Your baby has successfully had their first solid foods!
Every 3-5 days you can introduce a new food (wait longer for high allergen foods such as eggs), so that you can easily identify any allergies your child may develop. Remember it often takes 2-3 exposures to a food before the allergy is apparent, so make sure to give baby the new food several times before offering the next culinary delight.
To ensure you baby continues to consume an adequate volume of breast milk or formula, offer the milk first and then the solid foods a little while later. That way you can rest assured that your child has enough calories and nutrients in their system, even if they refuse the green beans you made.
Most importantly, try to enjoy this milestone!
Thanks for stopping by!
Dr. Patricia Bast was born and raised in Southern California. She earned a bachelors degree in science at UC Irvine, then went on to graduate medical school from Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Northern California. After several years working as a pediatrician Dr. Bast choose to expand her training to include lactation consultant. Dr. Bast is now raising her children and taking care of patients in beautiful Georgia.