The When, Why, What, and How of Starting Solid Foods
The first question to think about before starting solid foods is: When is my baby ready?
Usually sometime after 4 months and definitely by 6 months of age is a good time to consider looking for your baby’s readiness. These include:
- Head control meaning your baby can hold his or her head steady and in an upright position
- Your baby can sit with little or no support
- Your baby doesn’t push our food from the mouth and is no longer exhibiting what is called the tongue thrust reflex
- Your baby is putting fist, hand, or toys in mouth
- Your baby shows an interest in wanting to eat by leaning forward and opening mouth
To answer the question about what to feed your baby, I found a great resource to help you learn what foods to feed; why these foods are great to choose; and how to start feeding your baby new foods. Click here to learn more! Although the dietitian author is in England and some of the terms used for foods may not be used here in the States, the suggestions and meal plans are terrific. When to start feeding solid foods is based on a child’s developmental readiness too so you’ll know when your baby is ready to be introduced to new flavors, colors, and textures. Suggestions for daily meal plans and recipes are provided too. How handy!
What can you expect after starting solid foods with your little one? Smellier poop! As your baby starts eating more and more and different foods, expect diaper changing to be smellier and smellier. The color of poop can change too. If your baby loves carrots, poop can be on the orange side. If your baby loves dark green leafy vegetables, the poop will be on the green side. Your baby may poop more often. Some babies may not poop at all for a day especially if they are eating what are called “binding foods”. These include bananas and other low fiber fruits, fruit juice which should be limited anyways during the first year, foods made with white flour like white bread, pancakes or crackers, and refined grains like white rice or pasta. Whole grain foods and fiber containing fruits like pears, apricots or strawberries can help prevent possible constipation. Your baby may even like mashed beans (navy, chickpea, garbanzo, etc.) even though these do usually produce a little gas.
Enjoy and let me know if you have other ideas for my blog postings. Cheerio!
**For specific medical care and nutritional advice on product usage, please see your healthcare professional