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How to introduce your baby to solid foods
How to introduce your baby to solid foods

Introducing your baby to solid foods for the first time is an exciting milestone! While many specialists recommend breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months of your child’s life, it’s quite common for babies to show lots of interest in new foods from around 4 months old. Here are some tips for parents wanting to introduce solid foods at the right time from our crèche and play school in Sandton.

Is my baby ready for solid food?

Babies have to grow and develop certain abilities before they are able to eat solid foods. For about the first 6 months of their lives, they simply aren’t able to digest solid foods properly, which is why it’s recommended that breastfeeding stays their primary source of calories. Your baby will also need to be able to:

  • Keep their head in a steady, upright position
  • Lose the reflex that causes their tongue to push food out of their mouth and develop the ability to chew
  • Sit upright, with some support

Other signs that your baby is ready for this new milestone is that he or she is curious about what you’re eating, seems hungry more often and has at least doubled his or her birthweight.

Start slow and simple

Any solid, pureed food is a good start for your baby. Things like rice cereal, sweet potato, squash, applesauce and bananas are all great ideas – just remember to keep it plain, finely pureed and in small amounts.

After nursing your baby, sit them up and put a couple of teaspoons of solid food in a bowl. Using a soft, plastic spoon that won’t hurt the gums, take a small amount of the food and let your baby taste it. Keep in mind that they may not seem very interested in eating off the spoon, as they are only just starting to learn that this is how to eat. Let them smell and touch the food, even though they’ll likely make a mess!

It’s best to start off doing this just once a day when you have the time to really sit back and relax with your baby, but try pick a time of day when your baby is the most cheerful and engaged, as this will make it a lot easier and more fun for you both. Also, always remember to give your baby their regular feed of formula or breastmilk before trying solids. Breakfast and lunch are the preferred meals to try introducing solids because it allows you to monitor your child for any possible allergic reactions.

Safe, fun crèche facilities in Sandton

At Doodlebugs Play School, we have secure crèche facilities that are especially designed to help your child to reach critical developmental milestones and learn valuable skillsets. Open to children from 18 months to 4 years old, with loving, dedicated staff members who will oversee and care for your baby at all times, your little one will enjoy every moment at our centre!

For more information on our play school and day care centre, nursery school or professional child care services, or to visit us, please contact us today. We look forward to meeting you and having your child join our family!