Starting solids can seem like such a mountain to climb when you have a young baby. Most start their babies on solids around 4 to 6 months of age. But depending on your doctor, yourself, and of course your baby the right time to start can be whenever.
My baby was all breastfeed with only a few bottles here or there. We decided to start solids around 4 months old due to his staring us down when we ate and just out of curiosity and excitement to try to feed him something other than breast milk.
The first feeding is kind of messy so don't expect a perfect bite but it is a pretty neat moment to share and capture(ie. TAKE PICTURES!).
- for the first couple of feedings don't do it as the last meal of the day, many babies get gassy from swallowing air when they are trying to eat from the spoon and there is always a possibility they could be allergic to the cereal you use so having them try it earlier in the day allows you to watch for any signs of a reaction (rash, swelling, etc)
- mix about 1 tablespoon of rice cereal with enough breast milk or water to make it fairly thin, for awhile babies have a hard time "eating" from the spoon and the thinner it is the easier it is for them to get it off and swallowed
- try out different temperatures. Some babies like it cold and some like it as warm as from the breast, I was a stickler for not sticking it in the microwave so instead I would heat up breast milk by filling a measuring cup half way with water and microwaving the water for about 2 minutes then warming the breast milk/cereal mixture by placing the bowl of mixture on top of the measuring cup to warm it. Be sure to stir the mixture to distribute the heat evenly. Also be sure to check how warm the mixture is before giving it to your baby!
- Try this for several days before adding any other foods, once again for the allergy reason, sometimes it takes a while for the reaction to occur
- Try different thicknesses to see how your little one takes it, some just don't understand the concept of eating from a spoon and others prefer it!
- Have fun and get ready to get dirty, it's not always a clean job when you start feeding your little one so be prepared for cereal everywhere
- There are many different baby cereals to choose from, check out your options in the baby area in your grocery store as well as ask your pediatrician if they have any suggestions
- Of course, be sure to check with your pediatrician before doing any of this so you are SURE it's time for your little one since each baby is different