Introducing solid food

Introducing solid food to your baby can be a minefield as there is so much conflicting advice to listen to!

In recent years we have seen Baby led Weaning become very popular and many babies are weaned this way.

Personally I prefer what many of us have done for years which works very well, so if you’re looking for a different method than baby led weaning do stick with me….. Starting solids at around 4-5 months old and moving on to finger food when baby is bigger.

WHY solid food? As your baby grows and needs more than just milk to help to grow, he will need solid food. Baby has grown and done well on milk but as he gets bigger he needs food as well as milk. Introducing solids at the right time and getting him used to different flavours and textures helps him to have a good appetite and enjoy his food and eat well. So important for his toddler years when he may become a fussy eater!

WHEN do we need to start? When our babies were little in the 1970’s we weaned our babies quite early…. some at 3 months old!

I’m a great believer in introducing just a little bit of baby rice/baby porridge with some fruit or vegetable puree, when baby is about 4 months old.

You will notice that he becomes very interested in what you’re eating or drinking. He may even be leaning forward as if to say please give me some too! Sometimes they open their mouths as well! He may be waking early for feeds, especially in the morning. If he’s been very settled at night and sleeping through from a late feed, or one night feed till 6-7 am then he starts waking at 5 or even 4am that can be a sign that he’s hungry and needs some solids.

Also not being so settled in the day time can be another sign.

If he’s about 14lbs/30kg in weight then he’ll probably be ready.

HOW do we give solid food? I always start by giving a few teaspoons after I give the mid morning feed. This can be given before the milk feed if you prefer but usually I give after the breast or bottle feed. I start in the morning and not just before bedtime, as food is new for his tummy and if he’s tired at 5pm he may not digest the food very well the first time he has some.

When he’s settled into taking solids I then introduce a little bit more at around 5pm which will become his tea time. It’s very important to keep up his milk too. Solids are not a substitute for milk at this stage. By the time he’s about 6 months old he will be having three meals a day and can have more or less the same food that you are having.

For more information on solid food do read the chapter in my Baby book on solid feeding.

If you want to know about starting solid food please do get in touch and we can have a chat about it.

I have plenty of BABY BOOKS at home so do let me know if you’d like a copy.