The day your baby starts the sixth month, he/she is ready for a semi-solid balanced diet. I know it is a bit controversial. Some pediatricians ask NPs to start early, while some wait till the end of the 6th month to feed baby solid foods. Well, it depends on your baby’s weight and digestion. Ideally, anywhere after 4 months is pretty safe but consult the doctor before getting your baby’s taste buds exposed to anything beyond breast milk or formula milk. You must also keep a note of the foods to avoid for babies.
Starting with a semi-solid diet is a relief for quite a few NPs and pretty painful for others. As for us, it was a bit of a mixed bag experience. Being an exclusively breastfed child, Harshal took a week to 10 days getting used to all the new things that were going inside his little tummy. I must admit that for us it was a little difficult. Initially, he would throw up almost everything. But then I discovered a few tricks and here is what I would love to share with you. Some might work and a few others might fail you but don’t give up. That’s the key. Don’t lose patience and just don’t force-feed your child!
Tips and tricks to feed baby solid foods:
1. Mash things up and feed them fresh
Be it fruity pulp (banana, apple, pear, etc.), vegetable puree (potato, pumpkin), just serve them fresh. These are quick healthy recipes. Moreover, TCT recommends not giving cereal in a bottle. It can cause some serious choking.
2. Introduce a variety of baby food items
Again, some of you might disagree, but trust me, it works. It is best to undergo difficulties at the start than regret later. How I went about it was: bits and bobs of fruits for breakfast, a little portion of veggies for lunch, and a few spoons of rice water/cereal at night. Initially, your baby might pass stool often (or perhaps the motion could be loose-ish). He/she might throw-up as well. All this usually happens within 4-to-6 hours of having fed the child. But all this shouldn’t bother you much. If this persists for long, then it could be due to an allergic reaction that should be spotted and addressed to.
3. Don’t give up
Make yourself strong and don’t pity your child. He/she might make faces and wince after tasting it. It’s fine. It doesn’t mean that they hate the taste. Offer at least 10 times before ruling it out. A little extra sugar and salt should be avoided but if there isn’t much you can do then hmmm, OK! Go ahead.
Sing his/her favorite rhyme, play toon, wear attractive colors/patterns (neon, pink, orange, red, my list shall go on), make funny faces. There is so much you can do. I mean really!
Don’t forget to sterilize all the baby feeding utensils. Wash them well before & after each feed. Keep a washcloth handy and wrap a bib around your baby neck.
TCT’s piece of advice: Don’t treat baby feeding as a task. Enjoy the experience with your little one. Rejoice the entire act. Make it interesting each time.