I get asked a lot about when to feed their newborn some solid foods. Well, the basic premise is to actually watch your baby and not just rely on the calendar. If anything, how old your baby is should only be a guide for you to start things off.
Today, I am going to provide you with some information about when you should feed them solids, as well as some tips to help you get started. You may want to get some baby bibs before everything.
Should You Ditch Breastmilk in Favor of Solid Foods?
During the first year of your baby’s life, any solid foods that they take in should only be complementary to breastmilk. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastmilk contains all of the nutrients your baby needs to grow. However, it may not be enough which is why you need to start giving them some solids by the time they reach 6 months of age.
Now, why should you only feed them solids at that point? Well, first things first are that they extrusion reflex will start to go away. This reflex makes babies suck the milk out of their mother’s breast more than priming their mouth for solid food intake.
As they reach their first birthday, you start adding in some chunkier foods that will help encourage chewing the foods on their own.
How Often Should You Feed Them?
As a parent, it is your duty to give them whatever their bodies need in order for them to grow in the best way possible. That being said, you should only introduce new foods to them gradually. For example, you may start by feeding them with vegetables like carrots and peas, but do so in a way that you feed it to them one by one. Wait 3-5 days before introducing another food and so on.
The reason why you want to do this is that you want to know which foods they like and which foods they’re allergic or aversive to. When your baby is six months of age, even a few bites should be enough as you will still give them some breastmilk to complement that as well.
Once they reach 7-9 months, try adding in a few bite-sized chunks to them. This is the point where you want to encourage self-feeding, so you may want to give them foods that they can chew by themselves. Again, you want to continue nursing your child as breastmilk is still best for babies until two years of age.
From 9-12 months of age, it is now easier for them to eat whatever solid foods that you give them, so long as they are small enough to be put inside their mouth.
You can also introduce some juices to them slowly, but you may want to consult with their pediatrician to find out which juices are best for babies at a certain age.