“Dr. Linda, my 5-month-old watches me like a hawk when I eat and is trying to take food from my dish, how do I start giving her baby food?”
Once your baby is between 4-6 months old and is showing at least three signs of readiness (see previous blog) your baby is probably ready to start baby foods.
BEFORE You Start
Turn off all electronics so you both have the chance to focus on the meal, and, on each other.
Make sure you are calm, present and focused, try one of these:
- Take three deep breaths.
- Make a power statement” I always do the best I can for my baby”.
- Have some chamomile tea.
- Sniff some Lavender oil.
Have everything you need ready and within reach. You will feel better and calmer when you are organized.
Take a small portion, about a tbsp. of the first food, and put it in a clean bowl to feed your baby from. Do not feed your baby directly from the jar, or, if you make your own food, from a larger container. Her saliva contains bacteria that will contaminate the leftover food.
- Have a clean spoon available for getting any extra food your baby wants out of the jar or container. You do not want to contaminate the container with baby’s saliva which can cause it to go bad more quickly.
- Have a clean cloth ready to clean up messes.
HOW to Start
- Snuggle you baby and sit her in the bouncy seat or high chair.
- Always feed your baby solids with a spoon. If she cannot figure out how to take the baby food from a spoon yet, then she is not Wait a few days and try again.
- Start her on a high iron food like a pureed meat or an iron fortified cereal.
- Make her first baby food meal very liquid. You may add water or milk to the food till you get it runny enough.
- Start with a single food so that if she has a reaction you will know what exactly she is reacting to.
- Start your first solid during one of her morning feeds.
- Start with one tbsp. of food and give her more if she wants it. Babies between 4-6 months old usually take between 1-4 tbsp. of food per meal.
- Talk to your baby while you are feeding her. You may want to tell her what you are feeding her, what is it, its color, its taste, it’s texture.
- Do not be surprised if your baby makes a funny face when you put the food in her mouth, the texture and the flavor are new to her.
- Feed her until she closes her mouth, and does not want any more. This means that she is full and does not want to eat any more.
- Clean her up her hands and face with a clean moist washcloth and then offer her the breast or a bottle. Trust her to take what she needs!
- Have fun with this! You have just set out on an exciting eating, and exploring, adventure where you get to introduce your baby to all sorts of new tastes and textures.
As always, I hope you find this blog helpful. Next week’s blog will be about advancing your baby’s diet.
Please post any questions or comments you have in the space below.
To your holistic health,