Transitioning a baby from bottles into more substantial food can be both difficult and fun. Your baby may take some time getting used to the change. It may be difficult at first to convince them that it really is food you’re forcing into their mouth. There are things that can make this transition easier for you and your child.
Feed When Ready
Some people will tell you babies should transition to solids at 5 months, some at 8, others just about any other time. Guess what? They’re all a little right and a little wrong. Each baby is ready at his or her own time to try out new food. Start by sitting your child at the table with you at mealtimes. Make sure babies can support themselves in a seated position without a ton of effort. Then, once your little one begins showing an interest in what you are doing at the table, try a bit of food. It’s a good idea to start with cereal because it can be made a little or a lot at a time. Then, gradually introduce food at mealtimes as time goes on to help the transition go a little smoother.
Follow Baby’s Personality
Is your baby more amiable in the morning or afternoon? Try not to pick the crankiest time of day to start on new foods. If your child is feisty, don’t follow the popular advice of giving them a spoon of their own to prevent them from grabbing the food spoon. You may end up with even more of a mess on your hands! Also, if your baby is being incredibly fussy and intolerant, give it a break. You will only end up frustrating yourself and your child even more, thus making feedings unpleasant.
One at a Time
Try foods one at a time rather than mixing many things at first. For one thing, it can take some time for a baby to get used to a different food. Another reason is in case of an allergy. If you have fed your child multiple things in a day, it can be nearly impossible to figure out what caused a reaction. This can lead to another reaction, or several foods avoided for no reason at all. Introducing one food at a time can prevent this. Lastly, your baby will not eat a lot of food with their initial feedings. Switching foods often can lead to many open baby food jars in the fridge. Most of the time, after opening, foods are only good for a couple of days.
Try, Try, Try Again
Be persistent, in every way. Keep on feeding your baby solids every day, even when you are tired or busy. The consistency of every day feedings is important. Also, don’t give up on a new food if your baby doesn’t seem interested after a few bites. Studies have shown it can take 20 to 40 bites for an infant to begin to enjoy a food. It make take a few tries before your child becomes interested in certain foods. Don’t give up!
Introducing solid foods into a baby’s diet can be difficult and time consuming, but it is necessary and rewarding in the end. The first time you get an enthusiastic feeding, your heart will fill with joy. Just keep it up, and before you know it, mealtime will be a breeze!