Modern motherhood is something I have recently learned about. While I was pregnant and even before ever having thought of children I thought babies lived off breastmilk or formula till a year old with the occasional baby food.
I was mistaken, nowadays mothers are encouraged to introduce solids as early as 3 months… Yes, you got that right. 3 MONTHS!
I was shocked about this, to say the least.
Your baby’s nutritional needs are being met by the breastmilk well into their 6 months and beyond.
Yet we as parents are being told by doctors and other moms to introduce solids as fast as humanly possible.
In my experience, I can say that my daughter won’t have anything to do with food and she’s six months old! So I began to research as to a possible reason why this was happening.
When To Introduce Solid Foods To Infants
- Baby can sit up straight on his or her own.
- The baby has good head control.
- Baby seems interested in foods.
- Baby opens mouth and leans forward when offered food.
Nutrition Facts About Breastmilk
Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for babies. This is mainly because as your baby grows and his or her nutritional needs change so does your breastmilk.
All of your baby’s needs are being met by the breastmilk from birth to 6-8 months old. (USNLM)
Related: Breastfeeding: What Is Breast Milk?
Simple Ways To Introduce Solids To Infants That Are Breastfed
Usually, you begin introducing solids in a form of rice cereal, which you can mix with expressed breast milk. That advice goes with pretty much all foods, mix it with breastmilk so your baby has that familiar taste and won’t reject it.
Preferably choose one type of food and stick to it for three to five days before switching it up. This is done to help determine any food allergy.
First Foods To Introduce To Infants (6+ months)
- Cereals ( Oats, Barley, and Multi-grain )
- Proteins ( Eggs + Chicken + Fish): All must be fully cooked.
- Grains: Whole grains preferred.
Foods Infants Under 1 Year MUST NOT Consume
- Cow’s Milk
- Food with added Sugar or Salt
Tips & Tricks For First Solid Foods
When you begin to introduce solids your best approach would be to consider these foods as snack or “something extra”. Your baby’s main nutritional source of food will be breastmilk for the breastfeeding mom or formula.
Start with softer foods like avocadoes!
What I would do when I began to introduce solids was offering the solids when she was due to be breastfed.
Yet with all of this after about a week she became completely uninterested. So if this has happened or is happening to you do not worry.
Never force your child to eat.
Stay calm and try again later.
Avoid long mealtimes.
How Much/How Often To Feed Solids
Start with two to five baby spoons of food and pay attention to your baby’s cues.
“Turning his or her head away, won’t open his mouth, spits out the food, or holds it in his mouth for a long time, he probably isn’t hungry. If he pushes his food away, cries, shouts, tries to climb out of his highchair, or gags or retches, he’s telling you that he doesn’t want to eat.” Sasha Watkins
Reasons Behind Solid Rejections
Like previously mentioned, breastmilk is ALL a baby’s need for nutrition for the first year. Usually, babies decide when they are interested in eating solids, as long as you introduce different kinds of food as often as possible.
The main causes of solid food rejection in infants can be related to texture, taste, and temperature. Babies tend to be picky creatures when it comes to consuming anything. Not all babies are the same but most tend to be uneasy with change.
“All babies refuse food from time to time,” says Dietitian Sasha Watkins.
Introducing solid foods to infants who are breastfed should not be a headache, do not worry and do not stress.
Let your child guide you into his preferences and try to mix it up here and there.
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Content Sources: Adapted from CDC