By the time it comes to transitioning your baby to start eating solid foods, you will have learnt a lot about them and their developing personality. Their sleeping habits, crying, nappy changes, bathing and the clothing they feel most comfortable in are just a few of the things that can actually really help during this period of transition.
Following your baby's cues will help enormously when it comes to finding the right time to start on solids and it can be a fun time for both parent and little one.
It’s good to remember that every baby develops at a different rate and will have varying appetites, so if the following information doesn’t resonate just yet, then be patient with the solid food transition. If you’re still breastfeeding or giving bub formula, they will still be getting the nutrients they require until about 6 months of age.
What should you expect when starting a baby on solids?
Without having to state the obvious, different foods mean different contents in a nappy. You can expect that when your bub starts on solid foods, their stools will vary in colour and become more solid. Their urine can also change colour if they are eating things like beetroot or carrot purees.
Weight gain is absolutely normal as your bub starts to ingest more solid foods. This is often a good sign that they are absorbing the nutrients in the new foods they are trying. All babies will develop at different rates, so it is important to consult your doctor if you see any drastic changes.
Energy levels and moods can start to shift when it comes to solid food intake. The change in routine, tastes of the food and even sitting in a high chair to eat can take some getting used to.
As parents know well, a baby's sleeping patterns can shift when the slightest new element of a routine is introduced. This is prevalent when they start to eat solids too. Some children sleep better and some find the extra energy a challenge to cope with when it comes to settling.
Tips on what solids to feed you baby first
A healthy dose of trial and error is a part of starting baby on solids. Here are some tips to make this transition a whole lot easier for you and your little one.
- Texture is key - give them variety
- Include plenty of iron rich foods including red meat, iron fortified cereals, fish, tofu, beans and legumes, eggs and green leafy vegetables
- Start small and build their appetite
- Beware of choking hazards
- Avoid hard foods or things that are difficult to swallow
- Sit your baby upright to feed them
- Avoid very sweet foods
- Be patient, it can take up to a few months them to adjust to solids
To conclude, transitioning from breast milk or formula to solid foods is a time that requires patience and a positive attitude. Variety will be your best friend when starting baby on solids, so this means different textures, colours and flavours. Remember a balanced diet full of essential nutrients and minerals is imperative for your baby’s growth and development and if you’re concerned about any changes please consult a health professional.