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Practical tips to help introduce solids to your baby

Updated on August 16, 2016

A slow and steady approach is what is needed


Another Milestone

Congratulations, you have arrived at another milestone. Hopefully, for some of you at least, there is a little more sleep now. The last sixteen weeks a bit of a blur.

And so comes another hurdle to conquer, the introduction of solids.

Just as you were getting the hang of things and bringing some sort of semblance to your day, another mountain needs climbing.

Butterflies multiply rapidly in the pit of your stomach as you read the do’s and don’ts of what should be a fun and exciting time with your baby.

Do not fear it’s not as bad in practice as it sounds in theory.

First, take a deep breath and relax. This won’t work if you are full of pent up nerves. Your baby will pick up on the stress and the entire experience will be a disaster.

Fresh is Best


Things to remember before you start

At first your baby will only eat one or two spoonfuls. Their stomach is still quite small so not a lot will fit in.

Your baby will be experiencing new tastes. Don’t overload the little one. Taste buds need time to adjust to the new experience.

Give them a chance. They may not like the taste at first. Don’t let that worry you. Remember this is an entirely new experience for your little one. If they don’t like a new food leave it for a day or two before trying it again, or mash it u with something different.

Make sure you have plenty of time around mealtime. Babies don’t wear clocks and are unaware of deadlines. Stress you may be experiencing because you have to be somewhere at a particular time will be picked up by your little one as anxiety; anxiety at what? Your baby does not know. Anxious parent translates into anxious baby. Anxious baby will not have fun trying their first meals.

Food should be consumed in relaxed, pleasant surrounds and atmosphere.

Starting baby on solids

When do you start

Would you believe the literature on when to start solids does not give a specific age? Most of what you read suggests solids should not be introduced before the baby is six months. However, there are articles that agree a baby can be started from four months. Everyone seems to agree that four months is the earliest. As the parent you should trust your instincts a little.

As usual life is not straight forward.

A very good website to visit and read the research available on this topic is

What the experts agree on is that your baby should be leading the way. Some babies will show an interest in foods earlier than others. Let them lead the way. And trust your own instinct. If you feel your baby is ready give it a go.

First signs

The first sign your baby is ready for a try of some solids is their interest in what you eat. If you find a little hand grabbing at the toast about to go into your mouth, or leaning forward as if trying to catch the spoon with cereal on it, chances are your baby is ready to try solids.

Or are those big eyes following every mouthful of food you consume? Again a sign your baby may be ready to try solids.

Of course don’t expect your little bundle of joy to simply eat the first mouthful offered. Eating for a baby is a whole new experience. Food does not simply get eaten; it needs to be touched, rubbed everywhere and played with.

Roll up the sleeves, have a warm washer close by and enjoy the experience. Don’t forget a bib for bub as well. And make sure you are not in your Sunday best as food may go flying your way.

Make sure you have plenty of time when you start your baby off on those first meals. Don’t rush.

Some babies do not like it too sweet


What do you feed

Depending on how old your baby is, the first foods should be bland foods.

For more information on food types go to

There are plenty of pre-made baby food brands available but bear in mind that a lot of them are full of sugar. Introducing too much sugar early on may lead to the development of a sweet tooth. Variety should be the spice of life, even for your baby.

Fresh fruit and vegetables are best.

To have a bit of variety in the diet you can try millet and instant polenta (corn based) as well as the old faithful farrex.

Try mixing different flavors.

Instead of using apples think avocado. Banana and avocado mixed together make a yummy change and it is not too sweet.

Pumpkin, sweet potato and carrot are also great to puree for the little one.

As baby gets used to consuming something other than breast milk (or formula) they will become more adventurous.

Remember this is another phase to get through. If in the beginning you are overwhelmed the entire experience is more a nightmare than a pleasant one, maybe bub is not quite ready for solids.

There is no harm in stopping solids if you tried before six months and it is going pear shaped. Give you and baby a breather and try again in a few weeks.

A treat for you


Final Words

In all this experimenting with foods for your bub, don't forget to look after yourself. Have a treat now and again as you embark on this next challenge of looking after your bundle of joy.



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