When your baby is at the stage of eating solid foods, the process is more about getting them accustomed to experiencing solids rather than how much they eat. Trying a variety of foods will help them introduce a healthier and varied range of foods as they grow up. Once they are able to, they can join you in enjoying similar meals but smaller portion sizes.
So what are the signs your baby is ready to start eating solid foods, and how can you make the introduction process simple? Take a look at how below:
Signs your baby is ready for solid food
There are a few different signs that your baby is ready to start eating solid foods. First, they are usually around six months, and solids will be eaten alongside breast milk or formula. There are a few other signs to watch out for too:
- Maintaining a seated position and able to hold their head steady
- Swallow food without spitting it back out
- Coordinating food with eyes, hands, and mouth so they can put it in their mouths unaided
How to start weaning your baby
It is natural to think that once they start eating solid food, they can handle most things, but this process should be slow and steady. Solid food should accompany their regular milk feeds in the beginning, and you will only require a small amount of food.
This process will help your baby experience food for the first time, and get them used to texture and taste. Some ways to make the process simple and as stress-free as possible include:
Eating solid food is a new skill, and some babies may take some time to get accustomed to the experience. Allow plenty of time at first to allow them to be inquisitive. During the time, it doesn’t matter how much they eat. If you are using a spoon, don’t worry if they tip their head away; just try next time.
Don’t worry about the mess
Messy eating is a natural part of the solid food weaning experience. Your baby may want to hold it, squish it between their fingers, and will undoubtedly get it all over their face; it’s part of the fun! To make it easier, try using a weaning bib with sleeves,such as these examples from BIBaDO. Doing so also makes the cleaning aspect easier, as you can just take it off and pop it in the wash.
Show them how you eat
A big part of the learning experience comes from their influences. So to show them the way, pop some food in your mouth and encourage them to copy. Babies will naturally imitate parents and siblings, and this will make eating at mealtimes more relaxed and more enjoyable for the whole family.
Mealtimes are fun for a baby, but they are easily distracted. Avoid watching the TV or using digital devices during this time, so they are only concentrating on the food and the experience.