Is Your Child Is Ready For Solids?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

So it begins, Zachery is at the point in his little life where we can begin introducing solids to his diet!

I've read a lot in the past on when and how to begin this journey with your babe, but let me just say, I am in no ways a professional in this area, and this advice is based on a baby with "normal" dietary needs/development.

Introducing solids to a baby's diet is a lot of fun and doesn't have to be stressful or confusing, however, it will be messy... I assure that! I just love this phase, and I love that I can regain a bit of my freedom back but still provide my kids with good healthy food. And umm the look on their face every time they try something new is pretty priceless.

With Rylee and Zachery I started them on organic whole grain rice cereal at 4 months. The recommended age is 4-6 months, and yes I am fully aware that a baby can be nutritionally sustained completely from breast milk and/or formula for their whole first year...but in all honesty, I'm not that patient. Now don't get me wrong I'm not rushing my kids or bunging up their digestive system because of my impatience, rather I watch them for hunger cues that even the professionals tell us parents to look out for. These cues show us pretty spot on when our babes are ready to begin gobbling up solid foods (when we choose to do so is completely up to us as parents, so if you choose to nurse for a year or start out of necessity or just because at 4, 6, 10 months I will not judge you but say, "right on mom/dad, your doing a great job!)

So these are the signs I look for to tell if my kids are ready jump on the solid food train:

// Loss of the Tongue-Thrust Reflex //  
You will know whether your babe has lost this reflex by trial and error or by the testing of a spoon. If something goes in and immediately comes back out...sorry your little one just isn't quite ready yet. This reflex is so important, not only is it beneficial for their sucking back liquids but it protects them against choking, this is a cue not to ignore!

// Interested in What Your Eating //
Obviously when you get into the 4-6 month stage of a babies life they get really curious, but I'm telling you there is a point when your trying to eat something and your babe can't take their eyes off your plate, fork, mouth...they follow your every. single. move. and then soon following an attempt to grab it from you.

// Doubled Birth Weight //

// Growing Appetite //
Given your babe will go through growth spurts and you'll have times of cluster feedings but apart from those times you notice your feeding way more than normal and your little one just isn't content...chances are he/she needs a little more substance.

//Ability to Sit Up & Turn Head //
This is pretty crucial, you want your baby to be able to sit up (with support) and have stable neck support so that they are able to swallow well. Also the ability to turn their head away from the breast or spoon helps for you to read their "fullness" cue. We as parents would just feed until the serving is gone but believe it or not these little ones have a built in ability to self-regulate their food consumption, except apart from us they don't ignore it.

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