By Daddy Nickell
Parents often become excited about the changes that come when their baby is ready to switch from breast milk to solid foods. After experiencing this with my six children, I’m here to offer some tips on how to make the transition smoothly.
The Time is Right: There are many ways to determine when the time is right to begin transitioning your baby to solid foods. He (or she) will give you multiple signs when he’s ready; some signs and signals include:
- Sitting up without assistance showing good neck and head control.
- Your baby stops trying to push food out of his mouth with his tongue.
- Your baby is six months or older and has at least doubled in birth-weight.
- Begins waking more repeatedly in the night wanting to eat.
- Has the ability to determine when he feels full by refusing to continue eating.
- Shows an interest in food by watching closely when you’re eating.
How Do I Start?: First you’ll need to gather the supplies. A soft-tipped spoon is a must; you can pick one of these up at any baby supply store. If you are going to make the baby food on your own, you’ll need a food processor to puree the foods. Otherwise, you’ll need to pick up a couple of jars of baby food from your local grocery store. Personally, I like to begin with vegetables like squash, carrots and sweet potatoes along with fruits such as bananas, apples, peaches and pears. At first, your baby will probably only eat a couple of teaspoons at a time; begin by offering only small bits of food once a day and increase by teaspoons, as he seems ready.
Healthy Practices: Always remember, healthy eating practices begin at a young age. I encourage new parents to blend up their own baby food; this will allow you to switch things up and present your baby with more adventurous palates – when the time is right.
There are numerous recipes and books available today. Check out one of my favorites, The Best Homemade Baby Food on The Planet, at our Bookstore.
Please keep in mind every baby is different. When in doubt, check with your pediatrician to help determine when your baby is ready to begin eating solid foods and which solid foods are appropriate for your baby.
Robert Nickell, aka Daddy Nickell, father of 6, offers his “5 cents” worth of advice to expectant and new parents. He is also the founder of Daddyscrubs.com, delivery room duds and daddy gear for dads, and the Daddyscrubs.com blog where he covers topics about parenting and the latest baby and kids gear, all from a Dad’s perspective.