Teeth start sprouting around 6 months and that's a good indication that baby may be ready to expand her diet. That's good news for moms and might be the beginning of baby sleeping through the night. But before you start mashing bananas and peas, read on to make sure the first meal is a success.
Baby's Ready for Food if:
- Doctor says weight is on target.
- Baby can sit up unsupported and has good neck control. and can lean forward.
- Breastmilk or formula doesn't seem to be enough.
- She's mighty interested in what's on your plate.
The first meal might be quite small--even a few tablespoons full. Most doctors suggest a moist cereal for a first meal. Try rice, barley, or oats. Start out feeding baby once or twice a day. From there slowly add in fruits and vegetables (many moms like to start with vegies thinking they will avoid giving baby a "sweet tooth" but I haven't seen any studies confirming this works. Tip: Before six months, your baby's digestive system cannot handle breaking down solids--so don't jump the gun.
What you'll need:
Chair with support for baby
Tip: It may take as many as 20 tries to get to baby to like a new food! Don't give up. A little in, a little out. It's all about taking your time and enjoying the moment.
Schedule the first few feedings when baby is alert--maybe early in the day as opposed to evening meals. Start by giving baby about have of the normal feeding of milk (either at the breast or from a bottle) and then sit him down for solids. A too-hungry baby is likely to get frustrated by the dining experience. This is a great milestone for dads--sometimes having the boob nearby will agitate tots. So a non-breastfeeding adult may be ideal to deliver the first few meals.
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Try new foods every 2-3 days to see if baby has a reaction. By layering new foods, you'll know what is safe and what's not working.
Organic is best. The prices have come down and so have the options. Baby food is now readily available in fresh-frozen packs organic jars. The best option? Homemade. For baby #2 I was lucky enough to add the Beaba BabyCook ($149) to my kitchen. This made preparing meals so simple. It's a steamer, blender, warmer and defroster all in one. You can read my early review here. Now the brand has improved upon my one commment. The recipes are now outstanding. You can sign up here for free recipes from Beaba. The Bon Appetit Baby section helps you manage baby food recipes, generate shopping lists and share ideas.
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