Yes, another phase in Bubba’s life.. the journey into solids.
Several questions came to mind of course:
– How should we introduce solid foods?
– What should we start with?
– How do we know if Bubba is full?
– How many times a day should Bubba be eating solid food?
I was supposed to do all the reading up and research a couple of months back, but I obviously didn’t. Now I feel super unprepared and scrambling to read up what I possibly can so as to put Bubba on the right track before her first bite.
Here are some useful tips that I found online to those ‘mind-boggling’ questions that I kept asking myself. Thought I’d list them down so that I can read them over again and to also share with the rest of you:
How will I know when Bubba’s ready for solids?
Well, Bubba has given us signs that she’s ready to move beyond liquid-only nourishment. Some of the cues that we’ve noted include :
a) Head control (she’s able to keep her head in a steady and upright position)
b) Sitting well when supported – this is important as she needs to be able to sit upright in order to swallow well
c) Chewing motions – we’ve noticed that when we let her hold a piece of bread roll during our meal times, she is able to put the bread into her mouth and while attempting to swallow the bread. She does it with success after her drool has softened the bread significantly. We are also trying out Baby-Led Weaning which is why we let her play with a huge chunk of bread roll instead of starting with purees. We are not going full on Baby-Led Weaning but will explore a good mixture of both.
d) Curious about what we are eating. We make it a point for her to sit on her high-chair at meal-times. She seems to take an interest on what we are doing and will sometimes reach out to play with our utensils.
So, how should we introduce solid foods to Bubba?
I’ve read that for most infants, we can start off with any pureed solid food. Typically, most would recommend starting baby on solids with a single-grain cereal but there’s no evidence to show that introducing solid foods in a particular order has any benefit to the baby. Some of the suggested good foods to start with include pureed sweet potatoes, squash, apples, bananas, peaches and pears.
Here’s what I will probably do:
First, nurse or bottle-feed Bubba. I will then give her one or two teaspoons of pureed solid food. I will be mixing her meals with cereal as it’s easier for the care-givers to manage and monitor when I’m work. A couple of tips that my sister shared is to mix 2 teaspoons of cereal with about 30 – 50ml of breast milk to make it into a semi-liquid. Start with just a small amount of food on the tip of the spoon and let Bubba smell and taste the food.
During our last check-up with our pediatrician, he also advised that we should not add cereal to the baby’s bottle or she may not make the connection that food is to be eaten sitting up and from a spoon. We should also take the cue from Bubba so it’s best to begin with a once-a-day feeding, preferably when Bubba is the happiest and not at a time when she seems tired or cranky. He also shared that she may not eat much in the beginning so we shouldn’t force her if she is not interested. The whole idea is to let her get used to the experience and practice keeping food in her mouth and swallowing it.
Once she gets used to this new diet, she will be ready for a few tablespoons of food a day and we can gradually look into including lunch into her diet.
Going to be experimenting with solids tomorrow for Bubba, so stay tuned to see how we will fare on this. Also, if you have any tips to share, please do send them along my way. :)