It’s about that time… introducing baby to solids! Eeeeeeek! I’m not sure how we got here so quickly, just a little while ago it seemed like a distant milestone but here we are. Many parents wonder when the right time to introduce solids is and how to go about it. Let’s get into it.
When is the best time to introduce your baby to solids?
Most health professionals and organisations advise caregivers to start giving babies solids from the age of 6 months, as this is generally the time that they are developmentally ready to handle them. However, as with everything else in the parenting-world, there are tons of views on this. Some parents choose to start at 4 or 5 months and others delaying it beyond 6 months through baby-led weaning. I believe it’s a personal decision that every family should make for themselves, in consultation with their doctor. We cannot paint all children with the same brush, they are ready at different times/stages as with all their other milestone. So the answer is that the right time to introduce your baby to solids is when your baby is ready. I know how judgy we moms can get with each other sometimes so I just wanted to get that out there first.
Here are some general signs your baby may be ready for solids:
Has started sitting up unsupported
Is curious about food / shows an interest when others are eating
Can hold their head up right
Has doubled birth weight
Opens mouth when offered food and can swallow (not push food out)
How to introduce your baby to food:
Start by breastfeeding or giving your baby their bottle. Then give me a few of spoons of the food you’ve prepared. The idea is to introduce foods slowly, because baby’s stomach is tiny.
For familiarity, mix your babies food with your breastmilk or formula. Let your baby smell, play and have fun during mealtimes.
Introduce one meal a day to begin with.
Which foods to introduce to baby and how:
It’s important to know that babies get their most important nutrients from breastmilk/formula in the first year of life, so don’t take their milk out of their diet once they start solids.
You can start off with either grain-cereal and/or pureed food that is semi-liquid.
Try bananas, pears, apples, sweet potatoes, butternut, squash and avo. Mix in the blender with your breastmilk or formula for familiarity.
Understandably, you may not always have the time to make your own baby food. We’ve been trying the Purity pureed baby food in pouches; Khumo loves the fruity flavours, particularly the Mixed Berries and the Banana, Apple and Yoghurt. They also have lots of veg variants like Butternut and Cinnamon and Butternut and Peas.
How to Puree baby food:
I was so intimidated by pureeing and making my own baby food, but it’s actually quite easy. You simply steam, boil or bake then cool and blend the food. You can be creative through this process, depending on your baby’s age and what texture they enjoy.
I got the opportunity to test the Baby Brezza One Step Food Maker and I made a carrot and apple meal.
It was so quick and easy because the Baby Brezza actually steams and blends for you – how magical? So you only need to chop and pop, which also makes for easy cleaning. Steaming your baby’s food will ensure that you retain most of the nutrients from the food. For more info on the Baby Brezza, visit the Baby Brezza website.
How to store homemade baby food:
You won’t always have time to make baby food every day, cooking in advance is one of the time-savers I advised in blog post about returning to work after maternity leave.
After you’ve made your baby food, place it into a sterilised ice cube tray then cover with cling wrap.
Pop into the freezer overnight
Remove the frozen portions from the ice cube tray and place into marked freezer-bags
Date the bag and use within a month
When you’re ready to use it, simply remove the ice cube tray from the freezer a few hours before
As far as possible, try make your own baby food using organic fruits and vegetables with breastmilk
Do not give your baby honey, it contains bacteria that has dangerous consequences for babies under 12 months
Do not add salt or sugar to your baby’s food
Do not use the microwave to defrost or warm baby food, thaw it naturally or place in hot water
Start a food diary to begin with so you can pick up any reactions and allergies early
Expect a change in colour (and SMELL) in your baby’s diapers when you start introducing different foods
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, please consult with your medical practitioner before you introduce your baby to solids. My views are based on my personal views and research that I have done for my family. My views on Purity and Baby Brezza are my own, I was did not receive any compensation for them.
Have you tried making your own baby food? Please share your experience Mamas.
Modern Zulu Mom