Introducing Solid Food

The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends breastfeeding baby (exclusively) until he reaches 6 months of age.

After 6 months, baby needs more nutrients and this is when most people start introducing solid food to their baby.

My daughter is turning 4 months on Friday so we are not there yet but I was talking to my mother this morning

and she suggested giving cereals to the baby – as I was telling her how frustrating her reflux was.

There seems to be a change of guidelines every year or so for baby care and I find it really hard to keep up.

I have been asking around and everybody seems to say the same things:

“It is best to start at 6 months but I started mine at x months of age for this particular reason (…)”.

She was prescribed Zantac, then Prevacid which don’t seem to make much difference and I was starting to think that thickening

her milk (with whatever would be good for her) would make a difference. But I guess I am going to have to wait a little longer.

Here is a list of signs that baby is ready for solid foods by BestStart.Org:

Your baby is ready to start eating solids when she:
-is six months old;
-holds her head up;
-sits up in a high chair;
-opens her mouth wide when you offer food on a spoon;
-turns her face away if she doesn’t want the food;
-closes her lips over the spoon; and
-keeps food in her mouth and swallows it instead of pushing it out.

Make sure your baby shows all of these signs of readiness before you start solid foods.
At first your baby may not accept new foods. If she shows you that she does not like the food by closing her mouth or turning her head away, stop feeding her that food. Try it again another day. Keep feeding time pleasant. If your baby feels pressured to eat, she may not want to try other new foods.

Each baby is different. Try not to compare your baby to other babies. Follow your baby’s signs of readiness for food. Talk to your health care provider to help you decide if your baby is ready.

Read more here: http://www.beststart.org/resources/nutrition/pdf/feeding_baby_rev2010.pdf

I would love to hear about your own experience in introducing solid food to your baby. When? How much? And where you live as there seem to be differences across countries/cultures.

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Comments

  1. when i started looking after my first baby i used this (great) website.
    They say:
    “You can introduce solids any time between 4 and 6 months if your baby is ready. Until then, breast milk or formula provides all the calories and nourishment your baby needs and can handle. His digestive system simply isn’t ready for solids until he nears his half-birthday.”
    Then kind of the same signs.
    http://www.babycenter.com/0_introducing-solid-food_113.bc

  2. Have you heard of baby led weaning?! It’s great, I did it with both mine. Basically, you don’t spoon feed them, you put pieces of food on their tray and let them pick it up and feed themselves. They eat what they want, explore textures, play around, regulate their own intake like they do with milk, have some of this, some of that…. It makes perfect sense, if a baby is putting other things in her mouth, shecan feed herself! My second daughter’s first meal was a roast dinner she fed herself at 6 months! Check out babyledweaning.com.

  3. We introduced solids at a few days past six months, when CT seemed basically ready. We used the Baby Led Weaning/Baby Led Solids approach of giving her finger food right from the beginning, so that she was always in control of what went into her mouth (except for medicines, of course). The first thing we gave her was actually watermelon, since it was in season. She loved sucking the juice out of that, before she worked out how to take in ‘bits’. It took awhile before she was eating meals of any kind, but with this approach, the baby is pretty much always eating what the parents are, so it’s very little work. (We basically cut out the few processed foods we still ate, so we knew exactly what she was getting, and cut things up to good shapes and sizes for her to hold, and that’s it.) We’ve never used any ‘baby cereals’ or things like that.

    Be aware that even when your baby starts swallowing solid food (which may well not be immediately, no matter how you give it to her) she won’t start digesting it (and thus getting the nutrition) for a bit longer, until her digestive system gets used to the change from just breastmilk/formula. Be ready for some interesting nappies… 😉

    • Haha ! Thanks for your input Kaet ! I am not looking forward to those messy cloth diapers !
      I am very interested in this baby led solid method and will probably give it a go once
      I know more about it. Time flies ! Can’t believe she will be eating proper food in as little as two
      months.

      • Do you craft at all? There’s a very helpful group on Ravelry.com (website for crocheters and knitters) all about Baby Led Solids.

  4. Mael, my 6 months old little boy has experienced reflux too … And I found it awfully frustrating too !
    He was prescribed Motilium for a month and a half but honestly I didn’t see the difference so I finally ended it and the pediatrician told me I had nothing to do except to wait, that it would stop… And well, she was right! It’s not totally over yet but it happens quite rarely now !
    But here is a few tips some mum friends gave me : I haven’t tested it ( I was exclusively breastfeeding at this time) but apparently it worked pretty well for many of them :
    1) There are some special milk, conceived especially for babies with reflux which seemed to be quite efficient, two names come back very often but I don’t know if they exist in Canada : AR Digest from NOVALAC and Digest Premium from GALLIA.
    2) As you mentioned in your post , you could thicken her milk. The product “Magic Mix” from PICOT is apparently really great !
    As for cereals, I don’t know if they can be useful for reflux but the actual guidelines in France are ” preferably not before 6 months, but if you have to introduce them, use gluten free ones”.
    The official recommendation seem to be the same in France: Breastfeeding exclusively until he reaches 6 months of age and from 6 to 9 months of age :
    – Introduce solid food at lunch then : first vegetables, one by one, every two or three days to see if the baby is making any allergic reaction. Then, fruits following the same protocol. The more vegetables and fruits the baby eats, the less milk he drinks during this meal. Finally meat, around 10 grammes per day.
    – Introduce solid food for the “afternoon snack” then : fruits as well, a few spoons of cereals in the milk and some other dairy products : yogurts …
    – finally introduce solid food for diner : vegetables/fruits/dairy products (or keep some milk).
    Hope it’s gonna be helpful !
    Mael is actually trying his first vegetable (I haven’t decided which one yet) this saturday, I’m really excited about it !!!

    • Thanks for sharing Noemie !
      I have heard about those specialized formulas but our pediatrician never mentioned them. I think I might go see a Dr. when we go to France and I will ask for a second opinion. There is no harm in trying !
      Let us know how Mael’s first vegetable tasting goes ! 🙂

  5. Just a very small additional note to say that I definitely have to go on the babyledweaning website : I’ve never heard of this way of doing things in France ! Quite intriguing …

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