It seems like there are so many rules to introducing baby food to your kiddo. While I can get on board with some of the rules, frankly, I find most of them to be a little over-the-top. I mean how did the parents of former generations ever survive without Pinterest?! But all jokes aside, there are a few things you should keep in mind when starting your baby on purees/solids. Let’s start with a time table.
Some doctors allow you to introduce baby food starting at 4 months of age while others advise you wait until 6 months. Honestly, I would push this back as long as you can. While it might seem “fun” to get your kiddo bellied-up to the baby food bar, it can quickly become a time consuming chore. One of the biggest things I learned as I began feeding my son solids was that his digestive system took a turn for the worse. My once-a-day (minimum) pooper began pooping only two times a week! Imagine how your tummy would feel if you stayed blocked-up for longer than usual, not comfortable. Because of this, I reintroduced Caro Syrup (which I had given him in his first few months for gas-issues) into his bottles. That was a God-send and got him loose and moving. Amazing what you talk about once you become a parent, isn’t it?
Note about rice cereal – They say this should be the first solid that your baby tries, however I used to mix this in with my bottles to help keep my baby’s tummy full at night…..allowing me to sleep longer. There’s always a trick isn’t there?
Below I have a couple of charts, each telling when you are supposed to introduce new grocery items. Keep in mind that there are a few guidelines out there and each one varies slightly. I, for example, introduced pineapple juice, mangoes, blueberries, and carrots before I was supposed to – during stage 1. My child did just fine with it. I wouldn’t push things too far though, and, always consult your pediatrician if you are questioning something. My child’s doctor set restrictions on eggs, nuts, cows milk, soy milk, peanut butter, and honey until 12 months.
6 Months – Stage 1:
This stage is intended to introduce the idea of eating to your little one. They don’t need much for the first couple of months, just enough for practice! I fed my baby once a day, about 2-3 ounces each time. I also allowed him to start having sips of water – for me, it was easiest to introduce the sippy-cup at the same time as I introduced the spoon. I had to hold the cup for him (his motor skills weren’t quite developed) but he did pretty well with drinking! Note that the cup flows faster than the bottle so proceed with caution and expect some of it to dribble down his chin until he gains full control of the swallowing/sipping process.
8 Months – Stage 2:
Between now and next month you should be increasing how often you feed your baby as well as the amount. At this point, your little one should be beginning to use his solid foods for nutrition – eventually replacing his bottles. I began feeding my child 2 times a day, about 3-5 ounces in total. At this point your little one should be getting a pretty good idea of how to hold and use his sippy-cup! If he’s not, don’t worry, my nephew didn’t become interested in starting with his sippy-cup until he was 9 months old.
10 Months – Stage 3:
The solid foods are now replacing some of the bottled-milk your little one usually gets. Some parents feed their kids until their kid tells them they’re full, others measure amounts. If you are measuring, I would suggest 8-10 ounces a day. How are those sippy-cup skills coming along? Isn’t it amazing how quickly they learn?
12 Months – Stage 4:
Congratulations! By this stage, almost all foods are accepted for your baby to eat. If you have any questions on what isn’t safe, be sure to ask your pediatrician. It won’t be long and you can start introducing real cups to your kiddo – time flies!
Follow this link to find: A great source for choking hazards and other unsafe food items.
I have organized everything you need to know about home made baby food here, including storage tips and cheap, easy, and delicious recipes!