Most parents are very excited about babyâ€™s first feedings. However, some babies resist solids. Here are some ideas that may help...
by Patricia Hughes
Most parents are very excited about baby’s first feedings. After waiting, reading and wondering about what and when to feed solid foods to the baby, you decide to give it a try. However, some babies just aren’t as enthusiastic about the idea of eating from a spoon as their mothers.
When to Start
Advice on when to start feeding a baby solid food continues to be debated. Not too long ago, four months was the rule of thumb, then four to six months to the current six month recommendation. Still among pediatricians, opinions vary about when to start feeding solids.
More important than age may be developmental factors. Your baby should have reached a few developmental milestones before attempting to start solids. The baby should be able to sit unassisted, have lost the tongue thrust reflex and show interest at mealtimes. For more information on signs of readiness check out: http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/solids-when.html
What if Baby Resists
Despite otherwise showing signs of readiness, some babies will resist all solids. In some cases, it’s best just to skip it for a while. There is no harm in continuing with breastfeeding alone for a bit longer. Try again in a week or two and there may be a big change in attitude.
If not, eventually you may decide you want to coax the baby a bit. The first thing to consider is when to try again. Pick a time when your baby is happy and relaxed. For many babies, this is in the morning, after a good night’s sleep. A bit of cereal in the morning or some mashed banana is a good choice.
Don’t start out with solid foods, since the baby will be hungry after waking in the morning. A hungry baby will not be in the mood to accept something new and just wants to be fed. Breastfeed your baby or give her a bottle before attempting to introduce solids. She will be more receptive to trying it if she isn’t starving.
Try a variety of foods, but try them one at a time. While many doctors still recommend rice cereal as a first food, this advice is changing. Some doctors are recommending vegetables or fruits that are more nutritionally dense as first foods. Don’t introduce too many at once, since it will be harder to identify allergic reactions.
If your baby is resisting the pureed banana, try a real one. If the baby has a few teeth, she can mash bits of mashed banana and swallow them. Give her tiny bits at a time and see if she changes her mind and decides solids aren’t so bad. Banana and avocado are good choices for finger feeding, since they are soft and easy to mash.
If baby resists, keep trying. Try not to get stressed out about it. He won’t starve himself and soon he will be eating everything in sight. Don’t let it become a power struggle that will only escalate and potentially cause problems later with eating. If you just keep at it, eventually he will start eating.
Patricia Hughes is a freelance writer and mother of four. Patricia has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University. She has written extensively on pregnancy, childbirth, parenting and breastfeeding. In addition, she has written about home décor and travel.
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