Well, it’s exciting to start your precious little baby on semisolids and I’m sure just thinking about it gets every mummy raring to go!
One of the most important things before starting to feed the baby semisolids is to first of all decide when to start! 🙂
Here is a list of cues to watch out for to check if your baby’s indeed ready (obtained from here):
– Loss of tongue-thrust reflex – This allows baby to drink and swallow liquids with ease; with the tongue-thrust reflex still present, baby may simply drink in liquid purees or push the food back out. According to Dr. Jim Sears, in the first four months the tongue thrust reflex protects the infant against choking. When any unusual substance is placed on the tongue, it automatically protrudes outward rather than back. Between four and six months this reflex gradually diminishes, giving the glob of cereal a fighting chance of making it from the tongue to the tummy
– Ability to let you know she is full from a “meal” with signs such as turning away from the bottle or breast. This is important so that baby is able to self-regulate the amount of food being eaten. This helps stop baby from accidentally overeating as parents may continue to feed baby thinking that she is still hungry.
– Ability to sit up and hold head up unassisted
– Interest in your food (we tend to disagree with this one as when a baby reaches the age of 4-6 months, he is interested in putting everything in his mouth.)
– Doubling of birth weight
– Frequently waking in the middle of the night when a solid sleeping pattern had been established. This may not be the best indicator that your baby is ready for solids. Please keep in mind that a growth spurt will occur between 3-4 months of age, 6-7 months of age and also 9-10 months of age. Baby may also be waking due to an illness or teething.
For Alicia, she was exclusively breastfed till 6 months before I started her on semisolids. Most paediatricians today will recommend that baby starts preferably after 6 months as this is when baby’s digestive system is more developed.
I highly recommend that mummies purchase Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron and start reading up about feeding prior to actual feeding. There’s loads of information in the book and since it has recipes from 6mths through toddlerhood, it’s really a wise investment! The only drawback of this book is probably the lack of pictures. Other than that, it’s got tons of recipes! And honestly, there isn’t a real need for pictures of the food because I find the instructions on how to prepare the food clear and easy to follow.
You can also try Annabel Karmel’s recipes, available in both books as well as online. Annabel Karmel’s famous in the field of baby food so it’s really a purchase you can keep in mind!