Mar 12 , 2020
Newborns don’t need anything else besides breastmilk and formula. When your baby is less than 4 months old, they don’t have the ability to chew, swallow, or digest any pureed or solid foods yet. At this stage, your baby can get all the nutrition they need just by drinking a healthy amount of milk every day.
If your baby can hold his head steady and upright on his own, and if he can sit comfortably in a chair or in bed, he’s ready to try solid food. Your baby will also let you know when he’s ready to try eating new things by opening his mouth while looking at food and nibbling on toys.
6-8 months is generally the ideal time to introduce your baby to solid food. Since your baby’s still learning to ingest and swallow food at this stage, your best bet is to give them anything that they don’t need to chew. Pureed carrots, green beans, and other vegetables are great foods to start with. Once your baby has already gotten used to eating purees, you can move on to yogurts and baby cereals next.
Since this is your baby’s first time eating solids, it’s best to carefully observe what they eat. When introducing soft veggies or other new foods to your baby, don’t forget to wait three days before feeding them that same food again. This will help you find out whether or not your baby might be allergic to whatever you’re trying to feed them.
During this time, it’s best to feed your baby no more than 9 tablespoons of cereal a day. As for fruits and veggies, it’s best to start off with 1 tablespoon. After that, you can increase servings to no more than ¼ to ½ cups a day.
Babies show more of an appetite for solids at this stage. After 2 months of eating soft and mushy food, they become ready to try eating things that are a bit chewier. You’ll still have to stick to pureed and mashed foods, but your baby will enjoy a bit more variety in their diet.
It’s still best to take things slow. Soft yogurts, cheeses, oats, and rice or barley cereals are good foods to start with. They’re still rather soft and moist, but they allow your baby to let food stay in their mouths a bit longer instead of swallowing right away. Once your baby has already gotten used to these foods, you can move on to tiny pieces of mashed fruits and vegetables. After that, you can finally start feeding your baby pureed eggs, meats, and fish.
The best amount of food to give your baby during this stage would be just ¼ to 1/3 cups of food every day. Servings of cereals and produce should be limited to around ¼ to ½ cups each day.
Babies have already grown teeth by this point, so you can begin introducing chewier bite-sized food items in their diet. Instead of directly swallowing purees and mashed food, babies will begin to learn how to break down food during this time.
It’s best to feed your baby steamed vegetables once they’ve finished teething. These foods are soft enough to chew, but they won’t put any unnecessary pressure or pain on your baby’s teeth. Besides vegetables, you can also introduce soft mini-sized foods like pasta or bread. As long as the food you give isn’t too hard or tender, and as long as they aren’t allergic, your baby won’t have too much problem eating whatever is on their plate.
¼ to ½ cups of food per day is the best maximum amount of solid food to give at this stage. You can also let your babies eat just 1 or 2 tablespoons of solid bite-sized food before increasing their servings. That way, they won’t feel too overwhelmed or sick when you change up their diets.
What Your Baby Shouldn’t Eat (And Drink)
Just because a piece of food is small enough to swallow doesn’t always mean it’s safe. It’s best to avoid feeding certain foods to your baby as they can become tiny yet deadly choking hazards.
Babies, especially those below 10-12 months of age, simply aren’t capable of chewing and swallowing hot dogs, pork chops, and other tender meats. Even if you cut meat into tiny bite-sized pieces, it’ll still be too hard for your baby to eat properly. It’s better to puree meat in your blender or food processor, instead.
Nuts and Seeds
These food items are guaranteed choking hazards for most babies. Babies who have already finished teething don’t have the strength required to chew nuts and seeds properly. It’s better to grind or avoid these foods altogether to avoid choking.
Soft pureed cheese is perfectly fine for a baby at 8-10 months old. Solid cheeses that need quite a bit of effort to chew, such as cheddar, aren’t really great additions for a baby’s diet. If you’d like your baby to enjoy some sweet and scrumptious cheese, turn them soft and mushy first.
Any liquid besides breast milk and a little water isn’t necessary for babies who are less than a year old. Letting your baby drink juice too early can turn them off from more nutritious foods. Juice can even cause health problems like diaper rash and diarrhea if given to babies who are far too young.
Basically, any food item that is far too hard or tender for your baby to chew is a big no-no. Fruits like watermelons and peaches are soft enough to include in a baby’s meal, but grapes and other harder produce can become choking hazards. The same can be said for any large chunk of food that hasn’t been properly mashed or pureed. As much as possible, stick to food that’s been properly mashed, pureed, and boiled to avoid any major problems during feeding.
Dealing With Feeding Problems
Every new stage in a baby’s life has its ups and downs. Don’t worry too much if you encounter feeding problems when breastfeeding or giving solid foods. These are all common problems that new parents often have to deal with.
Many parents often have to deal with their babies spitting up every time they breastfeed or eat solids. This usually happens because food cannot smoothly travel down the esophagus to the stomach. Since your baby’s digestive system is still rather immature at this time, this problem is pretty unavoidable. There’s no need to worry too much, though. Stick to your daily feeding routines, and your baby won’t spit up any more of their breakfasts and dinners by the time they’re 7 months old.
Making your babies sit upright and burping them after mealtime are good ways to lessen this problem. When your baby sits in a proper upright position, it becomes easier for food to reach their stomachs. Burping them will also ensure that they’re able to swallow and digest food just right. However, if your baby continues to spit up despite your best efforts, you should consult a pediatrician right away.
Nobody likes to puke up a solid meal. Adults and older kids might be strong enough to deal with this inconvenient problem, but babies shouldn’t be dealing with it at all. Throwing up in babies is usually a sign of problems not only with their stomachs but also with infections in other parts of their body. If your baby starts to puke right after feeding, bring them to a pediatrician right away.
Vomiting often results in mild to severe dehydration. Giving small amounts of fluid to your baby can help prevent any dehydration and other health complications.