Just as you’ve got this whole feeding schedule down with your baby, it feels like you blinked and it’s time to start solids. Don’t get me wrong, starting new foods is one of my favorite steps in the first year. I’ve always found it fun to see my baby’s face as she tries out a new food. But, this new adventure means a change in routine, which is not always the easiest thing to navigate as parents. Like many people, my first instinct was to google starting solids, but what I found was all sorts of conflicting advice. It can be really confusing to know what to do.
Since I have been through this three times now, I put together my top 5 pieces of advice for starting solids. I even came up with a catchy acronym to help. So, if you are starting solids just remember CHEWS and you will be all set:
Top 5 Pieces of Advice
- Choose the First Food – first things first you will need to decide which food you want to give. Some people start with rice cereal or oatmeal, others go straight for the fruits and vegetables. Personally, we chose to start with single grain oatmeal cereal. Our pediatrician recommended this as opposed to rice cereal due to studies showing high levels of arsenic in rice.
- How Much – one of the things I struggled to find information on was how much food I should feed at a time. I had an especially hard time figuring out how much to give during the first month of starting solids. The best advice I have is to let your baby guide you. If she’s hungry she will eat and she will give you signs when she’s full.
- Enjoy – seeing babies try new flavors is so much fun. They make the cutest and funniest faces. I recommend taking a video the first time you feed solids to your baby. I took one for each of my three children and it was a great memory to capture.
- Works – in other words, do what works for you. There are is a lot of information out there. Should you start solids at 4 months? 6 months? After 6 months? You will decide what you think is best for your family. If you’re not sure you can always seek the advice of your pediatrician. What about baby led weaning? Should I make my own baby food? Again, you will need to pick the path that is right for you and your family. Choose the the path that is the least stressful for you.
- Start Over – as the saying goes, if at first you don’t succeed…try, try again. Be sure to try foods at least a handful of times before deciding your baby doesn’t like them. You can also try the same food in a different form, sometimes it’s a texture problem instead of a taste issue.
I hope the CHEWS list helps get you started. Over the next month be on the look out for more posts on feeding solids to your baby, including information on feeding solids to twins. If you need guidance on feeding gear check out our Feeding Must Haves list.