When babies reach the milestone of 6 months, many parents begin to start thinking about introducing solid foods and transition from breast milk of formula only diets. While this is a normal transition, it does require some planning in order to make sure your baby makes this transition smoothly. It’s also important to make sure all of their nutritional needs are met throughout this process until they are fully able to eat solid foods only. This is a significant developmental milestone, and is all about exploration with your baby. Here is a helpful guide to making this change.
Making Sure They’re Ready
Of course, just because your baby has reached 6 months it doesn’t mean that they are immediately ready for this change. Look for some signs, including being able to sit up (even with support), having proper neck and head control, and also any interest they may develop in how you are eating. These can all be indications that your baby is starting to be ready for a change in diet.
Timing Is Everything
You can start making this transition by slowly introducing solid foods. That can mean starting with just one solid meal a day, and ideally it would happen when your baby is not too hungry, as to avoid crankiness which can complicate the transition. A good time to consider trying this is around the middle of the morning or afternoon. Let your baby guide you with the timing, they will let you know how ready they are feeling.
What To Feed First
Of course, choosing the right foods to introduce to your baby is equally important as the timing. Choose foods that will be easy to digest, like cereals containing one grain, or pureed vegetables or fruits are also a suitable option. Start with one food and slowly work your way up to more. Make sure your baby is happily eating one food before introducing another. That way you can also get a sense of foods your baby enjoys and perhaps any foods they might be sensitive to.
Add Some Variety
Of course, you can eventually add variety of textures to your baby’s food, but at first you should definitely feed them smooth foods that are more similar to formula or breast milk so that the transition is easier to make. Eventually, you can try out thicker consistencies and eventually once they begin chewing, you can work up to soft solid foods.
How To Do It
At first, you might be unsure of how to begin feeding your baby foods that aren’t breast milk or formula. Start out with a small spoon with a small taste, so your baby can begin getting used to the idea. If they’re not feeling it, don’t force it. However, you can keep trying until they become more accustomed to the idea and then you can start increasing the amount of food and meals made of solid foods.