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The first time you feed your baby solids can be both exciting and stressful! What do you need? What if she spits it out? What if he’s allergic to the first food? At what age should I first introduce solids? Should I listen to my friend’s advice or that of my pediatrician?
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I am not a medical expert, but I am a mom. More specifically, I’m a first-time mom who’s trying to navigate this crazy mommy path! I’m going to share my tips and strategies with you, and I hope they’ll help some of you other first-time moms overcome your fears and anxieties when you decide to feed your little one solids for the first time!
We waited to feed little J until he was six months old. Well, let me correct that a little bit. We waited to officially feed him until he was six months old. However, he had been sucking on fruits and veggies for over a month by the time he got his first “official” food – rice cereal. We considered starting him at four months, but our pediatrician recommended we wait. Am I saying everyone should wait until their child is six months old – NO. Do what is best for your and your family, while also letting your pediatrician weigh in.
When it was time for that first feeding, we were ready! We had been practicing with a spoon for about two months. We had also been “feeding” our little man water from that spoon for about a month.
Here are what we considered the first feeding necessities:
- high chair
- plastic spoon
- rice cereal (or whatever your pediatrician recommends)
- plastic bowl
- bottle with milk
- toys (optional)
So here’s why we feel you need each of these:
- A high chair or somewhere to have your baby sit is a huge help. I’m sure you could use a Bumbo seat or something else of your choosing, but we chose the high chair.
- The plastic spoon is so you don’t hurt your little ones gums with the metal spoons we use as adults. Even just a couple feedings in, I can tell our little man sometimes bites down harder than he means to. I don’t want him to get hurt!
- Our pediatrician recommended starting with rice cereal. Ask yours what food you should start with.
- The plastic bowl is probably not a necessity, but we plan to let the little man have his own eating utensils until he’s big enough to use ours. It might be a few years…
- The camera is obvious, right?! We actually just invested in a new camera because I want to make sure we have high quality pictures of our little boy growing up. I’ve never had a DSLR before, but I’m going to be a pro in no time! (positive thinking will go a long way!)
- A washcloth is what kept our little monkey from having cereal head to toe! He was getting his fingers in his food and then smearing it all over his body. Having a washcloth nearby helped ensure we kept the mess to a minimum!
- The bib helped when the washcloth didn’t quite get there fast enough. 🙂
- We kept a bottle on hand just in case the little man didn’t like the food. The last thing we want is for him to get frustrated as we start on this new adventure. By keeping a bottle close by, we are able to alternate bites of food with a little bit of bottle if he seems to want it. We are now five feedings in, and we’ve only had to rely on the bottle once. However, that could have been an ugly meal without it!
- While we have kept some toys nearby, we honestly haven’t used them yet. My thought is that we will use these to get his attention if needed, but I also wonder if they won’t cause more of a problem. I don’t want little J grabbing at his toys, or worse – getting them and then shoving them in his mouth WITH the food he’s supposed to be eating. Use your discretion on this one!
July 2017 Update
Can I just say this post now makes me laugh! We started lil miss on food at 4 months, based on the “new” recommendation of a different pediatrician. (We moved, so it’s not that we dumped our first one or anything.) She has taken to food like a champ. We are largely doing vegetables, but we’ve thrown in a few grains and fruits.
So here’s my new recommendation. Yes, definitely listen to your pediatrician. But you – and your spouse – are the only ones who really know when your child is ready for food. Our pediatrician said age four months with our daughter, and it was the perfect decision for her.
Looking back – we should have started solids with our son at four or five months. The month before we switched him to solids, he was nursing 4-6 times a day and eating 24-36 ounces of formula each day. We went through a LOT of formula, and he was hungry. But we didn’t know any better…
So….do what YOU feel is best. Listen to your doctor, but know your child.