As a new mum, you may be wondering when to start transitioning your baby to solids. As your child grows older, relying fully on breastmilk alone may no longer provide them with all the necessary nutrients they need to develop and grow.
Here’s a general rule of thumb: babies can usually start to eat solids at around 6 months old and gradually begin exploring the different food groups by the age of 7-8 months old.
But how do you know when to get them started?
Well, babies are curious creatures, and yours is no exception!
When you notice your little one starting to show an interest in whatever you’re eating or even reaching towards your dish, that’s usually a good gauge of readiness to transition to solid foods.
Read on as we discuss everything you need to know to safely transition your baby to solids!
How to start introducing solids
Start with giving your baby mashed or pureed foods. This will give them time to get used to the different types of textures of foods -- they’ve been exclusively drinking milk prior to this after all!
It’s also recommended to offer food that you have prepared instead of buying something from the supermarket. This way, you know exactly what’s in your baby’s food and at the same time. (And it also makes for a more economic choice!)
However, if you lack the time for this, choosing from the pre-prepared baby food section at your local supermarket is a good option too.
Tip: Be mindful of introducing foods that might pose a choking hazard. To help with this, you may want to start off with foods that can be dissolved by your baby’s saliva.
Preparing solid foods for your baby
Choose iron-rich foods to start your baby off with, this includes:
Iron-fortified infant cereal
Meat, poultry and fish
Cooked tofu and legumes
Other good options to add on include:
Ensure that whichever food you choose to introduce to your baby is pureed to a texture as close to liquid as possible.
You can choose from a variety of preparation methods including baking, steaming, roasting or boiling your baby’s food.
Ready to get to food prep?
Puree the food in a food processor with a little liquid (water, breast milk, or formula) You may choose to cook more at a time and store it in the refrigerator or freezer in airtight containers, ready to be heated up whenever needed!
As your baby gets more accustomed to the texture and flavours of solids, you can begin to give them thicker and lumpier textures, for example mashed potato with pieces of broccoli in it.
Tip: Try to have only one new type of food item introduced at a time, just in case your baby shows allergic reactions to new foods.
Preparing your baby’s place at the dining table
Letting your baby join in during meal times at the table with the family is a great idea for this! By observing you eating, they’re also more likely to want to take bites of their own food.
We’d recommend getting a suitable high chair plus feeding tray that your little one can be seated in! Here’s a more comprehensive guide on things to note before buying a high chair for your baby.
Tip: If you’re choosing to let your baby feed himself, things will definitely get messy, so be prepared with bibs and burp cloths!
For more baby essentials, visit Hatchery!
The transition to solid foods is an exciting time for both parent and child.
Having the right baby essentials like a high chair or spill-proof bowls and cups can help to make this experience a more pleasant one for both you and your child.