Although in the past parents used to introduce solids to their babies at a very young age, and often even before four months, today medical practitioners advise waiting until the age of 6 months before offering your baby their first taste of solid food. At this age, your baby's digestive system should have developed enough to be able to cope better with solid food and they will be ready to experience the tastes and textures of a range of foods. But how to introduce solids to a 6 month old? If you are looking for helpful advice about where to start with your little one, read on.
Firstly, you need to know which foods to offer your baby. Traditionally, the first solid food given to babies is generally a spoonful or two of bland baby rice or oatmeal mixed with their usual milk. Don't expect your baby to eat much food as they are just learning to accept and enjoy different textures and tastes. Give your baby some milk first - about half of their usual feed - so that they are not starving as this will discourage them from trying anything new because they will only be interested in getting that milk. Once they have had half their feed, try offering them a small amount of cereal on the tip of a soft spoon. Don't be surprised if your baby spits it out or allows it to dribble out of their mouth as they are just starting out on solids. Don't persevere if you baby becomes distressed or refuses to try any more after the first taste, simply put it away and try again at another time.
Once your baby is ready to start on solids, you need to know the best time of time to start your foray into different foods. Generally, morning is best so that you have plenty of time to observe your infant for any adverse reactions, but not too early as they will need at least one milk feed to take the edge off their hunger. Also avoid any times when your baby is tired, cranky or unwell as you are not likely to get a good response and it could put your child off trying again.
As well as trying your baby with cereals, you could try a small amount of well pureed fruit or vegetables to give more variety to your baby's diet. While some babies are unimpressed by the blandness of baby rice, they will be much more likely to be willing to try something with more colour and flavor such as pears, peaches, avocados or sweet potatoes. Again, only offer a couple of small spoonfuls and only give a tiny amount to your baby in any one taste to avoid deterring your baby or over-filling their mouth.