From the moment your doctor gave you the green light to offer solid foods to your baby, you released your inner Martha Stewart and began planning a menu full of baby-friendly fruits and veggies. But all of your excitement came to a screeching halt when you realized that your baby didn't share your enthusiasm for the items on his new menu. Before you consider it a total mom fail, you should know that your baby's solid refusal may be the result of a bigger issue. In that case, you'll want to know some of the reasons why your baby may struggle with solids.
You may be eager to switch your baby over to a diet consisting mainly of solids, especially if it means that your breasts will get a break at mealtime. But introducing solids is a gradual process that will likely include a lot of ups and downs. According to Kelly Mom, solid foods are meant to complement rather than replace breastfeeding or formula in the first year of life. The site suggested offering baby solids an hour after nursing or formula feeding in order to make sure he's still getting all of the nutrients he needs until his first birthday.
Adding solids to your baby's diet will involve of trial and error. Food sensitivities, a desire for independence, and a preference for breast milk or formula could cause him to flat out refuse some of things you put on the table. But you should continue to offer new foods and let baby lead the way. Because even when you get your baby used to a variety of solids in her diet, all of your hard work will be undone by the time he's 5 and only eating mac and cheese anyway.
1. They Have Food Sensitivities
You may be eager to start feeding solids to your baby, but you should take your time introducing new foods so you can identify any allergies or food sensitivities that can cause your baby discomfort. As WebMD mentioned, each time you offer a new food, wait three to five days to determine if your baby will have an allergic reaction.
2. They Want To Use Their Hands
It might sound nice to have someone spoon feeding you all of your meals, but not for your almost-toddler who is all about independence. As Kelly Mom mentioned, some babies refuse to be fed because they'd prefer food they can pick up and feed themselves. Talk to your doctor about safe fingers foods you can offer as an alternative to the mushy stuff.
3. They Are Frustrated
As Dr. Sears told Parenting, many babies between the ages of 6 and 12 months old refuse solid foods because swallowing solid foods is just too much work. And when you're really hungry, you don't want to have to work too hard for your meal.
4. They Want What You Have
If your baby is refusing the solids you're offering, it could be because you have a little foodie on your hands. The bland jar variety of baby food you're serving may not be nearly as appealing as the more flavorful meal you have on your plate. Puree the same fresh fruits, veggies and lean meats you're eating and you may see a different result, as Dr. Sears mentioned in Parenting.
5. They Feel Pressured
If your baby isn't eating what you're offering, it could be because you're making her nervous. According to Babble, some babies refuse solids because they feel pressured by their parents. Remember, experimenting with new foods should be fun for both of you.
6. They Don't Like The Flavor
When introducing solid foods, you should start with foods with milder flavor and work your way up to the stronger ones, as What To Expect mentioned. For example sweet potatoes and carrots may be more palatable in the beginning than peas until he gets used to the flavor. You may have to offer the same food several times before he comes around.