You've been a mom for a few months, and you've finally gotten the hang of the whole feeding thing. You've even given yourself extra credit for learning to anticipate your baby's hunger. But as you already know, once you get the hang of something, it's time to start thinking about something else. This time, it's whether or not to add solid foods to the mix. If you're wondering if the formula or breast milk you're giving your baby is enough, you might want to look out for some of the ways your baby is trying to tell you they're ready for solids.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding is recommended as baby's sole source of nutrition for the first six months of life. Contrary to some of the unsolicited advice you may be receiving, when your baby is ready for something a little more than the bottle or the boob, you'll know it. Being able to sit upright, grab things with his thumb and index finger, and appearing hungry after his normal bottle or breastfeeding sessions are just a few signs that your baby is interested in solids. You may even catch him checking out some of the foods on your plate.
When you're ready to give your baby his first taste of solids, proceed with caution. As the American Academy of Pediatrics mentioned, parents with food allergies should steer clear of common allergy-inducing foods such as nuts and dairy products. Begin by offering meat or iron-fortified infant cereal mixed with breast milk or water. Once baby gets accustomed to the new additions to her diet, you can slowly introduce applesauce, strained fruits and veggies. Try to wait a few days before adding new menu items to ensure there are no bad reactions. And as always, you should discuss any concerns with your pediatrician.
When it comes to starting solids, let your baby lead the way. In a few months, when you're scrubbing strained peas off of your walls and floors, you'll be glad you did.