For many new parents, the question of when to offer their baby solid foods can be tricky.
I remember when my sons were little, their baby teeth didn’t start coming in until they were a year old, but they had decided they no longer wanted to eat baby food. After seeing my husband and me eating “table food,” they decided they wanted to have what we were eating.
The Via Christi Breastfeeding Clinic staff says that when your baby is reaching for food and able to sit up at the table and eat, they are showing signs that they are ready for solids.
Since infants can breastfeed for more calories than solids provide, always breastfeed before offering solids at each feeding time. Talk with your pediatrician about what to offer your infant. They will guide you. Infants can breastfeed exclusively for six months per the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines.
Now the question of what to offer baby when they start eating solid foods.
It’s best to offer one solid at a time for three to five days. Wait to see if there is a reaction to that particular food, before offering other solid foods.
First foods can be pureed and spoon-fed to your baby or allow them to sit at the table in their highchair with small, thin-cut pieces of your food. Again, talk to your pediatrician about offering solids. If your infant has teeth at the time of offering solids, they may be able to handle thicker consistency of food.
Be careful about offering baby the following foods as they may cause allergic reactions or be a choking hazard:
- Cow’s milk
- Corn products
- Fish and other seafood
- Peanuts or other nuts
- Peanut butter
Some common allergic reactions to watch for are:
- Skin rash
- Breathing problems
- Swelling of lips or face.