When To Introduce Solids To Your Baby – an exciting yet anxious time for many mums
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The most common question by mums when it comes to starting babies on solids is the “when”. While this can be an exciting time as our bubs progress onto the next stage, it can also be a time of anxiousness.
Currently the World Health Organization recommends starting solids from 6 months with the continuation of breastfeeding. Before 6 months, a baby’s diet should consist of only breastmilk or baby formula.
I was one of those mums who hardly made any breastmilk and with twins this was a problem. It wasn’t long before I gave up and headed down the formula path. Feeling defeated in the breastfeeding department, I was excited about moving on to the next stage in my babies lives… solids.
I am no cook, and I can tell you now that being in the kitchen gives me no joy. My sister in law makes all her own baby food and while the idea sounds great, for me this was not on the cards. With twins, a special needs child and a night job, I recall grabbing just about one of every flavour in the Heinz Baby food range off the shelf where the label told me 6 months up. After 60 years in the baby food business I felt they must know a little more about baby nutrition than me!
My daughter at 6 months gave us all the signs she was ready. Her tongue thrust reflex had gone where babies automatically push their tongues forward when something foreign is placed on it, she was sitting and holding her head up beautifully and seemed interested in our food.
My son Aidan being born with low tone started solids much later around 8 to 9 months. And while it was later than his sister, we still fed him the same range of baby food… although his tastes were a little different to hers. Apple and oatmeal yum, and anything with banana in it came straight back out.
It’s an exciting time when your baby realises there is a whole new world of tastes out there other than milk or the taste of their fingers. It is important to realise that while the World Health Organisation (WHO) has a recommendation of starting at 6 months, babies are different. There was no way my son was anywhere near ready at that age. The best person to speak to about your child starting solids is your Early Childhood Nurse, where they can ask you questions about the individuality of your baby to determine their needs. And if you wish to find out more about the good stuff, visit the Heinz website or facebook page.
By Danielle Mantakoul