It's a nerve-wracking time for any parent. See our tips and tricks for introducing solids to your little one, from the age of 6 months.
Most babies are ready from about 6 months to try some solid foods. However, some will need to wait a little longer. Breast milk or formula is all your baby needs for the first 6 months.
Your baby is ready to try some solid food when,
- they show an interest in food
- can hold their head up and sit with less help
- they make chewing movements with their mouth
- they open their mouths when the spoon touches their lip or gets near their mouth
- can keep food in their mouth and swallow without spitting it out
Some useful tips when introducing solid foods,
- Offer milk before solids - breast milk or infant formula is still the most important food for your baby.
- Start by offering small amounts - 1/2 tsp to 2 teaspoons. Slowly increase the amount you offer.
- Start by offering solids once per day.
- Start with one food and then slowly introduce new foods. Try a new food every 2-4 days.
- Let your baby develop their own tastes. Babies like some foods or tastes more than others.
- If your baby refuses a food, try mixing it with a food they do like, or wait a few days and try again. It may take up to 15 times!
Adapted from the Health Promotion Agency - hpa.org.nz
Tips for managing constipation
The transition from milk to solid foods, can increase the chance of constipation in some babies.
Try these tips for managing constipation in your little one,
- try to offer fruit and vegetables as the predominant food over this time
- offer your extra baby water in throughout the day
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