5 Tips for Starting Solids: A Smooth Transition to Solid Feeding
Starting solid feeding with your baby is exciting but can sometimes be slightly overwhelming for new parents. While there is a lot of advice to follow, we’ve compiled a list of 5 tips for starting solids from our speech-language pathologists. As always, there are some exceptions based on a child’s development and health history, so if you’re not sure, it’s always best to check in with a licensed feeding therapist.
Signs Of Readiness
Usually, around the 6-month mark, your child will be ready to start solids. Make sure they’re showing signs of readiness. We like to begin when baby is sitting up relatively unassisted, showing good neck control and strength, showing interest in food while watching parents or siblings, and bringing items (i.e., spoons, teethers, small toys) to their mouth. Remember, each child is different; as with other developmental milestones, they will be ready on their own time.
Introduce A Variety Of Foods
When introducing solid foods to your baby, start with various textures and tastes to promote oral and jaw development. Check out our blog post if you want ideas for easy foods to serve your child. Top 5 Best Foods to Introduce for Solid Feeding
Use Recommended Products
We have a variety of feeding products our therapists recommend for all stages of your feeding journey. Choosing the appropriate tools like a high chair with good support and proper utensils, is essential for oral development and stability for feeding.
Encourage Self- Feeding
Babies have such an ability to learn quickly, so feeding themselves can be a fun and powerful experience. Supporting self-feeding is helpful to their development, and it allows them to explore with their senses. Allowing them to touch, smell, lick, and maybe even smear it all over their hair can make a big difference in welcoming new foods. When they self-feed, they also get an opportunity to improve fine motor skills and independence!
Self-feeding or Baby Led Weaning can be all the rage, but it’s possible to use a responsive approach to feeding while spoon-feeding your baby. We suggest a shallow spoon, waiting for baby to lean in, and for the spoon to enter the mouth straight in and exit the mouth straight out. It’s helpful to avoid scraping the spoon on their top lip, as this doesn’t allow them to use their entire mouth. Does baby want to help? Allowing them to self-feed with spoons works too! Or you can bring out 2-3 spoons while feeding, so they can hold on to others while you feed them.
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