When is a good time to start on solid foods and what should your baby eat?

BabynHome - Starting your baby on solid foods

Around the 4-5th month, your baby may be ready for solid food and as new parents, you may be wondering what to get for your baby. In this article, we will break down the steps and show you what to get for your newborn to make this transition a seamless one.

Step 1: How to know baby is ready for solid food?

While it varies from one baby to the other, somewhere between the 4th and 5th month, your baby may be exhibiting an increasing desire to suck his/her fingers. Trying to stop them sometimes only results in your little one becoming even more irritated and crying non-stop. If you are experiencing this, your baby may be in the early stage of teething. You can get a teething toy to help them ease the discomfort. Apart from that, this is also the timing for you to start them slowly on a partial solid food diet. 

The main staple is still milk (breast or formula) but getting the baby to start eating some solid foods daily helps them to transit smoothly to a full solid foods diet later. Your baby is learning how to eat from a spoon (new experience!) and to swallow.

Step 2: Baby is ready for solid foods. What should you get for them?

The first solid foods for your baby will be very fine cereals. So fine that they are just like milk powder. We recommend you start with the HealthyTimes Brown Rice Cereals for baby which are suitable for 4m+ babies. 

Healthy Times Organic Whole Grain Brown Rice Cereal for Baby
HealthyTimes Organic Whole Grain Brown Rice Cereal for Baby

The way to prepare is to mix these cereals using either water or milk. We recommend using warm milk, as it seems from many families’ recount that their babies do not like it much if water is used instead.

Step 3: How much to prepare?

The instructions on the package indicates 1 tablespoon of cereals to be mixed with 4-5 tablespoons of water/milk. For your first feeding, I suggest you do just that and monitor your baby’s reaction to it. Does he/she take it well or otherwise? Do note that using a spoon to feed is a completely new experience for the baby and the texture of the mix is also new, so don’t be discouraged if the baby is splitting out more than taking in. With more practice, they will get it which is very similar to how they adjust to bottle feeding in the first month.

BabynHome - Solid Foods Mix
The mixture of brown rice cereal and milk

Tips:

  • Try to feed solid foods at the second or third meal of the day. This gives your baby a bit more time to digest
  • Encourage your baby as he/she tries this new feeding, this will help the baby to accept it more readily instead of resisting it each time
  • Over time (weeks and months), you can reduce the quantity of water/milk versus the cereals to make the mix more solid
  • When using the spoon to feed, do not insert the spoon too deeply into the baby’s mouth. Their mouth is still small and soft, and if you put it too deeply, it may induce vommiting

Step 4: How do you feed this mix to your baby?

You need to get a bowl and spoon suitable for baby use. We recommend the Tommee Tippee Explora Cool & Mash Weaning Bowl. The whole set consists of the bowl and a spoon, made of baby safe material suitable for baby 4m+ and up.

We like it because it is easy to use and wash, very lightweight and you can also sterilise it. It has a lid that can latch on tightly to prevent the content from falling out. Tommee Tippee has also designed it in such a way that you can ‘click’ the spoon onto the lid and there is a cover over it to prevent it from getting dirty. This feature deserves a 4.5 stars out of 5. We would have given it a full 5/5 rating if they can somehow make the spoon retract completely within the diameter of the lid instead of protruding out. 

Tommee Tippee Explora Cool N Mash Weaning Bowl
The lid provides a storage for the spoon that comes with it
Tommee Tippee Explora Cool N Mash Weaning Bowl
The Weaning Bowl & Spoon

The Tommee Tippee Explora allows you to mix the cereals with milk and you can feed it directly to your baby. We find it very convenient to use and because it is lightweight, bringing it around does not take up much space nor add significant weight to your baby bag

Conclusion

Getting your baby to transit to a solid foods diet can start any time from 4m+. In our collective experiences, some babies may start as soon as they hit fourth month while others do so at the sixth month. You should not be overly concerned but as one parent shared with us. He said it is advisable to start feeding small amounts of solid food as soon as your baby shows signs of teething. Doing so allows the baby to learn how to chew and handle food inside their mouth. This takes practice and practice takes time. “Start small, but start early” he advised. 

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