The question of when to start or introduce solids to babies can be daunting and a difficult task, especially for new parents. It is crucial to introduce solids at the right age and at the right time when the baby shows signs that he/she is ready for the solids.
Starting solids too early (before the age of 4 months) can be risky for the baby and can even lead to obesity.
Whereas starting solids too late, i.e., after the age of 6 months can also be dangerous for the baby as starting too late can slow down the growth of the baby. You should introduce solid foods to your baby when he/she is around six months and shows signs such as opens his mouth and shows his/her interest in the food you’re eating.
Feeding a baby is not an easy task as the food transitions are quite fast in babies. It is also essential to understand that introducing baby to solids doesn’t mean that the young infant will not need much breast milk. Do not replace the breast milk to solid foods as your young one would still need breast milk to complete their nutritional needs.
There are many other mistakes that the parents make when introducing their young infants to solid foods. Following are some of the mistakes that you should avoid if you’re starting your baby on solid foods:
1. Not starting solids at the right time
It is one of the most mistakes that every parent makes. Some parents start introducing solid foods even before the age of 4 months. It is essential to know that the right time to start feeding your infant is around six months, not before that and not after that. As mentioned, it can be risky for baby’s growth even if you wait for too long and start feeding between 7 to 9 months of age.
Do not rush, but do not wait as well. Waiting for too long can increase the risk of iron deficiency and can also slow down the growth and development skills of the baby. Therefore, it is essential to start at the right time (around six months of age) and monitor baby’s change in behavior. You may consult your doctor to get some advice for your child.
2. Missing out the important nutrients
According to researchers, the first five years are significant for the development of a child’s brain. And the first three years of life play a very critical role in shaping the child’s brain architecture. Therefore, it is crucial to understand that young infants also need a balanced diet to stay healthy.
Infant nutrition is critical as it provides them the energy, builds blood cells, and helps their brain in developing. Iron, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin D, and total fats are some of the essential nutrients which are vital for the growth of the baby. Skipping these nutrients can be harmful and could lead to slower growth and development of the baby.
Most parents make this mistake and overfeed their young ones. As a parent, it is essential for you to understand that your infant is transitioning from liquid to solid foods and it will take some time for them to adapt to that taste and learn about different flavors. Do not ignore their signs of satisfaction.
Babies know it well when they want to eat and how much they want to eat. Stop feeding them when they are shaking their heads and showing disinterest. Do not force your kid to complete the food in the jar or eat more. It can also lead to overeating.
4. Offering too much sugar
Just like adults, it is essential to monitor the amount of sugar in your baby’s diet. Overeating sugar can increase the risk of obesity as sugary treats are surprisingly high in calories. Therefore, it is essential to avoid the intake of too much sugar. Also, avoid added sugar before the age of 2 and reduce the risk of health issues later in life.
5. Not being careful about Infant Choking
Food is one of the most common causes of choking in infants and toddlers. It is essential for you to be extra cautious about infant choking. The baby’s teeth develop late. Therefore, you should avoid giving larger chunks of meats and food. Always cut the food into smaller pieces. Also, avoid providing saturated fats, honey, whole grapes, hot dogs, nuts, seeds, popcorn, and peanut butter to your babies. You should also avoid foods that can trigger or cause some allergy. Some of the allergy-causing foods are shellfish, egg whites, and peanuts. Avoid feeding them these foods and keep it safe for your baby.
6. Spoon-feeding for too-long
Spoon feeding for too long can also be one of the mistakes that you are making. It is because it will not make them understand when they are full or have eaten enough. Keep a check on your baby and see if he/she is ready to use a spoon. Hold their hand and teach them how to eat the food by themselves. Most babies don’t do it because they like their parents to do it for them. But it will be useful to start at an earlier age.
Starting solids in the right way can be difficult. Therefore, you should always check for signs from your baby. Keep the mistakes mentioned above in mind. Do not repeat these things and have some patience when starting baby on solid foods.
Haifa Aboobacker is a growth assistant at AirTract.Com, a social platform in which people ask any questions, get answers, write articles, share knowledge and experience. She is a communication engineering graduate but a digital marketing buff who is fascinated by the best SEO practices and content strategies. She loves to make friends and explore places, and she chooses reading in her time off.