Lizzie O’Connor, the Mama Dietitian, gives us her advice on starting solids including how to know if your baby is ready to begin and the different methods of introducing solids. As a registered dietitian based out of North Carolina, Lizzie has worked at numerous hospitals providing nutritional services and now provides nutritional counselling and support to parents via her website.
As a parent herself, she is passionate about family nutrition, infant feeding and wants to help fellow parents feel confident when introducing and serving solids to their child. Here, she starts by telling us the main indicators that show a baby is ready to begin solids…
Starting solids can be an overwhelming time…but you got this mama!
The first step with starting solids is to make sure your baby is truly developmentally ready to begin. You can look out for these tell-tale signs that indicate that your little one is developmentally ready:
- Your child can sit with little or no support
- Your child has good head control
- Your child opens his or her mouth and leans forward when food is offered
When starting out, it is also important to make sure your baby is not overly tired or hungry at the start!
Leading by example is a great way to make your baby feel included. Sit them up at mealtimes when you’re eating so they can see what is going on and be part of it.
How should I feed my child?
The answer is what works best for you, your family and most importantly your baby. You can spoon feed, follow baby-led weaning or do a combination of the two methods.
Here are some advantages of spoon feeding
- More food more quickly – your baby can get their food as quickly as they want it if you go at their pace
- Less mess – it goes without saying that allowing your little one to only feed themselves can result in some very messy situations at the dinner table
- You’ll know exactly how much they’ve eaten – by creating your own mashes or purees you know exactly what is going into them and what nutrients and vitamins you’re giving your baby
And some advantages of BLW
- Baby eats with the family – babies are included in family mealtimes from the start, eating the same food and joining in the social time
- Fine motor skills – Feeding themselves allows babies to practice important aspects of their development at every mealtime. Using their fingers to get food to their mouths means they can practice hand-eye coordination; gripping foods of different sizes and textures several times a day improves their dexterity
- Different textures – They get used to different food textures from the beginning
Whichever method of starting solids you choose, it goes without saying that you’ll need a good bib to keep clothes clean underneath!
If you are about to start solids with your little one and worrying about the mess, why not take a look at our award-winning, full-coverage bibs? We’ve got your covered! Shop Now.