How to know when your baby is ready to start solid food?
Are you wondering what are the signs to watch out for that indicate that your baby is ready to start taking solid food? Today you will know what are the 5 right signs and 3 wrong signs when your baby is ready to eat.
Introducing solid food to your baby:
Introducing your baby to solids is an exciting experience. But first let us know at what age the baby should start giving solid food. Statements from both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend that babies start solids around 6 months of age. Breast milk, or formula, or a combination of both, is necessary to meet the nutritional needs of the baby in the first 6 months.
There are some babies who are born prematurely. They may need reinforcement in addition to their milk diet. If so the child's healthcare provider or dietitian will provide the necessary guidance.
In addition to the age recommendation, there are 5 signs that indicate that a baby is developmentally ready to start taking solids safely. So what are the true signs that a baby is ready to start eating solid food? Let's know.
True Signs that baby is ready for solids:
First it is important that the child has good head control. The baby can hold his head up and is able to look up, down, right and left. Most babies have mastered this developmental milestone around 4 months.
Secondly, the child should no longer have the tongue thrust reflex. This is a natural reflex that causes the baby to automatically push out solid or foreign objects that touch or press on the tongue.
It helps prevent babies from inhaling or inhaling food into their airways or lungs before they are ready to eat solids. This reflex usually disappears between 5 and 6 months.
The third child reaches to grab things and bring them to the mouth quickly and accurately. Most babies begin to grasp objects with both hands around 4 months, and really improve their hand-eye coordination and accuracy by 6 months.
During this it will seem that the child puts everything in the mouth and gnaws on it. Over time, the baby will start chewing through the mouth.
Fourth, the child is able to sit upright on his own without any support. Most babies are only able to do this around 6 months. Finally the child needs to show interest in food.
Seeing you eat, the baby will not only be watching you carefully but will start grabbing your food and trying to get it in the mouth. When all of these are present, it is a sign that the baby is developmentally ready to start eating solids safely.
Fifth, all children develop at their own pace. Some babies will have several weeks to 6 months before all these signs of readiness appear, and it is best to wait. Especially those babies who were born prematurely, as their development lags behind that of a full-term baby.
For example, if your baby was born at 36 weeks gestation, it would mean that he was 4 weeks old. He may not be developmentally ready to start taking solids until about 7 months of chronological age, which would be his adjusted age of 6 months.
So what are the false signs that suggest your baby needs to start solid food? These are signs that some people think the baby needs to have more than just milk. But these signs do not accurately reflect a baby's readiness to start taking solids. Know them too.
False signals that the child can give:
The first and most common false sign is that the child is awake in the middle of the night. A lot of parents think that their 4-month-old is waking up in the middle of the night because they are hungry. By this age, if the baby is gaining weight properly, he should have enough reserves to go without any feeds for 8 to 12 hours.
Some parents start solids early or even put cereal in a baby's bottle, in hopes that it will help their baby sleep through the night. However, there is no evidence that giving solids before 6 months solves the problem of night waking. Children wake up in the middle of the night for all kinds of reasons.
Babies go through a change in the sleep cycle around this time. Also babies get used to a routine of waking up every several hours to feed. It has been established for them since they were newborns. The solution is that parents need to put some effort into bedtime training the baby to last longer between feedings.
Teething pain also usually starts bothering many babies around 3 to 4 months of age, and can keep the baby awake at night. Bottle-feeding baby cereal can increase the chances of your baby gagging or breathing the thick mixture into the lungs.
Another false sign that the baby is small. When children are young it is either because of their genetic makeup or because they need more nutrition. It's important to note that even after a baby starts eating solids, most nutrition and calories will continue to come from breast milk or formula for the first several months.
Initially solids are just supplements and give the baby an opportunity to learn to chew and swallow food and get exposed to new tastes and textures, not replace feedings.
Another false sign is that the child is older. Babies who are born large, or who grow up very quickly, do not need to start solids at first. They grow up either because of their genetic makeup or, in some cases, because they have more milk and calories than they actually need.
The idea that an older child needs food first dates back to the 1950s and 1960s, when it was mistakenly believed that once a child reached a certain weight, the child could begin to eat solid foods. is ready to do. A baby needs breast milk or formula milk in the first 6 months, no matter how small or big it is.
Some people here may have a question that, what is the big deal in this if you start giving solid food to your baby early?
It is important to know that giving solids before the baby is ready for development can lead to risks such as-
The risk of suffocating the food or breathing it into your airways or lungs. This is why it is important that your baby has good head control and is able to sit relatively unsupported on his own before starting solid food.
Another concern is that your baby's digestive system is not mature enough to start solid foods early. In addition, early introduction of solids prevents exclusively breastfed infants and their mothers from receiving the full benefits associated with 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding.
Also early introduction may be associated with an increased risk of overweight and obesity. Research shows that babies get all the nutrients from breast milk or formula by about 6 months.
Also Read -
- How to teach your baby to eat with a spoon and Fork?
- How to learn child to speak?
- How to start the process of introducing solid food to your baby?
- What can you do to prepare your baby to start solid foods?
- Are you wondering what you can do to help your child learn to walk?
In the end, it would be fair to say that before giving solid food to the child, it is important to understand the right signs given by the child. There are also some false signals which have been discussed, it is also necessary to know because haste can also lead to risk.