Starting solids does not mean you have to stop breastfeeding or formula milk altogether. Completely stopping milk feed is not recommended in the initial days..
Normally, health practitioners recommend starting solids for your baby
between the ages of 4 to 6 months. You are visibly able to observe
some growth signs in your baby during this period, which shows that your baby
is ready for the solids intake.
These growth signs include that your baby would be able to sit up and
hold his/her head upright properly. Your baby will now able to look around and
observe the environment around. You start observing that your baby still keeps
craving for more food even after being fed sufficient milk (either breast milk
or formula milk).
Starting solids does not mean you have to stop breastfeeding or
feeding formula feeding.
Milk is good for the baby's health and you are not supposed to completely stop
giving it. Your baby needs little time to adjust to this change. However you
will have to schedule the milk feeding time. Try different schedules as per
baby's needs and comfort.
Milk would still remain main source of baby calorie intake until she
is 10 months old.
You can teach your baby about food and food manners. Make baby sit properly
beside you while you are having your meals. Soon they get to used to eating
acts and food textures.
When baby is around 9 months old he/she requires up to 22 to 30 ounces
of formula milk per day or for every 4-5 hours he/she will require breast feeding.
This requirement changes as baby becomes 12 months old. Now the baby needs
around sixteen to twenty five ounces of formula feeding and breast feeding
every five to six hours.
At the age of 5 months baby should be given food in puree form. You
should start with little amount to start with as baby is yet not ready to
intake and digest solids initially. Baby will slowly learn to eat and digest
it. Following are the types of food that most of the babies enjoy during this
phase and they are good for the baby’s health.
Baby needs more iron as the baby grows. So it is important that your
baby has sufficient iron intake. And cereal is a very good source of iron. Cereals
such as rice and wheat are full of iron. Therefore, cereals are really good
as your baby’s first food.
Cereals are available in a fine variety in grocery stores. Cereals can
be fed to your baby by mixing them with milk or water as per baby's
liking. Start will little amount. Then slowly, you can increase the
amount and thicken the texture if your baby gets used to it and learns to
swallow it well.
Vegetables and Fruits
It is good for the baby's health if you give her pureed
vegetables specially greens at this stage. As per health
practitioners, let your baby taste everything before she/he is one year old, as
they become very fussy after that and there are dangers of allergies too.
You can start with pureed strawberries or bananas and pureed
broccoli and beans as they are soft and easier to
digest. Try to avoid apples and carrots at this stage.
You can also give a taste of chicken, fish and beef or mutton.
Just give them in pureed form. You can also try mixing meat and vegetables and
puree them together. Especially, fish is supposed to be very healthy for baby.
It has lots of nutritional and health benefits. Be careful while giving meat to
However, meat should be well cooked and pureed properly otherwise it can
be dangerous for your baby. If you are not confident then it is good idea to
get pureed meat for babies from your nearby grocery store.
Try to avoid any chopped or ground food at this stage as the as your
baby is too small to be able to swallow or digest it. You can try these at next
Babies would not be able to eat any hard crackers or biscuits at this
stage so try not to feed it to them. Try to avoid any food that can cause any
chocking hazard for the baby such as Nuts, Popcorn, fruits with
hard seeds inside, or vegetables or fruits with hard skins.
Health practitioners would also warn you regarding botulism in babies.
And honey can cause it to your babies. So it's better to avoid honey at this
phase, as its too early for the baby. Lemons or any citrus fruits can be a bit too strong for your baby.
Babies can get allergic reactions or nappy rashes.
This is not the best time to replace breast
milk and formula with cow's milk. Cow's milk is not full of iron as are breast
and formula milk.
Health practitioners also suggest not to give sweets
such ascakes or chocolatesto babies until the baby is 2 years old as there
is a possibility of getting diabetes at later stage.
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