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An Expert Guide to Starting Solids to 6 month olds

Starting Solids is an Emotional Journey – AMA session on Infant Solids

4 minute read, Written By: Momly

Babies are emotional beings just like us. Starting solids send you on an emotional roller-coaster. Tuning into their emotions is the rule of the game which you need to be aware of so you and your baby are happy and you both achieve a win-win on this ride. And when we say emotions are a wirepuller, we mean it. Technicalities of solid starts come much later. Also, it is not necessary that within days of starting solids, babies will start sleeping nicely at night. Keep your expectations minimal and go with the flow because this solids journey, though looks similar in comparison to other babies, is dramatically different. You can decipher this more clearly by looking at yourself. We all have our preferences, likes, and dislikes. Similarly, the babies have their liking which over some time, you will get to know. Until then, keep trying and add different textures and colors to their plate.

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Key reasons to start food

  • Supplement and complement breastfeeding

  • Baby cues - reaching out/ grasping food

  • Mothers returning to work after maternity leave

  • Offer more nutrition in addition to Breastmilk

6 Months: An ideal time to start solids?

Babies have iron reserves in their bodies. That starts depleting after 6 months. Breastmilk does not have iron. That's why solids are introduced after 6 months. So that they get a continued supply of iron and other essential nutrients. That said, breastfeeding should not be stopped once solids are introduced.

Why breastfeed after 6 months?

Breastfeeding shouldn’t be stopped once you start solids. Weaning foods and supplementing solids will automatically reduce infant feeds over some time. Breastfeeding your baby is replete with a lot of benefits. For instance, it boosts cognition, language ability, and emotional IQ in your babies.

Start Solids the Baby way

There are different approaches to starting solids. Baby-led weaning or BLW is better as it allows them to explore foods on their own.

  • Playing with foods is fun - While starting foods, let the babies play with the food. Let them explore the food, tear off the roti, and mess up.

  • The way to the baby’s stomach is through eyes - Show the baby the food first, let them visually see the food and associate with the food, build interest by chopping the food in front of them, etc.

  • Eat from the family pot - Cook the same food for everyone as babies will like the oneness and feel that they are part of a family.

  • Food aversions to watch out for:

  • Introduce the food. If babies are not fond of some food, move on, and after some time reintroduce.

  • Keep comfort food as backup if they don't like the new food you are introducing.

  • Allow the babies to play with the food for a few days and it might induce an interest to eat.

Naming a few First foods in the Solids Index

  • Ragi with breastmilk as porridge

  • Rice porridge

  • Eggs can be introduced. Give small pieces first and check for reactions

  • Give mashed rice and dal instead of dal ka paani

  • Soaked raisins

  • Note: Use more textured foods than puree

FAQs related to Starting solids:

  • How many times should the 6-month-olds eat?

Begin with one food in the morning and one on the night. 3 to 5 spoons are ideal but go with your baby's appetite. Listen to their cues. Do not overfeed.

  • When can one introduce cow milk?

6 months is ideal. You can boil the cow milk before offering it to your baby.

  • What foods I should avoid for my baby when I am starting solids?

Whole nuts, whole grapes, and raw veggies – all these pose a major choking hazard. In addition to these, avoid giving packaged fruit juices. Instead, you can give steamed apples.

Momly offers a 1:1 consultation on infant solid starts. The expert guidance and tailor-made meal plans will ease you and give you a strong foothold in a solid start's journey. Book a consult with our solid starts expert today to avail early bird discount. To get a free printable solid starts meal planner, join our Momly Plus community.

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