Debating whether to start your baby on solid foods before 6 months of age? Hearing conflicting advice??
I’ve got a whole other perspective for you.
Personally, I’m not sure what the rush is. Life is easier before solids. There’s no cooking, pureeing, defrosting, warming up, mixing food. No anxiety over food allergies and whether that bum rash is from the carrots or not. No daily wipe of the floors, highchair, other chairs, the walls, the underside of your table (oh the places purees can go!). You can come and go as you please with your baby in tow (this is starting to sound like a Dr. Seuss book…) I used to always say “Got the baby? Check. Got the diapers? Check. Got my breasts? Check.” Easy.
Remember that when your baby seems hungry or going through a growth spurt, your breastmilk is actually much more nutrient-dense than any solid food. Just follow your baby’s cues and let her breastfeed – things will settle down in a few days as your supply naturally meets her demands. As for hoping that starting solids early will help your little one sleep better at night, keep in mind there is no research to support this, and since digesting solids can be hard on young tummies, it may actually cause more sleep troubles.
BUT!! Before you declare that you are never going to start solids, can I offer you some fun reasons to start? Once your baby is ready – research shows that’s usually around 6 months – let solids be a fun and relaxing way for your baby to learn about different textures, tastes, and smells. I loved watching my daughter’s reactions to new foods and all the interesting ways she managed to experiment with food. Almost from the get-go my little pumpkin preferred to self-feed and boy did she ever love ripe avocado pieces. She’d get covered in her very own do-it-yourself avocado facial mask, sporting the proudest smile her 7 month old face can manage. Yes, it’s a terrible mess, but the plus side is you get really good at removing food stains from clothes!
Your baby is growing up so fast – I know it might not seem so fast right now, but looking back it zips right by. Each new stage means that some things do get easier but they also bring new challenges, just to keep us on our toes 😉
What did you enjoy most about introducing solids to your baby? We’d love to hear! To connect with us you can:
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For parenting information or to speak with a public health nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.
The most entertaining faces were made by my then-7-month-old daughter trying her first taste of dill pickle! It was too big to go all the way in her mouth, but the perfect size to clutch in her little fist. She sucked on the pickle for a second, made a hilarious puckery face, and then went back for more!