Make Introducing Solid Food To Your Baby Easier

parents feeding baby with spoon

Make Introducing Solid Food To Your Baby Easier

Starting your baby on solid is one of the most exciting (if messy) milestones of your baby’s first year. But it’s also extremely overwhelming. You’ve got the baby lead weaning approach, where you just give them pureed food only initially. And then you've got an approach where it kind of combines the two.

Here are 6 common mistakes that parents are make when they’re introducing solids to their baby, which will make mealtime so much harder than it needs to be.

Mistake#1. Giving up on food way too quickly

baby eating food

Parents often incorrectly assume that when a baby makes a face or pushes the food out with their tongue or gags on the food that they don't like the food. Now, your baby is going to do this when they first start to eat solids, or when they try new food or a number of reasons:  

Firstly, they have a tongue thrust reflex at six months of age, and this is activated whenever their lips or their tongue is touched. And what happens is their tongue automatically pushes whatever it is out of their mouth.

The second reason is babies have a really strong gag reflex compared to us as adults where our gag reflex is towards the back of our mouth. With babies it's towards the front and middle of their tongue. So when anything touches that, they are going to automatically gag. Over time their gag reflex will start to move back and they won't gag initially when they try food.

And lastly, babies will make funny faces when they have food for the first time or try a new piece of food. And that is because it tastes weird in their mouth. The texture might be funny and they are just exploring with the food.

Mistake#2. Try to limit the mess

Now, parents might do this by continuing to spoonfeed their baby for a long period of time, wiping the baby's mouth after every mouthful, reducing the food to food that isn't messy or not letting the baby play with the food.

toddler feeding

Now, this is a mistake because meal times are meant to be messy (while you could use the baby feeding bibs). The first steps to actually eating solids is learning to touch it with your hand and smell the food and interact with it. You won't really put any food in your mouth unless you have done those things. So your baby needs to have that opportunity too. So they need to be playing with the food and then accidentally putting in their mouth. If you want to kind of limit that mess use a baby paint smock during meal times and only wipe their mouth after the meal has finished.

Mistake#3  Start solids too early

baby start solid food

Parents often start solids too early because they think it is going to help their little ones sleep through the night or sleep better at nighttime. Now, this really isn't true. What parents will often notice is that their four month old baby or five month old baby starts to wake more regularly during the nighttime. And they assume that this is because they are hungry. What in fact they are noticing is their baby's sleep patterns have matured to reflect that of an adult. And what's happening is your little one is waking up in the nighttime to try and find that sleep association to help them fall back to sleep.

If that is the case, what you're wanting to do is work on their overall sleep hygiene, not increase solid because that isn't going to change their sleep at all. In fact, the World Health Organization recommends waiting until your baby is six months of age before starting solids. 

Mistake#4  Feed the baby separately to the family

The fourth mistake is they feed the baby separately to the family. They feed the baby first and then the whole family eat together afterwards. Now, this isn't ideal because your baby needs to see you eating food and watch how you actually swallow the food and interact with the food, because that tells them that it shouldn't be something to be scared of.

And they also learn what you're doing with your mouth and they watch you really intently. So what you want to do is just ensure that your baby is also eating their solids while the family is eating. 

Mistake#5  Put their baby in a high chair which is not giving them any postural support

baby sitting in the high chair

Unfortunately, all high chairs are simply too big. You will notice that when you put your baby in a high chair, they automatically fall to the side, which means it's going to be harder for them to actually swallow food. Their hands are up near their shoulders so it's going to be harder to interact and play with that food, and their feet are never supported.

It's like they're sitting on a bar stool all the time and their tummy muscles are going to become really, really tired and they're going to fatigue when they're sitting in that chair. It is really important that you provide your baby with a supportive highchair. Now, this means you are going to make adjustments to that highchair.

Mistake#6  Continue to feed their baby when the little one is satisfied

Some parents continue to feed their baby when the little one has clearly indicated that they have had enough and they are satisfied. Now, I know as parents, we’re often very aware if our little one hasn’t eaten enough off their plate. And we try to kind of sneak in a few more mouthfuls of food whenever the baby’s laughing or when their mouth is partially open, they just sip that spoon in and then the baby’s forced to ear more food.

Now, what you want to understand is when your baby is indication to you that they are satisfied. They might be shaking their head, they might be arching away, they might be uninterested in the food, or they might be keeping their mouth closed, you need to respect that and stop giving them food.

If you persist and make your baby eat more food, you are going to make them anxious about food. And when a baby is anxious, they are no longer hungry because it suppresses their appetite. Their own kind of hunger and that might cause weight problems in the future.

It’s important to remember that as a parent, it’s your role to give your baby food that is safe for them to eat, but it is your baby’s role to decide how much of that food they want to eat.

Hope you can understand what 6 common feeding mistake are and avoid them Besides, below are some awesome feeding time helpers so you can make introducing solid food to your baby so much easier.

Baby Long Sleeve Bibs - Unicorn
baby long sleeve bibs
Baby Long Sleeve Bibs - Dinosaur
baby bib
Baby Suction Bowl - Blue
baby bowl for first stage
Baby Suction Bowl - Purple
baby feeding bowl
2-in-1 Sippy Cups - Space Rocket
sippy cups
2-in-1 Sippy Cups - Dinosaur
sippy cups
2-in-1 Sippy Cups - Unicorn
sippy cups
Suction Spiner Toy for High Chair
spinner toy for baby toddler

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