My little sharkie is ready for solids.
He’s getting so…grown! He’s started behaving more hungrily, needing more at feedings, wanting to feed more often, and is now waking up an extra time at night looking for food. My family has been telling me to give him food since like….oh the day he was born…(damn Jamaicans)…but I’ve resisted. I wanted to wait until he seemed ready.
How do we know he’s ready?
Cues to look for include:
- Head control. Your baby needs to be able to keep his head in a steady, upright position.
- Losing the “extrusion reflex.” To keep solid food in his mouth and then swallow it, your baby needs to stop using his tongue to push food out of his mouth
- Sitting well when supported. Even if he’s not quite ready for a highchair, your baby needs to be able to sit upright to swallow well.
- Chewing motions. Your baby’s mouth and tongue develop in sync with his digestive system. To start solids, he should be able to move food to the back of his mouth and swallow. As he learns to swallow efficiently, you may notice less drooling – though if your baby’s teething, you might still see a lot of drool.
- Significant weight gain. Most babies are ready to eat solids when they’ve doubled their birth weight (or weigh about 15 pounds) and are at least 4 months old.
- Growing appetite. He seems hungry – even with eight to ten feedings of breast milk or formula a day.
- Curiosity about what you’re eating. Your baby may begin eyeing your bowl of rice or reaching for a forkful of fettuccine as it travels from your plate to your mouth.
Sharkie’s got great head control, his “extrusion reflex” is almost gone, he sits well, he can chew, he’s a chunker, he seems hungry and is definitely into what everyone around him is eating.
We’ve started him on cereal mixed with expressed breastmilk or formula and he loves it! The first time we tried he pushed it all out of his mouth and looked at us like we were crazy. We waited a week or so and tried again and he really dug it. He was kicking his legs, and smiling and getting all excited. He would fuss a lil and lean forward if I was too slow getting the spoon to him and he had his mouth wide open like a little baby bird. (sidebar: did you ever see that video of alicia silverstone chewing food and spitting it in her son’s mouth like a baby bird? GAG!)
Anyway, since then I’ve been excited to try other foods with Sharkie, but I know I have to take it slow. We’re waiting 4 days between trying new items so we have time to check for any adverse allergic reactions. I think he’s going to be a good eater. I hope he’s not like John and I. John refused to eat meat throughout his childhood, and I went on hunger strikes on a nightly basis. We both got over that foolishness around age 11 or 12 though.
We’re starting him with organic peas first, and we’ll add carrots or another veggie, and then give him something sweet like apples. I don’t know where, but I read somewhere to try to start with items lower on the glycemic index and then move upwards. I forge the reasoning behind this, but I think it said something about making the baby a better eater, and not being a sugar-a-holic….don’t quote me. I forget.
When did your baby start solids? What was the first foods?
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