photo: Kona Gallagher via Flickr
8. Be prepared for a mess. It’s okay (and kind of fun) to let your child get messy with solids. Have your camera ready to capture the super cute moments. Your baby is exploring this new experience and will want to touch, smear and even spit out a few bites. Pro tip: Strip baby down to the diaper and put on a baby bib (here are some of our favorite bibs) before you start the meal.
9. Rejection is normal, and it’s okay. Your baby might spit out, gag and otherwise reject new foods several times before they accept them. That’s completely normal. It can take multiple attempts to get a baby to accept, or even try, a new food. Don’t give up, but don’t push too hard either. And if baby vomits or develops a rash after eating, check with your pediatrician before trying that food again. This could be a sign of a food allergy.
10. Try different textures. At around eight to to months, introduce foods with different textures, beyond the purees your baby is probably now used to eating. Watch your baby’s cues for readiness. Foods like soft pasta, yogurts and other steamed veggies and fruits are great to start with. Remember, your baby’s molars don’t come in until after 12 months, so avoid foods that are tough to chew. Looking for food inspiration? Try these easy vegetable recipes.
11. Avoid choking hazards. As you’re expanding the types of foods you feed your baby, be aware that some need to be cut up into very small pieces so your child won’t choke on them. These include hot dogs, grapes, chunks of meat or cheese, or raw vegetables. Avoid harder foods like seeds, nuts, popcorn or hard candies until your child is older.
12. Remember, every baby is different. Babies develop and learn skills at their own pace, so let that be your guide to when to introduce new foods. Use your well-child visits to talk to your baby’s healthcare provider about your approach, and of course feel free to reach out in between appointments with concerns.
featured image: Aline Ponce via Pixabay