Solid food items: How to get your newborn started

Solid food items are a big phase for a newborn. Obtain out when and how to make the changeover from breast milk or method to strong food items.

By Mayo Clinic Staff members

Giving your newborn his or her first taste of strong food items is a important milestone. This is what you want to know before your newborn usually takes that first chunk.

Is your newborn ready for strong food items?

Breast milk or method is the only food items your new child desires. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests special breast-feeding for the first 6 months just after start.

But by ages 4 months to 6 months, most babies are ready to get started taking in strong food items as a complement to breast-feeding or method-feeding. Throughout this time babies normally end working with their tongues to thrust food items out of their mouths and get started to build the coordination to move strong food items from the entrance of the mouth to the back for swallowing.

In addition to age, glance for other indicators that your newborn is ready for strong food items. For example:

  • Can your newborn hold his or her head in a continual, upright position?
  • Can your newborn sit with guidance?
  • Is your newborn mouthing his or her arms or toys?
  • Is your newborn demonstrating a wish for food items by leaning ahead and opening his or her mouth?

If you remedy indeed to these questions and your baby’s health care provider agrees, you can get started supplementing your baby’s liquid diet program.

What to serve when

Carry on feeding your newborn breast milk or method — up to 32 ounces a working day. Then:

  • Start out easy. Give one-component food items that consist of no sugar or salt. Hold out 3 to five days concerning each individual new food items to see if your newborn has a response, these kinds of as diarrhea, a rash or vomiting. Following introducing one-component food items, you can present them in mixture.
  • Critical nutrients. Iron and zinc are essential nutrients in the 2nd 50 % of your baby’s first 12 months. These nutrients are discovered in pureed meats and one-grain, iron-fortified cereal.
  • Baby cereal basic principles. Blend one tablespoon of a one-grain, iron-fortified newborn cereal with 4 tablespoons (sixty milliliters) of breast milk or method. Don’t serve it from a bottle. Alternatively, aid your newborn sit upright and present the cereal with a little spoon as soon as or twice a working day just after a bottle- or breast-feeding. Start out by serving 1 or two teaspoons. The moment your newborn receives the hang of swallowing runny cereal, blend it with much less liquid and progressively raise the serving measurements. Give a assortment of one-grain cereals these kinds of as rice, oatmeal or barley. Stay clear of feeding your newborn only rice cereal because of to possible exposure to arsenic.
  • Include vegetables and fruits. Slowly introduce one-component pureed vegetables and fruits that consist of no sugar or salt. Hold out 3 to five days concerning each individual new food items.
  • Give finely chopped finger food items. By ages eight months to ten months, most babies can take care of little parts of finely chopped finger food items, these kinds of as tender fruits, vegetables, pasta, cheese, very well-cooked meat, newborn crackers and dry cereal.

What if my newborn refuses his or her first feeding?

Infants generally reject their first servings of pureed food items due to the fact the taste and texture is new. If your newborn refuses the feeding, do not force it. Consider all over again in a 7 days. If the difficulty proceeds, discuss to your baby’s health care provider to make confident the resistance is just not a indication of a difficulty.

What about food items allergies?

It really is recommended that you give your newborn possibly allergenic food items when you introduce other complementary food items. Probably allergenic food items include things like:

  • Peanuts and tree nuts
  • Egg
  • Cow milk products and solutions
  • Wheat
  • Crustacean shellfish
  • Fish
  • Soy

There is no proof that delaying the introduction of these food items can aid avert food items allergies. In actuality, early introduction of food items made up of peanuts could decrease the hazard that your newborn will build a food items allergy to peanuts.

Nonetheless, primarily if any close relatives have a food items allergy, give your little one his or her first taste of a very allergenic food items at home — somewhat than at a cafe — with an oral antihistamine available. If there is no response, the food items can be released in progressively expanding amounts.

Is juice Okay?

Don’t give juice to your newborn until just after age one. Juice is just not a essential aspect of a baby’s diet program, and it truly is not as useful as entire fruit. Also a great deal juice could lead to weight problems and diarrhea. Sipping juice in the course of the working day can direct to tooth decay.

If you present juice to your newborn, make confident it truly is one hundred% fruit juice and limit it to 4 ounces a working day.

Know what is actually off-limits

Specific food items aren’t acceptable for babies. Consider these recommendations:

  • Don’t present cow’s milk or honey before age one. Cow’s milk does not satisfy an infant’s nutritional desires — it is just not a excellent supply of iron — and can raise the hazard of iron deficiency. Honey could consist of spores that can cause a severe disease regarded as toddler botulism.
  • Don’t present food items that can cause your newborn to choke. As your newborn progresses in taking in strong food items, do not present incredibly hot pet dogs, chunks of meat or cheese, grapes, raw vegetables, or fruit chunks, unless they’re reduce up into little items. Also, do not present challenging food items, these kinds of as seeds, nuts, popcorn and challenging candy that won’t be able to be altered to make them secure options. Other higher-hazard food items include things like peanut butter and marshmallows. To introduce nuts and avert choking, unfold peanut butter in a slender layer or puree peanut butter or peanuts with fruits or vegetables.

Planning newborn food items at home

An additional reason to steer clear of offering your newborn strong food items before age 4 months is the hazard involved with specific home-well prepared food items. A newborn more youthful than age 4 months should not be supplied home-well prepared spinach, beets, carrots, inexperienced beans or squash. These food items could consist of ample nitrates to cause the blood dysfunction methemoglobinemia.

Make meals workable

Throughout feedings, discuss to your newborn and aid him or her by means of the method. To make mealtime pleasant:

  • Remain seated. As quickly as your newborn can sit simply with out guidance, use a highchair with a wide, steady foundation. Buckle the safety straps.
  • Encourage exploration. Your newborn is probably to play with his or her food items. Make confident that finger food items are tender, quick to swallow and damaged down into little items.
  • Introduce utensils. Give your newborn a spoon to hold when you feed him or her with a further spoon. As your baby’s dexterity increases, encourage your newborn to use a spoon.
  • Give a cup. Feeding your newborn breast milk or method from a cup at mealtimes can aid pave the way for weaning from a bottle. Around age 9 months, your newborn could be able to consume from a cup on his or her very own.
  • Dish specific servings. If you feed your newborn immediately from a jar or container, saliva on the spoon can speedily spoil leftovers. Alternatively, spot servings in a dish. Opened jars of newborn food items can be safely refrigerated for two to 3 days.
  • Stay clear of electrical power struggles. If your newborn turns away from a new food items, do not thrust. Merely consider all over again a further time. Recurring exposure can build assortment in your baby’s diet program.
  • Know when to phone it quits. When your newborn has had ample to consume, he or she could cry or switch away. Don’t force additional bites. As long as your baby’s expansion is on target, he or she is probably acquiring ample to consume. Also, do not consider to get your newborn to consume as a great deal as possible at bedtime to get him or her to sleep by means of the night. There is certainly no proof that this is effective.

Delight in your baby’s sloppy tray, gooey arms and sticky experience. You might be building the basis for a life time of wholesome taking in.