Too stressed about introducing your baby to solids?
A baby’s arrival brings in a sense of responsibility in the parents. They want nothing but the best for the baby. One of the milestones of a baby is introducing the baby to solid food
Our parents and even me raised our children mostly without the help of the Internet and without visiting the paediatrician multiple times. We mostly went by our instincts. I remember my mother telling me that she introduced solid food to us when I and my siblings were 4 months old. I also started with baby food and solids for my kids around 5 months of age. Now I see new moms advising against starting any solid to the baby before 6 months of age. Maybe times have changed, maybe baby foods are introduced later; I leave that to the parents’ discretion. But my experience says that new parents have become far more paranoid when it comes to introducing solids, introducing baby’s first food these days.
The most asked question by new moms is what food should be introduced to the baby first? What is the best baby cereal to start with? Are the baby foods available in market safe? What should be the food chart of a baby?
Most of the questions are generally answered by the paediatricians. Ideally dal water, rice water, rice cereal, mashed banana, etc. are introduced to the baby first. New moms should take it slow. Babies tend to reject solids but gradually develop the taste. Moms need to be patient!
The baby food should be made in small quantities first. Boil the dal and strain it and introduce that water to the baby. Mash the boiled rice properly. I used to add a pinch of ghee to the rice and gave it to my children. Mash the banana or papaya well and introduce in small amounts. Eventually, babies can be given khichdi, dal-rice, steamed and mashed vegetables.
The pediatrician gives a detailed baby food chart to the parents. Even online there are many good baby food chart options available now.
Many times moms ask whether packaged baby cereals are good for the infant and what are the best baby cereals to start with? I used to give Cerelac to my children. It had age-wise preparations. I had introduced rice Cerelac for my kids when I had started with solids. Nowadays there are a lot of other good baby food brands available. It’s totally the parents’ prerogative whether they want to give packaged cereals to their babies or not, but these come handy during travels or days when the mother is really tired! So, the parents need to keep all options and their minds open without getting too fussy. Leave the fussiness to the toddlers!
One piece of advice that I would like to give to the new parents is to take it easy and not get too worked up or paranoid. Parenting is an everyday learning process and the parents should go by their gut instinct. It is generally never wrong. Same is applicable when introducing solids to the babies. Don’t get too stuck up. Use your own judgment as you know your baby the best.