As you probably know, experts recommend that babies are given breast milk or formula on demand for at least the first 6 months, but that doesn’t mean that is all they can have! Starting around the 4 - 6 month mark, you can start to slowly introduce solids. Here are some general timeframes for starting solids.
If your baby has started showing signs of teething and you think they may be getting close to being ready for solids, you can start them off a little early with frozen breast milk or formula in the Forage Feeder! This is a great way to give your baby a head start on the motor skills needed for self-feeding and helps provide them with those much needed nutrients. The frozen feeder is also an all natural way to soothe teething pain as those first teeth start to emerge.
Once they are ready for those first bites, known as “complementary foods” because it is secondary to the breast milk or formula, remember that this is a learning period and should be taken slowly! Eating is a new skill your baby needs time to learn. From the beginning, it is important to offer a variety of healthy, whole foods and some great options to start off with are soft foods like purees, mashed foods, banana, or avocado. Remember to introduce new foods one at a time and wait a few days to make sure your child doesn’t have a food sensitivity before moving on to the next food. Breast milk or formula will remain their main source of calories at this time.
If you are nervous about these first bites, the Forage Feeder is a safe and fun way to introduce foods. The holes in the silicone nipple only allow small bits of food to pass through, allowing your baby to try all kinds of new foods without the worry of choking!
Breast milk and formula will still be the main source of calories during these months, but you can start introducing a wider variety of foods and textures. Make sure to offer a balance of fresh whole foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins. Your baby will likely become more interested in playing with their food and this is totally normal! During these months, you can start combining foods they have already tried by themselves to create a fun mix of flavors and textures! You can also start introducing proteins like meat or tofu, but make sure it is mashed and in small quantities.
Using the Forage Feeder during these months is a great way to introduce new foods or it can be filled with frozen breast milk or formula to soothe sore gums while teething, which makes trying new foods more comfortable and fun!
At this point your baby is probably a pro at trying new foods! Within these months, you will want to shoot for around a 50/50 food to breast milk or formula ratio. This is a great time to start introducing finger foods that offer even more textures and flavors. Continue combining foods that have already been introduced and remember to offer new food items every week!
Each baby is different and these timelines will vary based on your child’s unique food journey. The most important thing is that the experience is healthy and fun for you and your baby!