Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Wet To Mush: The Transition Period From Liquid Intake to First Foods

One Sassy Doctor (aka me, Dr. Jen!) loves Twitter. Over 30,000 tweepies follow me (which I think is pretty miraculous considering I can’t get my husband to listen to a full sentence I say most days). So, I decided to survey my followers on favorite first foods:

Let’s break it down:

When: Hold off as long as you can up until the age of six months. Believe me, you think your baby is asking for those sweet potatoes at four months of age. You think your baby is asking for bananas at five months of age. Your baby doesn’t know what a sweet potato or a banana is, let alone is he or she dreaming of sweet potato pie and banana bread. Some believe that babies sleep better once they start solid foods—I do not agree that this is a causal relationship. Others have been told that their babies have reflux and adding rice cereal to the bottle will help. I’d advise to listen to your pediatrician, but don’t go from rice to sweet potatoes early just because you’ve “started” solids. Start with a small meal of a few little spoonfuls after breast milk or bottle feeding.

Where: Choose a regular spot for feeding your baby when first starting solids. Make mealtime fun, but not distracting with television, cell phones, etc. Meal time should be a time for bonding, learning and family fun. Make sure your baby is safely and securely in a high chair designed for baby feeding. You may choose to use the Sassy Teething Feeder or First Solids Soft Tip Spoons.

What: Oh the possibilities! We started off more traditionally with our girls—rice cereal for a week and then sweet potatoes. For my boys, I snazzed it up and gave them avocadoes as a first food! And boy do I have two little guacamole loving preschoolers now! Pediatricians like me consider two points in recommending first foods: allergic potential and easy feeding/digestion. Rice cereal is easy to digest, has low potential for allergies and is easy to thicken up gradually. And, again, first foods do not have to be rice cereal! In fact, if I were to do it again (I’m not, despite the fact that I’d probably get a whole lot of Sassy baby toys), I’d go with the avocadoes or one of these options—making sure they are pureed, super-duper smooth and prepared with the utmost attention to cleanliness (or pre-prepared, remember realistic One Sassy Doctor talking here!). Also, introduce one food at a time. Wait 3-4 days before introducing a new one to assure there are no signs of allergy or intolerance.

We’ll get to the build-up in next week’s blog posting, From More Mush to Mostly Mush. (I bet you just can’t wait for it!)