Feeding post! Again! This is one for the babes. I was inspired by a mommy friend that texted me five minutes ago (thanks Joni!). She has a two year old and a 4 month old. Her pediatrician just recommended she start giving her little man solids (purees), but the internet has contradicting information. She is right, there are quite a few recommendations regarding which age to start. But there isn’t a ton on the “why” of starting at these ages. Well, I am going to add more information to the internet. Do with it what you wish my friends.
*Disclaimer…I am a speech language pathologist that specializes in feeding. I am also a mom. I am not a doctor, so if your doctor says there is a reason you should wait with feeding your child – please listen to them. Okay, now back to work.
When do I think you should start giving your babe purees? I am a pusher for the early start. I started both my men sometime between 4 and 5 months. The earlier you start the more likely your child is to accept the new foods. Think of the last time you saw a 4 or 5 month old playing. They put so much weird stuff in their mouth. Let’s take advantage of this. Let them put food in their mouth.
Thinking of not starting solids until 12 months or older? Well…it’s your call Mama. But 1 year old kiddos have a lot of ideas. They think they know what they like and don’t like. Four and 5 month-old kiddos? They have no idea. They just want it in their mouth.
Should you start with cereal or purees? I don’t care. Really, I don’t. When you start at 4 months, it isn’t so much about the amount they take in or the nutritional value of it. You would not be replacing a bottle or breast feed, you are adding in additional feedings that involve food. This allows the child to be slowly and safely introduced to food without us freaking out that they are not getting enough to eat!
We want to help them understand new tastes and textures as well as teach them how to manipulate them. We can do this at a young age since we aren’t removing a feeding. Have you ever seen a baby take his first bite of real food? They blurp it right back out and maybe shiver. Did they hate it? No, absolutely not. They just had a moment of sensory overload. They also had no idea what to do with it. After a few feedings, you will notice your kiddo stops spitting and shivering (even though that little shiver is so freaking cute.) They are learning to move that puree to the back of their mouth and swallow. Giving your child hard munchables will also aid this developmental skill.
So there it is. My two cents on when and why to start purees. I will add more as we go. Like the “how” to introduce purees. Here is a little sneak peek: no spoons are involved. (gasp!) And don’t forget….introduced hard munchables at the same time you introduce purees! What are hard munchables? Read more here!