From the point of view of an Exclusive Breastfeeding Mum.
Exclusive Breastfeeding is hard work! One of the things that makes it a bit easier is the fact that there’s a finish line – 6 months. I’m a Breastfeeding Expert, but I’m also a Mum so I know how much I looked forward to the 6-month mark.
I started to dream of not having to breastfeed all the time. A baby would sleep longer since Dr. Google said babies start sleeping through the night at 6 months. In fact, I was ready with a baby blender, matching bowls and spoons to begin our journey into solids. I hate to break it to you Mamas, ‘it rarely happens this way’.
Here’s all you need to know about starting solids, the real gist:
There are certain signs to look out for when you want to start solids.
- Your baby should be around the age of 4 to 6 months
- He can sit up well without support
- He has lost the ‘tongue thrust’ reflex and he’s not pushing food out of his mouth. If he’s doing that, it means he’s not ready, not that he doesn’t like the food
- He shows interest when he sees you eat. He may reach out for your food or open his mouth to indicate interest
- He is developing his pincer grab where’s he’s able to hold something between his thumb and forefinger.
If your baby meets up with all of the above, he’s ready! That doesn’t mean he’s just going to accept everything you offer though. Here’s what you won’t find on Dr. Google:
- He may not accept any solids (heartbreaking I know). Just keep trying. With babies, persistence is key
- He may accept at first, and then not accept any more. Refer to the advice above.
- Breastfeeding habits don’t really change. It may take up to 9 months before you can drop any feed and fully replace with solids
- Solids in the first year are majorly for practice and fun. Your milk should still be the major source of nutrients and vitamins for a year.
There you have it. I hope you find this useful!