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          GOOD NEWS for all tired and weary mums and dads
          GOOD NEWS for anyone starting toilet training toddlers       
          In fact good news for ALL PARENTS ...

 When To Start Your Baby On Solid Foods

  Article brought to you by Baby Sleep Advisory,
  and Bedtime And Toilet Training Solutions.
  

  Much has been written on the subject of starting solid foods.  Your baby will be given a combination of breast or bottle milk with initial solid foods for many months before being fed solely on solids and drinks other than milk.

  Unless your baby is not feeding properly on breast milk or bottle formula, and not maintaining or gaining weight normally, you can start offering solid foods anytime between 4 and 12 months.

  Most professionals now agree that starting at about 6 months of age reduces the likelihood of allergic reactions.

  If weight gain is a problem, you may start earlier, under the guidance of your healthcare professional.  As always, if you are unsure, see your doctor, paediatrician or baby health nurse.

  another subject that has been over analysed is the tongue thrust reflux.  The basis is that the mouth and tongue movements needed for sucking are very different than those required for eating food.  This invariably means that in the few few attempts of giving a baby solids (really a slurry) will result in most of it coming out again with the help of the tongue.  Eating food is simply a learned art, and babies need to teach themselves how it is done.  Only few babies struggle with this skill.  If your baby is struggling, don't worry at all, just try again in a few days.

  What Foods Do I Start With?

  Most experts agree with this, the first solid foods to offer can include the following.  Note:  when we say solids, we mean a soft slurry of food given to the baby on a small spoon with no sharp edges.

  Note:  If your baby shows an adverse reaction, rash, etc from any new foods, stop immediately and get medical advice.

  - Rice Cereal:  It is the only cereal that does not contain wheat.  Wheat can cause problems in some babies.  Rice cereal can be mixed with breast milk, formula or water to form a first slurry meal.

  - Cooked apples, pears and ripe bananas:  in any combination, alone or with some rice cereal to thicken it a little is often a very healthy favourite.

  -  Full fat natural yoghurt;  a healthier alternative to baby custard, if your baby does not like natural yoghurt, try fruit yoghurt.  Some babies get a slight rash around the lips and or bottom from yoghurt.  If this happens, stop, and try again in a few months.

  -  Vegetables:  to start with try cooked pumpkin, potato, carrots blended into a puree, either alone or all together.  Once your baby is established on these, you can try other veggies such as zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower etc.

  Food you cook at home is almost always more economical and healthier than prepared jars of baby food.  Though the convenience and portability of the jars can't be overlooked.

  Either way, enjoy the process of introducing new foods to your baby.  The expressions on their faces of sheer delight, disgust and surprise make the first few meals fun for all.

 

      With thanks, and if I can help you in any way
    please let me know.

 

  Margaret Saunders
 

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