Help! My Baby Won’t Eat Solid Foods
My three-year-old twin boys were “late” eating solids and talking. I remember everyone around me was freaking out but I kept calm and kept reminding myself that they will eat solids when they are ready. All we could do was keep offering until they wanted some but it is understandably a frustrating process at times. Here are some things to remember when it comes to introducing solids.
When To Introduce Solids
Babies should start eating solid foods, generally around four to six months, but you need to look for signs that they are ready. Here are three signs:
- they’re interested in foods (for example, they may watch others eat, reach for food, and open their mouths when food approaches)
- they have the oral motor skills needed to move food to the throat and swallow it
- they usually weigh twice their birth weight, or close to it
Eating Habits Vary
Stay away from online forums because you will drive yourself crazy. Just listen to your instinct, pay attention to your babies signals, and keep your pediatrician in the loop. And remember babies will eat solids when they are ready and that time will vary per child. Trust in the natural process and remember some kids are picky eaters from a young age and that’s ok.
Don’t Make It A Battleground
If you make the eating experience a negative one, it could take even longer for them to be interested in eating. If they see that you are frustrated, breathing heavy, or yelling every time they won’t take a spoonful of a solid, they will start to relate solids to your negative reaction. If frustration is starting to kick in then stop trying for a few days or even a few weeks to give you and the baby a break and take the pressure off.
Things To Try
Try introducing solids in a very subtle way. If they are still only drinking milk then start putting their milk in a bowl by itself and feed them some of their milk with a spoon. Then, once they get used to taking the milk off of a spoon, the next week put a little rice cereal to give it a little texture. If they end up liking the rice cereal then in a few weeks put little teeny chunks of banana. Another great thing to try is couscous. It can be prepared in no time and is great for adding a little texture. Another great next step after milk is fruit smoothies. Fruit smoothies with a little cereal added can be a yummy treat.
Managing The Mess
This is a very messy stage and you need to be prepared for that. If you can, buy one or two large waterproof mats to put underneath their high chairs to make cleaning up easy. The washable waterproof bibs will also come in handy and will prevent you from having to wash the cloth ones every five seconds.
The Final Step
If you have tried everything and your gut is telling you something is wrong then contact a specialist. Feeding issues can lead to weight loss and can sometimes be affiliated with a more serious issue but an occupational therapist will be able to determine what it is and lead you in the right direction to the kind of food therapy needed.