Get Ready for a Yummy Adventure: Tips to Start Weaning! Day 1: Get Ready for a Yummy Adventure

Get Ready for a Yummy Adventure: Tips to Start Weaning!

Ready for an exciting week of new adventures and memories with your baby? We certainly are!

We know you can’t wait to introduce your baby to solid foods. But hold your horses, here’s some food for thought (pun intended!). Your baby may just not be ready for solids.

Your 5-month-old baby's digestive system is still developing! Rather than giving them "dal ka paani" or "chawal ka paani" (which is often advised) at such a young age, it's best to stick to breast milk or formula as the primary source of nutrition.

Your baby's little body can only assimilate these at the moment, and anything else may displace their nutritional intake, causing weight stagnation at 5 months.

So what kind of skills do babies need in order to start enjoying solid foods?

Motor Skills in Toddlers

It’s best if babies have certain motor skills before they start solid foods. Here are some motor skills that you can help your 5-month baby develop before they start their solid food journey.

1. Good neck and head control

Your baby will probably be able to hold their head up when placed in a sitting position at around 4-5 months. Babies’ neck muscles and head control should be strong and steady by 6 months. This is crucial to prevent choking.

2. Sitting up

Your baby needs to be able to sit well and independently – at least for a couple of seconds – in order to be fed solids.

3. Reaching out and grabbing

Babies love looking into mirrors, but they don't understand until the age of 1 that the face they see is their own. Your baby's sense of depth is making it easier for them to grab toys (and your hair!). Reaching out shows that children are curious about things around them. It also improves hand-to-eye coordination – a very important aspect of allowing a baby to feed themselves.

4. Chewing

Chewing and mouth-feel are important aspects of your baby’s solid-food program. You can teach your baby to chew from as early as 4 months. Chewing is reflexive, but the reflex will fade before the baby is a year old.

We will explore each of these skills and how to help your baby develop them over the next few days this week. But meanwhile, you can start your baby off with some fun things. The aim is to get your baby curious and interested about food – through its textures, smells, and the overall activity of eating together.

Getting Babies Ready for Their Food Journey

Here are some fun ways to get babies used to the idea of “eating.”

1. Sit together at mealtimes

One great way to get them started is to have them sit with you during mealtimes. Even if they're not ready to eat yet, they can still be a part of the family mealtime by sitting on your lap or simply watching you eat. You can even give them a cup with breast milk or a little bit of formula in it, or some plastic toys that look like vegetables or other types of food.

2. Engage and involve them

Another idea is to give your baby breast milk or formula popsicles to suck on while everyone else is eating. This will keep them occupied and engaged while they're sitting with you

3. Curate food-related activities

You can also put cups, bowls, and spoons in front of them, so they can play with them and explore different textures.

These suggested activities can help babies become more comfortable with the idea of eating solid foods in the future. Just remember, every baby develops at their own pace, so be patient and have fun with your little one!

Tomorrow, we will explore how to help your baby to sit upright for smaller periods of time as well as some enjoyable tummy time activities.

Before we let you go, here’s a reminder: You are doing your best as a parent. It’s not easy juggling life’s many aspects with your new baby. And whether this is your first or second or third baby, just remember to take some time in the day and take five slow, deep breaths.

When things get overwhelming, we’re here to remind you: “You got this!”