During a four-or six-month checkup, you will probably like to ask your doctor, “when should I start solid food?” Perhaps one way to know when to begin giving your baby solid foods is when he starts “smooching.” Smooching is when he shows signs that he is interested, watches you eat. When his eyes follow your food as you move it from your plate to your mouth, when his hands reach out and grab my food and he is able to sit up in a high chair and join us at he table, then it’s time for the fun of solids to begin.
Experienced mothers have discovered a basic principle of introducing solids foods — feed babies according to their own developmental skills rather than a preset calendar or clock. babies’; appetites and feeding skills are as individual as their temperaments. Let’s feed them that way.
Over the years infant-feeding practices have changed — for the better. No longer do we feed babies according to the calendar, stuffing cereal into the reluctant six-week-old and feeling we have failed if baby has not taken a full-course meal by six months. Today, infant feeding involves matching good nutrition with individual developmental and intestinal readiness, which varies widely from baby to baby. Reading the feeding cues of your baby, introducing solid foods gradually, and encouraging self-feeding all lead to that important principle of baby feeding: creating a healthy feeding attitude.
You and your three-month-old are comfortably breastfeeding, and baby certainly seems to be getting enough to eat. Now comes the daily phone call from the family nutritionist — your mother. “What is he eating now, dear?” Silence. You’ve been caught! The jars of baby food that grandmother bought are still unopened. Baby has not seemed interested, and you do not feel he is ready. You smoothly change the subject, defending your choice not to enter the race for solids just ye. (When this confrontation happens just “Make your doctor the scapegoat. Tell grandmother that Dr. Bill advised you to wait a while longer.”