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We know firsthand that parenting can be more complicated and messy than we might have initially thought, and with all the external and internal pressures we put on ourselves, navigating this space can be difficult. At Nestlé Baby & me, we strive to make a real difference by empowering parents everywhere to make the best decisions that are right for them by offering expert-based nutrition information, personalised tools, and parenting support across the first 1,000 days and beyond.
ArticleHow To Start Your Baby on Solids
Breastfeeding will continue to provide your baby with important nutrients up until 12 months and beyond. However, at around 6 months, they will need solid foods in addition to breast milk in order to meet additional energy and nutrient needs such as iron which your breast milk will no longer provide.
Introducing solid foods to your baby can be such an exciting time! If you’re thinking about starting baby on solids you might be wondering what signs of readiness might look like or exactly how to start on solids. Babies should be ready to start solid foods around 6 months of age, when they can sit upright when supported and have good head and neck control. You might also find that your baby has started becoming interested in the food you’re eating or is wanting more milk at the end of a feed. Once it’s time to start baby on their first taste of solids it’s important to take your time, have them in a safe feeding position (upright in a chair) and remember it’s all about the experience! Speak to your healthcare professional or a Dietitian who can help you decide whether your baby is ready.
When you're breastfeeding you need about 2000kJ of extra energy from food and drinks. It sounds like a lot, but your appetite will likely increase while you're breastfeeding and you'll be more thirsty too. A healthy balanced diet is essential at all times of your life, but with an extra little person to nourish, this is one of those times it’s more important. Try to eat a little more of each food group to get a wide variety of nutrients in! If you'd like to know more about breastfeeding, have a look at this article where we cover the basics of breastmilk, feeding and burping your baby, and how to keep up your energy while breastfeeding. If you’re struggling with breastfeeding reach out to your midwife, lactation consultant or another healthcare professional for help.
The short answer is yes… but we know it’s hard. When you start comparing yourself and your child to others, negative thoughts can creep in easily and make you feel bad about yourself as a parent. Don’t forget that what people show on social media is only a small and happy snapshot of their lives. You might find that talking to your support network will put it all into perspective, and you’ll have a few less doubts. It’s hard at times to be a confident parent, but you'll soon feel confident with a bit of practice and support.
From around 6 weeks of age your baby will start wanting some more stimulation and start looking at things around them more often. Letting your baby play with some age appropriate toys such as soft rattles, crackle sounding cloth toys, soft and smooth textured toys and your face (especially when you make funny expressions) is a great way to start! Everything is new to your baby and it will take some time for them to process everything around them. Try and take out one or two toys at a time so they don’t get over-stimulated and reduce the stimulation around 30 minutes before they’re due for their next nap. Once your baby reaches around 4 months old, you can start playing some fun games with them such a mirror, mirror and peekaboo.
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