STOP! Solids time! It's super exciting when your baby reaches the age where it's time to start real food.
It can be a little daunting however, especially after months where milk was your bubs primary source of nutrition. It's important to remember that breastmilk and/or formula provide all the nutrients your baby needs for the first 6 months of life so don't stress if your little one isn't all that keen on food to start with.
Starting solids is as much about exploring new textures and tastes as it is about actually eating food. It's messy, sticky and lots of fun.
When to start?
The right time to start introducing solids can be a controversial issue. The World Health Organisation and National Health and Medical Research Council at around 6 months of age. It's generally recommended that you look for signs of readiness as opposed to just basing your decision on age.
According to Raising Children Network, a baby who is ready to start eating will:
- Have good head and neck control and sit upright when supported
- Show an interest in food – for example, by looking at what’s on your plate
- Reach out for your food
Your baby will also no longer have the 'tongue thrust' reflex where they instinctively push things in their mouth back out again. All bubs are different and some may show signs a little before 6 months while others may not be interested till after.
Baby Led Weaning
Baby Led Weaning (BLW) is a popular way to start introducing solid food to your little one. Unlike traditional foods like puree and mashes, BLW is all about family and whole foods and lets your baby set the pace and freely choose what they'd like to eat. There is no purees or spoon feeding involved and your bub can enjoy the same foods as the rest of the family (within reason).
But what if they choke?
Gagging and choking is probably the number one fear for parents when they start to introduce solids or try BLW. Regardless of the way you choose to introduce solids, you can usually expect some gagging as your bub gets used to the texture of food (which is VERY different to milk!).
This is one of the reasons we LOVE the Haakaa Fresh Food Teething Feeder. This nifty little silicone feeder takes the guesswork (and fear) out of baby led weaning and introducing solids.
The Haakaa Fresh Food Teething Feeder & Cover Set is the perfect way to introduce solids into your baby's diet without the risk of choking. Simply put fruit, vegetables or meat into the silicone pouch and seal tight. Or you could cover with the new attachment - silicone pouch cover, and put some liquid, such as milk and juice to make some cold, delicious ice pops on the hot summer day!
Your child will enjoy the ability to experience the flavour and texture of solid foods while also building independence, learning to self-feed, improve hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
The other big plus? Being made from 100% food grade silicone means that the fresh food teether is a snap to keep clean, unlike some of its mesh based counterparts. And if you've ever tried to remove roasted sweet potato from those tiny mesh holes then you'll know that that's a BIG DEAL. Simply wash in warm soapy water or pop in the dishwasher. Easy peasy.
But what really makes this feeder different from the rest is that it is also a teether! Simply turn your feeder upside down and your child is able to chew and suck on a 100% food-grade silicone teether – keeping your child entertained even longer.
Here's what some of our Milkbar mums have had to say about the Haakaa Fresh Food Feeding Teether:
"This product is fantastic! Since we purchased, our bub has been using it several times a day. We are not at the solids stage yet but she is loving frozen breast milk in this as she has tender gums and loves to have a good munch! It’s super easy to clean/sterilise and is smaller than I first thought which makes it light and easy for bub to hold and navigate to her mouth. We love it!!" Amelia
Absolutely amazing AGAIN
"We love it, easy to assemble, dissemble & clean. We love that it’s soft and bendable unlike its counterparts. The chewable handles is also a great addition. Another quality product!" Elise
Perfect for starting solids!
"Absolutely love it! Easy to use and clean! I bought 3! One for my nappy bag, one for home and one for my sister in law! Highly recommend!" Kiara