When To Start Giving Cereals To Babies?
We often find new mothers and first-time mothers boggle over starting solid food for their babies. Experts say that it is only after the 4th month of the baby’s birth; it craves for solids and feels what it is like being hungry. It is the right time to introduce them to the solid foods. During the first few months, a baby only knows how to suck milk through nipples, which is something that comes naturally to them. They can either be fed on breast milk from the lactating mother or formula milk as prescribed by the doctors in case the breast milk is not enough or it is not there. It happens sometimes that the mothers are weak to not have enough milk to feed their babies. Some mothers cannot lactate at all.
Starting with cereals is another big task as you do not know what taste the baby accepts. Since it is their first experience with food, one needs to ensure that the food tried is tasted and not too harsh on the baby. It should not be too sour or too sweet but it should rather be neutral in taste to avoid any kind of discomfort to them. It should also be a semi-solid or easily soluble solid that does not choke the baby.
Whatever we choose to feed our baby with should be rich in iron and other nutrients as prescribed by the practitioner. Babies also react differently to different types of foods. Some babies like or get accustomed to same food at a same time while others like different foods at different times. This also adds to some confusion regarding what and how to feed them appropriately.
Many a times a first time mother stays stranded because the baby has not accepted the given food after a good series of the same food since days.This happens as babies also do not like repetition in their meals like we normal humans do. This is a sign of them developing a taste. Also, it is necessary to make them learn and unlearn eating habits soon to ensure that they have their share of taste across all types of foods.
Usual meals for babies in their 4th-6th month includes bananas, pureed apples, or mashed papayas etc. Apart from these a lot of cereals are available in the markets that are mixed with water or formula milk for direct consumption. These foods are prepared with water so that they can be diluted to right consistency so that the babies do not choke on it.
When we introduce cereals to babies, their bowel movements also change. They become more solid and change in color. There is also a stronger odor in their poops which is all normal and happens with every kid. The eating habits however, differ among kids and cannot be taken to be plain and straight forward all the time. Babies change their eating preferences and we ought to match them with different experimental foods with right nutrients for them.
Since breast milk and formula milk will always remain the main food for the babies until they are one year old, one should be careful in choosing the remaining diet for the kids keeping all nutrients in mind. It is necessary to introduce solids in tandem to the baby’s development and in consultation with the doctors to have it done at the right time.
Hope you find the info appropriate and helpful!
When did you start giving cereals to kids?
You might also like to read:-