Don't Stress, It's Normal

Sometimes, that day you’ve eagerly awaited for -- your baby’s first solid food experience -- doesn’t turn out to be all that much fun. Even worse, he continues to reject solids. Should you worry?

Baby eating solids

When my oldest was a baby, my pediatrician said that I could start him on baby cereal at three months of age. Before he was sitting up, before he showed even a passing interest in food … looking back now, it seems crazy and dangerous. I waited, but only until he was 4 months old, which now still seems too early. He loved food from the get-go, so I followed his lead.

Rejection?

Many babies, however, don’t seem to care one bit when their parents let them try food for the first time -- or they downright hate it. Some of them make incredibly funny faces that make terrific home videos, but they eventually come around and go on to love it.

But outright rejection definitely happens. And the good news? Babies really don’t need outside nutrition, aside from breast milk or formula, until they are over 12 months of age. All of your baby’s nutritional needs are met with the same food she’s had since birth, and it remains her primary source of nutrition until she enters her second year.

Delaying is an option

You don’t have to start solids at 6 months, even if your pediatrician says you can. Some babies are fine to wait until they are 8 or 9 months old, or even a bit older. You can test out some food every now and then to see if she goes for it, but if not, wait until a week or so has gone by.

Change up the texture

Some babies just don’t care for the texture of jarred or home-pureed baby food. It is pretty unappetizing, when you think about it -- squished peas wouldn’t make you very happy if someone plopped some on your dinner plate.

If you have a reluctant solid eater, you might consider baby-led weaning -- give her a chunk of banana or slice of avocado and watch her go to town. You’ll likely notice that most of the food will wind up on her hair, her face, the tray or the floor -- and very little will be ingested.

Babies are tactile creatures and she’ll need to learn to eat -- and baby-led weaning is a great way to teach her. She’ll likely lick the food and squish it with her hands before she attempts to take an actual bite, but she’ll be doing it on her own schedule, which is just fine.

So don't worry if your little one hates solid foods -- and remember the old adage, "Before one, food is for fun."

More on baby food

3 Steps to healthy homemade baby food
Organic baby food options
Making baby food at home

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