when & how to transit from formula / breastmilk to solids.
When to start solids
Normally from the fifth month on until latest the end of the sixth month it is time for your baby’s first solid food.
When is the right moment to start? Your baby will show you. It will become interested in what you are eating. And it will start moving the mouth while it is watching you. It will be interested in touching a spoon and when you touch its cheek with a spoon it will open the mouth. All this can be signs that your baby is ready!
Take your time
When you decide to start you must never forget that it will take time. Your baby must get used to it and you, too. The first trial often ends in a dirty baby and a dirty mom. That is normal! The baby must experiment with its tongue, palate and its fingers. There will be more food on the table than in the mouth.
Until the baby eats enough to replace one meal you feed your baby by bottle or breast after the meal. You start with 1 or 2 spoons and the baby will increase the volume each day.
Food to start with
Normally in Germany you start with one (blended) vegetable like carrot or parsnip and you gradually add other vegetables, potatoes, rice, meat. It is advisable to introduce new foods individually and with intervals of several days. This way you can observe if you baby can digest the new food and your baby can get used to it.
If you have succeeded with one meal you can slowly start replacing the other meals (e.g. blended fruits in the afternoon, oatmeal, mash from any kind of cereal in the evenings, mornings…)
Some babies are gourmets. It is normal to try with a new flavor several times until a baby likes it. But please do not force your child. When the baby is full it will not open the mouth any more and it turns away.
If you try to give solid food and it does not work at all, it is no fault to stop and try some days later again. Perhaps your baby needs more time. Every baby is different!
Ready made baby food
Baby food can be bought ready made in jars in every supermarket / drugstore. You will also find a wide selection of cereals (to be cooked with water/milk) in the baby aisle.
Some babies simply do not like blended food/mash or want to eat what you eat – they will most likely start with soft solids.
There is so much more on this topic and every nation has a different approach.
So this is just a short overview how this is done in Germany. Please ask your paediatrician if you are unsure on how to proceed.
Dr. Christine Krämer & Kira Neumann
This blog post has been prepared with the greatest possible care and does not claim to be correct, complete or up-to-date.“
If you want to read about how our partner Mel did it - here is a report from her and her daughter : Living in Stuttgart