Making the transition from breast milk or formula to solid foods is a massive step for both you and your baby. Consider it a milestone!
How do you know when to begin? Once your little one is around 6 months of age, they might start showing signs of being ready to take the first bite. You may find your baby is often still hungry after breastfeeding, or better yet, takes an interest in what you're eating. They should also be able to sit up without support and hold their head steady. If you are at all unsure, there is no need to rush, all babies develop at a different rate, and it's best not to introduce solids to your little one before they are ready. Starting solids can be a daunting task, so make sure to go at your own pace.
There are no strict rules with where to begin, but simple foods that are high in nutrients (particularly iron and zinc) are an excellent place to start. Anything puréed will work wonders: legumes, fruit, vegetables, rice, or meats.
Vegetables are always a no-fuss place to start—simply steam and blend until they are a nice smooth runny texture. Initially, you should only offer your baby 1-2 luke-warm or cold teaspoons, and gradually build up, gauging their hunger as you go.
Babies are notoriously messy eaters—we haven't met one that doesn't live up to this expectation! A good bib is a lifesaver when it comes to feeding. Sleeved bibs are practical as well as being perfect for painting and water play. Alternatively, our super-soft Mister Fly bibs are modern and stylish. If you are after an easy-care option, the bibs from Make My Day are made from BPA free, food-grade silicone, so cleaning up is a breeze.
Introducing solids is one of the most enjoyable times you can have with your baby. You can experiment with different colours, flavours, and textures, this is not only exciting and engaging for your little one but fun for you too! To make mealtime easier, ensure you have plenty of baby spoons at the ready (you're bound to end up with several on the floor!) and some non-breakable crockery such as silicone or melamine bowls and plates.
Once your baby reaches approximately 11 months, they may start to try feeding themselves. Dishes and bowls that suction onto your high chair can help to avoid food and plates flying everywhere. At around 15 - 16 months, it may be time to give your baby their own spoon to eat with. It will be a messy ordeal, but embrace it! There's no point trying to make the process overly clean and tidy—you can count on finding food in odd places—however, placing a plastic sheet or something similar under the high chair to catch crumbs and mess will go a long way.