Feeding Tips for Baby

Introducing your baby to solid foods is an exciting time! It can also be filled with some uncertainties in when to start, what to offer, and tools needed - that is where this guide will help!
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that the introduction of complementary foods be delayed until the infant is at least four months old; prior to this point, babies should be exclusively breast or formula fed. Some doctors recommend waiting until 6 months to introduce solid foods and all will agree to wait to introduce food once your baby is able to sit with support and has good head and neck control. Visit with your doctor to assess your babies growth and discuss when best to begin.

Once you have decided to start, here are 5 tips to help you make this experience fun and easy:

High chair  //  Bibs  //  Bowls
Spoons  // Cup
Pouches  //  Bibs  //  Booster

1.  Be prepared - this is one of the most fun parts (aside from the main event!).

  • High Chairs - there are so many options! Initially, sitting in a high chair may be a little difficult. We used the Bumbo chair for the kids' first couple feedings. It was a little easier for their little bodies :)  We then soon switched to the Stokke high chair. We love this high chair and felt it was worth the splurge as we have used it with three kids. One of the nice options with this chair is the removable tray - once each child was a little older, we removed the tray and scooted the chair up to the table. I am also a fan of high chairs with minimal fabric - or if they do have fabric, you are able to remove easily for washing...boy do they get gross! Another favorite chair is the Boon Flair high chair. If you are looking to save space, a high chair that sits on top of a chair like this Peg Perego may be a good option for you.
  • Spoons - You may choose to pull out that family heirloom spoon for your first feeding photo-op, but after that you should have a small spoon that is easy on the gums. I am a fan of these Gerber spoons in the beginning and feel that their size is perfect. They are small and plastic coated, making it soft if baby decides to chomp down on the spoon (which they will). After the baby becomes a better eater and is ready for larger bites of food, I switched to these larger Gerber spoons - I love that these have the rest-easy ledge on the bottom. 
  • Bibs - There are so many options out there for bibs. When it came to bibs, I have one rule:  cotton bibs are for drooling and plastic bibs are for feeding. Plastic bibs are so much easier much easier to wipe down after a feeding. I use two types of bibs...the Bumpkins Waterproof and the Waterproof Silicone bibs. The Bumpkins bibs are lightweight and soft and can be thrown in the washing machine. The Silicone bibs I tend to use a little more because they have the nice pocket that the kids can grab crumbs from and, bonus, I can thrown them in the dishwasher!
  • Food storage - whether you buy or make your food, you will at some point need to store or tote your baby food. My absolute favorite for storing food is the Gerber Graduate Bowls. They are a great size and you can't beat the price. I also use them for my bedtime yogurt snack - again, perfect size ;) There will be times you want to pack some food to take with you - and while packaged baby food is great for this (below), there are times you may just want to pack some applesauce, homemade food or small snacks to bring along. These Take-and-Toss containers are great - I promise you that you will at some point leave one behind - and no tears lost, bc they are so cheap! I am also a huge fan of these re-usable food pouches. They are perfect for home made food as well as smoothies and snacks for the older kids!
  • Cups - I would start to introduce sippy cups around 6 months - with small amounts of water. I think a lot of people tend to continue to use the same brand of sippy cups for babies as they did for bottles. I really think that all of my friends have all used different brands. I have always used the Playtex Sipsters and found them very easy for the babies to use. My sister left one of her Munchin Latch cups and I did end up using it quite a bit when Harper was learning to use a sippy.

2. Time it right and don't push it - Your baby is not going to be interested in food in the late evening hours when he is overtired and cranky. Try offering food at a time when your baby is happy and awake. Also, don't feed immediately following a feeding when their stomach is full. Start with one meal per day. Remember that in the beginning, it is about introducing them to foods and gaining experience. The actual quantity of food baby eats in the beginning is not as important as long as breast or bottle feeding is continued. Slowly add meals as it baby gains familiarity with eating and soon your baby will be ready to eat three meals per day.

3. Make vs buy - I was about 50/50 on make/buy the babies' food. Making is super easy - I will post in the near future some recipes and tips on making baby food. There are so many things to stress and worry about as a parent; don't let the make vs buy decision add to that stress. Whatever works easiest for you and your family. I would set aside one Saturday morning a month to make a giant batch of baby food. I would also stock up on pre-made baby food to be able to send to daycare, bring out to dinner or to grandparents. There are so many healthy and/or organic options available - the actual food you offer them will be more important than whether you made it or bought it. By the end of the first year, most of your baby's nutrition will come from food, so it is not too early to start thinking about nutrition and healthy eating. I started all of the babies with green vegetables (spinach, green beans, and peas). My reasoning for introducing vegetables was they are relatively bland and I did not want to introduce fruits, in case they became used to the sweet flavor and rejected the vegetables later. When preparing all of my baby foods, I added as little water as possible to puree them. You can always thin the foods with breastmilk or formula after thawing. On the flip side, you can always add a small amount of cereal to food that is too thin. Initially, your baby will require pretty thin food (think tomato soup consistency) and you can begin thickening it relatively quickly once you feel they are getting the hang of eating the food (rather than thrusting out with their tongue).  I could go on and on with this section and promise to write a detailed post on making baby food in the near future!

4. Foods to avoid - There are some foods that are recommended you avoid the first year: honey (risk for botulism),  citrus (the acid may upset stomach), and cow's milk (in place of breastmilk/formula). This list used to include peanuts and nuts among many other foods that tend to be allergenic. In 2012, the AAP updated their recommendations and no longer recommend with holding highly allergenic foods such as fish, eggs, peanuts and foods with milk ingredients. There is not sufficient evidence to support the with holding of these foods, so feel free to try. Of course, if you notice your baby seems to have any sort of reaction to these foods, you will want to report this to your doctor. There are foods that may be upsetting to babies stomachs in the beginning such as broccoli, cauliflower or beans (think gas). Don't be surprised or discouraged if your baby seems to not like a particular food. It is normal for babies to have periods where they prefer one food over another. Continue to offer a variety of foods.

5. Set meal times and eat together - This is something I really encourage you to start as soon as your baby is eating at a semi-normal meal time. Family meal time is one of the most important times of the day for babies' and kids' emotional well being. There are numerous studies supporting the benefit of a family meal. You will be surprised how young your baby will begin observing your physical activity of eating and want to mimic this. It also gets you in the habit early on of establishing this family meal time. It is a time where all distractions are put away (no TV or phones) and your baby is able to observe your family talking and enjoying each other's company. It won't be too long before they are joining in! Harper has already assumed the role of family comedian during dinner and loves to throw her head back laughing just to get a rise out of all of us ;)

Enjoy this fun milestone of your baby and take lots of pics!

I will post again soon with some tips on making baby food as well as some tips for Toddler Feeding!

XO, Brooke


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Hello, I am Brooke...wife + momma to 3! I love coffee, lists, and anything monogrammed. Here you will find fun things that inspire me and I hope you enjoy as well. Thanks for stopping by!! XO


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