Around 6 months of age, babies are able to put their hands to their mouths and suck and swallow soft foods. You have to be attentive to those signs that tell you to starting baby on solids chart. The baby is ready and not letting fears stop us from getting started in time to provide the first solids are the keys to leaving the purées behind naturally. The correct development of the jaw, teeth and swallowing depend on the child learning to chew and take solids when the time comes.
It’s time to starting baby on solids chart
According to Ana Martínez, Primary Care pediatrician and member of the Spanish Association of Primary Care Pediatrics, the transition to solid food, or the normal diet of the family is gradually made between 6 and 12 months of life. At one year of age, the baby must eat the same as the rest of the family.
Martinez points out that around 6 months of age babies are able to put their hands in their mouths and suck and swallow soft foods. By 8 or 9 months, although they do not have teeth, they are already able to make chewing movements with the jaws and learn to eat from a spoon.
The main skills or abilities of the baby so that the transition from a milky diet to a more varied and semi-solid one can begin is that he can keep sitting almost unsupported, put his hands to his mouth and do the sucking and crushing movements.
For parents, it is easiest to observe the signals to starting baby on solids chart. That is, they adapt to the characteristics and maturation of your child, without following the letter of any calendar. A baby is ready to start when he shows interest in food through attitudes such as leaning forward, opening his mouth, looking at or picking and sucking food directly.
Equally important is allowing the child to decide when he has had enough, that is, he has to respect the signs of satiety (he stops having an interest in food, spits it out, turns his head or falls asleep). “It is not convenient to be obsessed with quantities since throughout the day there are more opportunities to eat,” says Martínez.
Regarding the risk of choking or choking, the pediatrician points out that this is a great concern for parents and pediatricians because although real, it is a danger that only occurs with small and hard foods such as raw carrot, nuts, candy or apple.
“It can be cause for fright in addition when the baby is gagging because it is going to the throat a piece too large, but this is not a real danger because the arcade what it does is push the food back to the front of the mouth so that the baby can crush again, “says Martinez.
How to starting baby on solids chart
The pediatrician recommends starting the transit to solid food with cooked vegetables, a little soft but not completely unraveled such as potato, zucchini, pumpkin, broccoli, cauliflower or carrot. As for raw fruits, it recommends banana, mango, pear or plum and in relation to other foods, it points out the suitability of cooked pasta (spirals, macaroni or lasagne strips), cooked meat, and ham in strips or omelets.
You can also make piles of smaller pieces so that you can pick them up with small handfuls (York or normal ham, meat, fish, fruit or fresh cheese) or crush a little with the fork the chickpeas or peas. “The best thing is for the baby to eat at the same time as the others and so try some foods from the family menu,” he says.
According to Martínez, if you start before the end of the year, there is usually no problem in the transit to solid food. “Whether because of fear of choking, for convenience or because no one explains to the family the importance of chewing, when a child reaches 2 years of age by feeding only on food in the form of purées and baby bottles, it is very difficult to accept the solid”, clarifies the pediatrician.
This rejection of solids says Martinez may be due, among other reasons, to that has already become accustomed to this diet and because two years ago there is much less appetite and this leads to less interest in the news.
Weaning directed by the baby
According to the pediatrician, the approach is totally different from the classic papillas and purés that is called ‘baby-led weaning’ (‘Baby-Led Weaning’). Although the method seems easier for breastfeeding babies because they are used to changes in the taste of breast milk, “this does not mean that those who take bottles cannot make the transition in this way,” says Martínez.
The pediatrician details these 5 tips for parents:
- Watch for signs that your child is interested in solid food and you are able to starting baby on solids chart. Let them try it to suck. This will allow you to get to know flavors.
- If you already take things to your mouth, take the opportunity to put ‘something to eat’ in your hand. Just poke a little and it will suck, savoring and swallowing. You will eat a little and you will see if it feels good and you tolerate it. You can increase the quantity and variety little by little.
- Avoid hard foods that can be embedded in the bronchi or trachea: nuts, candy, pieces of carrot or raw apple. Avoid foods that a parent is allergic to.
- Make sure the baby continues to breastfeed on demand throughout the day and night. If you take bottles, you should take 3 or 4 a day, plus all those foods.
- Parents should eat healthy and offer that same food to their baby. Do not worry about the amounts. The baby knows how much he needs to eat.
Dentition and development problems
According to the pediatrician, it is not necessary to have teeth or molars to start chewing. “If you wait for the teeth to come out or the molars (they leave after 12 months) you lose a crucial moment to starting baby on solids chart because it’s about 8 or 9 months when babies are more likely to try foods and chew “, clarifies.
Martínez concludes that when a baby takes time to chew, he always drinks liquids, bottles, and purees, his jaw and teeth do not develop well and in the long run he may have swallowing problems or the habit of inserting his tongue between his teeth, which generates problems in the language (vocalization) and in the position of the teeth.
According to Dr. Abel Cahuana, president of the Scientific Commission of the Board of the Spanish Society of Pediatric Dentistry, Infosalus explains that, in terms of mastication in the mandibular development, different oro-facial functions influence the correct development of the arches and the pattern.
“Chewing also influences the health of the teeth, the child who does not chew, has more bacterial plaque and tartar on the teeth,” says Cahuana, head of the Pediatric Dentistry Section of the San Joant de Déu Hospital (Barcelona). After starting baby on solids chart, help them allowing the contribution of a variety of foods and different consistencies and flavors. Favors a good development and better health of the entire dento-alveolar process, says the specialist.
If the child refuses to take solid food, he will be in worse health compared to those who chew. “In these situations, the pediatrician will rule out any developmental problem or neurological deglutition disorder, although in most cases it is a problem that is more related to educational norms and overprotection,” says Cahuana.