You may have a six-month-old baby nursing from the breast frequently and it can be an easy and enjoyable method of feeding him. Some may not look forward to starting solid foods, but your pediatrician may recommend that it is time. Here are some tips on how you can enjoy feeding him solids just as you've enjoyed him breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is not just nutritional but also social and developmental interaction. Solid feeding could be as well. Regard solid food feeding as an add-on to, not a substitute for, breastfeeding. Get the most out of this new relationship. Besides using your fingertip and a spoon to begin solids, let your baby to feed himself. Place a little of mashed banana within grabbing distance on his table or high-chair tray. Take advantage of your baby's rapidly developing hand skills. Around six months babies swoop upon anything of interest placed in front of them. You'll discover your baby can soon pick up a morsel of food between his thumb and fingers and slowly bring it to his mouth. In the beginning phases of finding his mouth, the baby might have more misses than hits, resulting in much of the food being scattered all over his cheeks. Sharing the food with his face and shirt is part of feeding. Let your baby the undergo trial and error; in time practice makes perfect.
Letting your baby to feed himself capitalizes on some research on infant learning. A skill that's started by the baby has more learning value and attention-holding power than one initiated by the parent and simply took part in by the baby. Relish table talk. Talk to your baby when feeding. Talk about both the food and the process so that he learns to tie in the words with the type of food and the interactions soon to follow. Say such things as "Matthew want carrots . . . open mouth!" as you gently approach his mouth with the solid-laden spoon. Talking to your baby when feeding also helps you know if he's really interested in taking solids at a particular time. When his face lights up and his mouth opens when you talk, this gives you a clue that he is ready. Allow the baby to watch your mouth open; odds are he will mimic your facial motion.
Reading the feeding cues of your baby, promoting self-feeding, and advancing slowly all lead to a significant rule of baby feeding: producing a healthy feeding attitude. To a baby, eating isn't only a nutritional requisite but a developmental skill. The more a baby enjoys an experience, the more efficiently he advances in that skill. Infant feeding not just provides fun and nutrition for the baby; it also helps parents watch and enjoy their baby's rapidly developing hand skills. Feeding is a social interaction, not just a nutritional necessity. Enjoy it!
© 2011 Athena Goodlight