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Just like the rest of us, learning new things for a baby is a challenge. Introducing your baby to something new, especially food, is probably one of the hardest things you’ll do in your baby’s development. Choose what works, watch out for cues that show that your baby is ready for it and you have a plan to handle the fallout.
One of the biggest concerns for parents is what to do when the baby won’t eat solids. Some worry that the baby may have an eating disorder or is a picky eater.
Here are what to do when the baby won’t eat solids.
Study Your Baby
Only your baby can show you whether they are ready for solid food or not. You cannot judge based on what another baby is doing at the moment or what an older child did at that age because babies differ. Your baby will show signs of wanting solid foods when he shows an interest in your meals and tries to reach for it. That is when you’ll teach the baby how to properly grasp on something and take it to his mouth without missing the target.
Timing Is Everything
There’s always the excitement of wanting your baby to try something new and explore other things, but you must time it well. For the first eight to nine months, breast milk and baby food suffice your baby and provides the nourishment for development. Therefore, there is no reason to rush into solid food, wait till your baby is ready, take cues from your baby, not from what someone says should be done.
Work on Your Baby’s Grasp
One reason your baby isn’t interested in solids could be that he doesn’t have a good grasp. The most effective grasp for eating which also comes in handy when the baby writes is the pincer grasp. The ability to use the thumb and index finger and the other fingers to pick things. Without this, your baby may find eating food exhausting and may become fussy.
Do Not Force Feed!
Your baby may refuse to eat because you’re not going at their own pace, you’re pushing too hard. Every experience your baby has is a potential playtime so don’t freak out when your baby throws the food about and perhaps pours it on the body rather than eat it. What you must do is to accommodate this play, remain calm through it, and go easy on the baby.
When the eating environment is very noisy, with people walking in and out, with the television on or with the baby’s siblings around, it will distract the baby. He won’t be able to concentrate on the food and would want to join his siblings in their fun so, to begin with, remove all forms of distraction and anything that may send mixed instructions to the baby.
Switch Things Up A Bit
We all hate it when things become monotonous and boring. We like a bit of variety here and there and your baby will appreciate it too. To encourage your baby to eat the solids then try getting inventive in your presentation and, the color, and texture of the meals. Let your baby try something new now and again, try different tastes and flavors, and continue to broaden your baby’s palate.
Dish Out Small Portions
Don’t give your baby a daunting amount of food that scares or intimidates him. Even if you are confident that your baby will be able to finish the meal. It is more productive to dish out the meals in small quantities so that he will be encouraged to continue eating.
Baby May Be Uncomfortable
Have you noticed that you cannot do anything if you’re uncomfortable? When you notice that your baby isn’t very receptive to eating food then check if he has a soiled diaper which must be changed first.
Although introducing solids helps to ease the weaning process, it is very vital to keep it until your baby gets used to the solids. It will help cushion the effects when your baby doesn’t eat that much and keep him nourished and well-fed.
Baby May Be Tired
It could be that your baby wants to take a nap and isn’t feeling active enough for a meal. So, like always, timing is key. Do not place a meal before your baby when he’s tired and wants to take a nap.
Mealtime should be fun-time too, don’t make it boring for your baby so he doesn’t associate meals with something difficult. Sing songs and rhymes and join your baby in the games he may play as he eats, so he looks forward to meals.
Join Your Baby
We all appreciate it when someone joins us in something we’re doing. It makes it easier and less of an obstacle. It will be fun if you bring your baby to join in the family’s mealtime, they will see how it’s supposed to be done and learn by watching you and the rest of the family eat. It will also provide a good opportunity for bonding with the rest of the family.
Don’t Give Up
Consistency is the key to getting anything done. You cannot give up after the first few tries, you must try as many times as it takes for your baby to become accustomed to your routine, the meals and the taste. You must remain positive, open, and joyful as you guide your baby through this new phase.
Above are what to do when the baby won’t take solids. It will be stressful and hard to get your baby to accept solid food, but it is rewarding and allows your baby to try new things.