Tips from a mom of two for transitioning your baby to solid foods that will make it easy on both of you!
This post is sponsored by Gerber.
As a parent, one of the most exciting things to start doing is giving your baby solid foods. The first time we ever gave our son rice cereal, we were both right there, one of us with a video camera, and one of us with a spoon and bowl. Judging by my social media feed, I think that most parents do the same thing. It’s so fun to watch your baby’s expressions as he tastes something new and different for the first time in his life.
But at the same time, there are a lot of questions you might have about what to do. When do I transition him, how do I transition him, how much solid food should he be getting, and how often? And what kinds of foods can I give him to make the transition as smooth as possible? And how do you know when it’s time to start on chewable food instead of just baby food? It’s complicated!
Since our son started eating solid food, we’ve always stuck with the Gerber brand of baby food. Their foods are labeled as “1st Foods,” “2nd Foods,” and “3rd Foods” so you know what your baby should be eating when. And if that wasn’t helpful enough, each food is also marked in stages so it’s even more clear when your baby should be eating what. I love that they are described as “Supported Sitter,” “Sitter,” and “Crawler” so you know when age your baby should be eating what. It’s awesome and it is especially helpful for first-time parents (or parents who have forgotten when their first baby ate what foods!).
Now that I have two kids that have gone through the transition to solid foods, I am going to share some tips with you! It’s really not as complicated as it sounds, and if you just stick to the Gerber stages, your baby will move through each step easily!
1. The first step to transitioning your baby to solid foods is by starting with single-grain infant cereal when your baby is between 4 and 6 months. Talk with your pediatrician to figure out if your baby is ready for rice cereal. You will want to make sure it’s pretty thin when you first give it to your baby. Then, as your baby gets used to it, you can start to thicken it up and put in more cereal.
2. Once your baby has mastered the single-grain cereal, start giving them pureed veggies and fruits. We started with carrots for both of our babies. I’ve never been into making my own baby food, and I love the variety of different fruits and veggies you can get from Gerber. When you give your baby a new fruit or vegetable, wait 3 days in between trying a new one to make sure they aren’t allergic. And always start with single fruit or veggie purees.
3. After your baby has figured out the single fruits and veggies, you can start giving them blends. You want to give them a wide variety of foods, and even if they don’t like it the first or second (or fifth!) time, keep trying. If you only give your baby a few things, he might turn into a picky eater!
4. When your baby starts to grab food with the pincer grip, or starts to begin mashing his food with his jaw, you can start giving him grain-based finger foods that are easy to dissolve. One of our kids’ favorite snacks has been Gerber Graduates Puffs. They come in a lot of flavors, and dissolve super fast. Our daughter loves them, and even our toddler still thinks they’re delicious!
5. Around the time you start letting your baby self-feed you can start giving him more textured things. Something our daughter has loved is Gerber 3rd Foods Lil’ Bits Recipes.
Gerber 3rd Foods Lil’ Bits Recipes help with learning to chew and mash, and they are made with the help of developmental experts to help baby learn to chew more than just once. Inside each little tub of Lil’ Bits recipes are soft, mashable pieces of fruits and veggies that are perfect for learning to chew. That helps make the transition to table foods a lot easier, since baby will have to chew more than just once when he learns how to eat what you are eating!
They come in lots of flavors so you can keep giving your baby a variety. Little A loved the Apple Blueberry and Sweet Potato Apple Carrot & Cinnamon ones, but there are also 8 other flavors! Gerber 3rd Foods Lil’ Bits Recipes are sort of like an in-between step between table food and pureed baby foods. And the containers are bigger than the 1st and 2nd Foods because as your baby grows, so will their appetite!
Gerber 3rd Foods Lil’ Bits Recipes are the perfect way to help your baby master chewing their food. And I love that they were thicker and easier to feed to Little A! And since they are a mixture of the puree and the soft bits, your baby will learn to feel multiple textures in their mouth at the same time.
Chewing is an essential milestone in a baby’s development, and Gerber 3rd Foods Lil’ Bits Recipes offer a gradual texture progression which helps babies learn the skills they need to transition to table food. Children who have not been exposed to “lumpy food” that require mashing and chewing before 10 months of age have experienced difficulties transitioning to more advanced foods. That’s part of why I love Lil’ Bits Recipes so much! They are the perfect last step in the transition to table foods because they teach babies how to chew, eat different textures at the same time, and eat a variety of flavors, too.
Transitioning your baby to solid foods is an exciting time. Your baby loves it, and it’s fun to watch them try new things. But at the same time, you need to go slowly and take it one step at a time. You want feeding to be a happy experience for both of you, so don’t rush it!
Good luck transitioning your baby to solid foods! And don’t be afraid to let your baby get a little bit messy!