Feeding baby solid food for your 4 month baby

Feeding baby solid food for your 4 month baby

Starting baby on solid food sometimes make parent confuse, because they do not know in what age baby to introduce to solid food. I found really great article about introducing feeding baby solid food to your 4 month baby with the great tips to do that and some unique sign from your baby when he ready to feed with solid food.

If your baby is 4 month old now, know the sign from your baby and prepare feeding your baby with solid food.

Weaning your Baby Onto Solids
Author: Cecilia Koh

Once your baby has completed his fourth month you can start weaning him onto solids. A couple of signs which your baby will show when he is ready to start solids are:

1. He starts drinking less milk.

2. He smacks his lips when he sees you eating.

You also do not want to leave it later than 6 months when it will be more difficult for the baby to learn how to coordinate taking food into the mouth and swallowing because he is too used to sucking.

Do not give your baby solids before he has completed four months because the digestive system is not ready and you may create unnecessary problems. I have heard older ladies telling the new mothers to add rice powder to the last feed at night so that baby will sleep through the night before the babies are 4 months old. Please do not do this!

Preparing the food

• Place one teaspoon baby rice powder in a bowl

• Add a little boiled hot water

• Stir the mixture until it is smooth

• Change to a plastic spoon (I find the spoons from KFC are ideal and it saves cost)

Get the baby ready.

• Try to feed baby before bathing as it can be quite messy.

• Put him in a carry chair so that he is properly supported.

• Give only once a day until he is ready for more.

• There is no need to sterilise the bowls and spoon. Just normal washing is sufficient

• Let’s put on the bib before we start.

• Take a tiny bit of the mixture on the tip of the spoon

• Put it into the baby’s mouth

• Baby will make a funny face which is the most typical reaction to the first spoonful

• Baby will not take the food like adults but try to suck as if drinking from a bottle

• Being a new experience baby will not know how to swallow yet so the food will dribble out. Don’t worry if the food continues to dribble out, just continue to scoop it back into the mouth

• If baby is very active, you can hold him down by placing one hand over his hands and body

• Be patient and do this slowly

• If baby starts crying and refuses to feed, stop and try again a few days later

• If he likes it let him finish the feed

• Continue feeding and scooping back until it is all gone

• Give him some water from a bottle after he has finished feeding

If baby likes his solids, continue with one teaspoon a day for one week then increase to two teaspoons the next week and slowly increase according to his appetite. Please take note that this small amount does not replace a milk feed. After he has finished eating and has had his bath give him his normal milk feed but if he cannot finish it, don’t force him. As the amount of solid he is taking increases you can decrease the amount of milk accordingly but only for the feed that the solid will eventually replace.

After one month of plain rice powder you then add vegetable powder, and if there are no signs of allergies you can use the other flavours of ready to eat food. You can also try increasing to 2 feeds per day. I find that before 6 months it is more convenient to use packet food as the amount they eat is too small to warrant the time and energy to cook food.

From six months onwards you can start making home cooked food for him. What you cook will depend on whether you want to offer western or eastern style cuisine. Personally, I find it easiest to offer Chinese or local cuisine as I can put in the meat, rice and vegetables all in one pot until the child is older and has teeth to chew other types of food. So I will concentrate on teaching you how to cook baby porridge. Also it looks more appetizing at least for the adult. Please do not blend the porridge. Giving blended food for too long will make it difficult for baby to learn how to eat adult food which can be introduced from 10 months onward. If you think that the porridge is too lumpy you can mush it up using the back of a spoon. Do not give baby overnight porridge as it can cause a lot of wind.

I find it easier to cook the porridge in a slow cooker and it only takes about 4-5 hours for it to be ready. The time you start cooking will depend on what time your child wants to eat.

• Put hot water into the slow cooker and add the vegetables. Cook enough for 2 meals

• After one hour add the washed rice (about 1 handful)

• When the rice grains have opened up (usually about 1 hour) add the meat

• If you use fish add this 1 hour before meal time as fish cooks very fast.

What do you put in the porridge?

Meat and fish

Always boil the meat for a couple of minutes to remove the scum before adding to the porridge. The bones will give extra taste and sweetness. Leave a tiny bit of fat on so that it can extract fat soluble vitamins into the porridge.

Pork is ‘neutral’ therefore it can be used frequently. Use the ribs or bony part as this will add sweetness to the porridge.

Chicken is ‘heaty’ so once or twice a week is alright. If your child has a cough do not use as it makes the cough worse.

Beef is ‘heaty’ and the smell can be very strong if you use too much.

Lamb is very ‘heaty’ and the smell is quite strong so I don’t use it in the porridge but you can let your child eat it when he is older

Fish is ‘neutral’. Add a slice of ginger to the porridge to remove the fishy smell. Check carefully that any bones are removed. Do not use if your baby has a cold as it produces more phlegm. Salmon and cod are too rich in omega oil therefore not suitable below 1 year.

Dried scallop, ikan bilis (anchovies) and oysters are very salty so they should only be used once or twice a month. To remove the excess salt, soak in milk for about 20 minutes before use.

It is best not to use minced meat because you do not want baby to eat too much meat at this age. Minced meat is quite rough in texture which may make it difficult for baby to swallow. Eating too much meat may also lead to intestinal worms. The reason for using meat is to extract the protein and add taste to the porridge. When baby is older you can flake off some of the meat and mash it up with the spoon before giving it to him. Do not add salt as too much salt can lead to kidney problems. Some people add sesame oil but this can make the porridge ‘heaty’ if used too often.

Vegetables

Root vegetables are used to add bulk and fibre to the porridge. Must be grated finely

Potato – use only half the potato

Sweet potato is very useful if your baby suffers from constipation

Carrot should not be used more than 2 times a week as it can make your baby’s skin yellow

Green leafy vegetables

Use only the leaves which must be very finely cut. I prefer to buy the ‘baby’ variety as they are finer and easier for babies to digest

Boxthorn leaves or gow gei are high in carotene.

Spinach or choy sum is rich in iron he berries can be used to improve eyesight

Broccoli/Cauliflower – use only the florets and chop finely

Water cress is cooling so you can neutralize it by using chicken or adding red dates

Tomato must be finely chopped. You can remove the skin by putting it over a flame

Long beans/French beans must be chopped finely

Try to use a wide variety of food so that your child gets used to them quickly and easily. I always combine fish or meat with one root vegetable and one leafy vegetable in the porridge. It also provides a variety of taste and your child will not become picky with food.

Food not suitable for use before your baby is 1 year old.

If one or both parents have a family history of allergies, asthma or eczema then it would be best to delay these food until the child is 2-3 years old.

• Eggs have too many allergens especially in the egg white. Start with the yolk and watch out for allergic reactions, when you introduce eggs to your child.

• Honey can harbor spores of Clostridium botulinum, which causes botulism

• Citrus fruits or juices may provoke an allergic reaction, especially if allergies run in your family. Do not give sweet juices from a feeding bottle as this leads to early tooth decay.

• Peanut butter – Peanuts are highly allergenic. The thick sticky consistency may make it difficult for baby to swallow.

• Crustaceans are considered toxic and if given too early can lead to allergies. There is no hurry to introduce this food.

• Kai lan/cabbage – the leaves are too fibrous which makes it difficult to breakdown and digest

• Nuts or anything that is hard and cannot dissolve easily. A small child does not know how to chew the nut and I have seen too many cases of the nut going into the lungs which resulted in the child having to have part of the lung removed or dying from choking.

Signs of an allergic or bad reaction to food include vomiting, diarrhea, rash, swelling, abdominal pain, cough, crankiness, excessive gas, stomach bloating, hives, itching and runny nose. Check with the paediatrician in case your baby needs medication to treat the reaction. Shortness of breath and wheezing are more severe reactions so you should take your baby to his paediatrician immediately. Symptoms often show up within a few hours of eating.

From 10 months onwards, you can start offering other types of food such as noodles but it must be cut up finely so that baby will not choke. If the noodles are salty, rinse it out with boiled water before cutting it. You can also offer bread and sliced cheese but make sure that they are cut into smaller pieces so they do not become a choking hazard. Initially, you have to feed the baby yourself but you can start teaching him to feed himself so that he can do this by the time he is 1 year old. Some children will take to this like a duck to water but some are lazy and will not even try. Do not worry as the objective of this exercise is to provide your baby with the opportunity to develop his skills, not to force them to do things against their will.

High chairs

Once your child can sit quite well you can start putting him in a high chair for his meals. This helps to discipline him to sitting in a chair during meal times.

I personally find it best to use a high chair that do not have foot rest because there will not be a place for the baby to step on and start climbing out. They are not going to sit for very long so it is alright for their feet to dangle for a while. In fact the babies actually love to swing their feet whilst sitting in the chair.

If you feel that your baby needs a tray, then it is best if the tray is detachable which will not knock their heads as with the ones that you have to put over the baby’s head. In fact you do not need to have a tray as the chair can be pushed right up to the dining table so the child can eat from the table. The chairs must have seat straps so that you can strap the baby otherwise they will start trying to climb out when you get up.

If your dining area is not very big a booster chair will be ideal because you strap it onto one of your dining chairs. I like this chair because it is portable and is ideal for dining out since you do not know what type of chairs the restaurants provide. It is very light and washable.

You should let your child sit with you at the table during meal times so that he learns how to eat at the table. It is easier for him to learn by watching you eat and it gets him used to eating at the table instead of running around with you chasing behind him. Letting him sit at the table also helps to encourage family bonding.

A little tip: never make funny faces at food in front of your child, no matter how awful it may look or smell to you. If you do this too often she will imitate you and can become a picky eater.

Try not to give your child too much sweet food before 2 years of age.

A little tip: when you decide to give sweets to your child, never let him see the original packaging. I always transfer the sweets into a container and Marie did not recognize the sweets when we go shopping so no demands for sweets at the checkout counters. Instead she will ask for her sweeties at the plastic container section and when I show her the empty containers she is quite happy to forget about the sweeties.

Do not let your child eat unsupervised in the car. Better still don’t let your child eat in the car at all as the crumbs will attract ants and cockroaches if you do not remove them immediately. If your child is hungry stop at a designated rest area.

About the Author:
I am a British trained nurse/midwife with over 30 years working experience in UK and Malaysia. My website is http://www.babiesconsult.com

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/parenting-articles/weaning-your-baby-onto-solids-223128.html

I hope this great article about Feeding baby solid food for your 4 month baby could give much benefit for you and your baby.

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One Response to “Feeding baby solid food for your 4 month baby”

  1. Lisa McGlaun Says:

    The recommended ages seem to change with every generation. Back in the day when I was a baby, mothers were told to give solids almost immediately. Guess we are always learning how to be the best parents possible.

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