If your baby is ‘not sleeping well’ or ‘seems hungry’ after breastfeeding or a bottle, you shouldn't necessarily take it to mean she is ready for solids. In fact, those are two common reasons given by mums who have introduced their babies to solid foods too early.
Part of the reason why mums may be moving to solid foods too soon is that they’re misinterpreting the cues about their baby's readiness for solids. For example, parents will often complain around three to four months that their baby is getting hungrier. However, this most likely due to a growth spurt that happens around three months (one that can be managed with an increase in the baby’s liquid diet).
New Zealand Paediatric Dietitian and Director of Kidz Nutrition in Tauranga, Rebecca Bruce (NZRD), says it is important to watch for cues like good head control, but it’s just as important to listen to what your baby’s behaviour tells you.
“Solids should be introduced around six months of age, depending on developmental cues but not before four months.
“Watch for clues like when your baby begins to show an interest in what others are eating, or starts putting his hand or other objects to his mouth.
“Once your baby is ready for solids it is important to get on to iron-rich foods, like meat and iron fortified cereals, fairly soon. Many parents start with fruit and vegetables but bear in mind that your baby’s iron stores from birth will be running out around six months and breastmilk isn’t going to provide enough alone.”
“When you’re pregnant, you need to eat for two!” You’ve probably heard this old wives tale more times than you can count. Most likely, this was common advice in years gone by encouraging women to relax and eat freely when they were pregnant.
Unfortunately by ‘eating for two’ many pregnant women in NZ are gaining unhealthy amounts of weight, putting their baby and themselves at risk of health complications.
However you’re travelling from A to B, these tips can help you prepare for a more comfortable journey with littlies: