I used to be a keen reader in the first few months when it came to deciding what nappy cream was best to use or when to start using a pillow. With time, and hopefully a little bit of wisdom I have come to realise that the best thing to do is to use my instinct more often. Initially, we planned to start Baz on solid food after four months (for those new to the blog, a hearty hello! Baz is my son). However, he only has two weeks to go before he reaches the big four, and I felt that it was necessary to introduce him to solid food because he was constantly sucking his tiny little fingers and eyeing up whatever food we ate in front of him. It was my gut-feeling that I went with, I felt that my son needed the extra nourishment he would get from cereal (although I realise that a significant number of paediatrics believe it is not necessary to give your baby solid food until the age of 6 months, but I contest that, as do many mothers).
In Kurdistan, many mothers start introducing solids around three-months but I felt that it was too early then but now I’m almost certain that I have made the right decision with my partner. We will start him on banana flavoured cereal which we purchased from boots pharmaceutical store in London and he will be fed in the morning (around 3-4 spoonfuls) and given a few sips of water afterwards to get rid of the sweet taste in his mouth (which might make him thirsty, he will let me know whether he wants water or not — if he doesn’t want something he will just stick his tongue out or push the food/water out).
This is just an introduction to ‘solid food’. I don’t want to give him too much, which could cause diarrhoea. Here’s what I looked out for before starting on solid:
- Head control – Baz is able to keep his head in upright position.
- He is able to swallow
- He is able to sit with support
- He often eyes food with curiosity
- Growing appetite
It’s important not to rush starting your newborn on solid food, and regardless of the many people that tell you to do this or that, give your self the benefit of the doubt and trust your instincts. When my son was born everyone had their own piece of advice from their own personal experience or from the experiences of those they heard about. In the beginning, it was all a bit too much to take onboard. I was petrified of this little bundle of joy that I loved so much because I wanted to make sure he was looked after properly. In the end, I was grateful that so many people took a keen interest in the wellbeing of my son, and gradually I began to assert a form of self-assurance that has enabled me to be more proactive and engaging with my son.
Don’t be afraid and seek medical advice when necessary and consult with your midwife (if you have one) or someone’s opinion that you regard highly, but most importantly do not feel pressurised to do anything. It is your child, your responsibility and your decisions are of paramount importance for his or her wellbeing.