American Hospital, Department of Pediatrics Özlem Ekiz Yörükalp says that breast-fed and well-growing infants should wait until the baby reaches the 6th month to start supplementary foods.
For infants who are fed with food or who do not grow well with breast milk, additional nutrients can be started at the earliest 4 months. Starting additional nutrients before this age can cause serious illnesses such as allergies and digestive problems.
The earlier an additional food is introduced, the greater the likelihood of an allergic reaction. The presence of food allergy in the family increases the possibility of an allergic reaction in the baby. Reaction; diarrhea, flatulence, bloating. Skin rash and rash, wheezing, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain may also be symptoms. Such reactions occur most frequently in the first year and gradually decrease after the child reaches 3 years of age.
A number of signs of maturity are sought in the baby to begin supplementary nutrients. The baby should take additional nutrients in the sitting position with the help of spoons. For this reason, the baby should be able to perform head control well and be able to sit, even if supported. In addition, in order for the baby to take additional nutrients, the push reflex should be lost with the tongue it makes while sucking. If the baby is taking care of what you are eating and chewing, it is time to start eating additional food.
If the baby initially refuses supplementary food; this may mean that the tongue and the push reflex have not yet disappeared. In such a case it may be necessary to retry. If the baby persistently rejects the supplement, this may mean that the baby is not ready. In such a case, it is necessary not to rush and to try again after 1-2 weeks.
Additional nutrients should be given by spoon and should be more dense than milk. Feeding food with a bottle increases the risk of food getting into the trachea; as well as an excessive amount of nutrition and obesity and unhealthy eating habits are inviting. The baby needs to get used to eating, sitting, taking a little bit of spoon, resting and learning to stop when saturated. The basis of healthy eating habits that can be effective throughout an individual's life is laid in this period.
Baby, while feeding with spoon; sometimes even baby spoons can be large. In this case, the baby can be given half the bite of tea spoon lok In cases where the baby does not react, very small pieces of food can be given by hand; this may make it easier for the baby to accept the food. first, 1 meal per day should be given additional nutrients, while other meals should be given breast milk or formula. The nutrients initiated during this period are complementary to milk or formula. It should be remembered that the main nutrients are milk or formula until the quantities increase. The baby should be introduced to a new food every 2-3 days.
Offering new food at every meal can overwhelm the baby and make it difficult to understand what the baby is reacting to in the event of an allergic reaction. If the baby rejects solid food, feeding can be completed by first feeding the baby some milk, then occasionally giving small food in the form of small bite and then again milk. In this way, feeding will facilitate the baby's adaptation to additional nutrients.
Additional nutrients are first started as custard consistency; When the baby is 7-8 months old, more lumpy foods are given. The most common mistake made during this period is to pass all the food through the blender; to give to the baby as smooth. The baby, who is accustomed to this consistency, can sometimes get 3-4 years of age to accept rough foods. However, at the latest 7-8 months, nutrients should be given in a rough manner and crushed with a fork instead of a blender. In addition, when the baby is around 8-9 months; The baby's handling and gnawing of the foods that he can grab and eat by hand makes it easier for the baby to get the rough foods.
Instead of passing fruits through blender or giving juice; Preparing mashed consistency in grated is useful both for the baby to get used to rough foods and to work with the pulp foods and intestines. The baby's hand can also be given a spoon to make the baby accustomed to solid foods. At the beginning, the baby may not be able to grasp the mouth, and more than half of the food may be spilled, but this will allow the baby to entertain, switch to solid foods and facilitate the familiarization process.