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When Feeding Solids Baby Cereal is Just the Beginning

All parents treasure those special “firsts” in their babies lives: the first smile, first laugh, first word, and especially the first time baby has solid food. But when you’re feeding solids baby cereal is just the start of the flavors your baby will experience. And even when it comes to cereal, there are several types as well. If your little one has colic, or even if he had colic in the past, a wrong choice now could make a happy moment into a feeding nightmare.

Rice cereal is less problems

Baby cereal can be made of rice, oatmeal, or a combination of grains. If you are worried about possible digestion issues, there are also cereals that have probiotics and DHA added to help with digestion and regularity. Your safest bet when just starting out will always be rice cereal. Very few babies have any problems with this type of cereal. You can mix it with water, formula, or a little breast milk to get the right consistency.

Some cereals also come with fruit and very light flavorings. You can try these types of cereals if your baby has handled the plain cereals well, and you want to bridge the gap between cereal and fresh fruit gradually. Banana is a popular choice, as is oatmeal raisin. When feeding solids baby cereals with sweet flavors tend to be more readily accepted.

Once you are ready to move on to fresh fruit, there are many options to choose from. Pureed bananas, apples, pears and other fruits of this nature are typically mild and well digested. When you move into fruits and vegetables with orange pigment, such as sweet potato and peaches, you may have to watch your baby for gassiness. As always, if any colicky symptoms develop, stop offering the latest food and try again later when your baby’s system has had a chance to develop more fully.

Starting solids too early can lead to allergies. One of the most problematic allergies is an allergy to gluten, as it eliminates many foods that we eat on a daily basis, not just breads and grains. The best way to avoid this type of allergy is to introduce new foods slowly, and only when you are sure that your baby has developed enough to be able to properly digest them. Give your little one time to learn and enjoy new foods, and don’t be discouraged if he doesn’t like them on the first try. Many babies grow to love fruits and vegetables that they rejected at first.

Feeding times should be relaxed and stress-free. Don’t expect baby to finish every bit of food you offer, and don’t force him or her to eat everything in the dish. Allow your baby to eat until he or she refuses to have any more. That way, baby learns to respect his own hunger cues and won’t become overly full, constipated, gassy, or colicky. Watch your little one’s non-verbal cues: when he starts to turn away from the spoon, it’s time to stop.

Avoiding colic

Overall, when feeding solids baby cereal is a safe way to start, and a good way to measure your baby’s tolerance for solid foods. However, as your baby becomes more interested in other foods, branching out to let him try mild flavors and easily digestible foods gradually is your best option. This way, your baby will remain colic free as you reach this important new milestone together. Take your time, enjoy your little one’s new interest in “grown up” food and enjoy the new aspect of feeding time with patience and love.

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