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Every new mom knows the challenges of transitioning her baby to solid foods: it’s stressful, frustrating, and messy. That’s why we took to Facebook to find out your biggest feeding problems—to bring you solutions that work. Read on to learn how to solve your mealtime dilemmas.
Related: 5 Ways to Prevent Food Allergies
You’ve heard the horror stories: toddlers who will only let PB&J or white rice pass through their lips for weeks on end. Sadly, the rumors are true. “The majority of kids go through a rebellious eating phase,” says Christine Wood, M.D., a pediatrician in Encinitas, Calif., and author of How to Get Kids to Eat Great and Love It.
Learning to burp your baby is a big part of the early feeding process. Babies swallow air during feedings (especially with bottles), and too much air in their little tummies can lead to crankiness, gassiness and surprise spit-ups.
Keeping your baby upright for 10 minutes after a feeding can help keep what’s in her stomach from coming back up and, when burping, one to five light pats should do the trick. Here’s what else a new mom (or dad) needs to know:
The day your baby starts eating solids is an important milestone, and you can help set him or her up on the path to healthy eating by making your own. “Going from all milk or formula to real food can be daunting,” says Lisa Courtois, senior product manager at Béaba, a baby-food product company based in Hoboken, New Jersey. “Puréeing fresh, local, and organic produce and meat—rather than using canned baby food—lets you know exactly what’s in the food your child is eating.”
Whether you are going out for a trip to the grocery store or a walk in the park, it is essential to make sure that your diaper bag is stocked with the necessities.
Aside from the obvious (diapers, wipes and a change of clothes), you should probably also carry a few snacks for grab-and-go convenience. Especially for those times when the little one has been out all day, and you face the risk of dealing with a very tired toddler.
When your baby begins eating puréed peaches and avocados, she’ll naturally cut back on nursing or bottle-feeding. “Parents need to pay attention to diet as this happens,” says Kathleen Reidy, Dr.P.H., R.D., co-author and investigator of Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS) published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Liza Huber, author of Sage Spoonfuls—Simple Recipes, Healthy Meals, Happy Babies and creator of the Sage Spoonfuls homemade baby food system, to shares tips for starting solids and family meal planning in addition to four recipes from her new book.
When my son was approaching 6 months old, it seemed like he was ready for real food. And I was ready for him to start—I was really looking forward to the milestone of solids! My husband and I took a video of my son the first morning we gave him cereal mixed with breast milk. In it, he’s seems genuinely interested in trying to get the new food in his mouth—and in the background you can hear me enthusiastically saying, “Look, he likes it!”
British researchers say allowing babies to feed themselves fruits, vegetables, meat and bread—known as baby-led weaning—may teach them to better regulate their own appetites. The study showed that 6-month-old babies introduced to finger foods they could pick up and eat on their own rather than being primarily spoon-fed were less likely to be overweight or obese through age 6 ½.
I believe each family should choose the best time for themselves and their baby. That said, bottles do begin to cause “bucking” of the permanent teeth at age 3 years or so, and using a bottle beyond age 1 can lead to cavities in some babies.
Whenever you do it, consider transitioning to a spill-proof sippy cup, as they’re far less messy than a traditional cup.
Daily deals and coupons promise savings on diapers, baby food, formula and other baby-related staples, but can a new mom with limited time and patience make a dent using them?
Absolutely, says coupon queen Joanie Demer, co-author of Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey (Aviva Publishing). "People think couponing has to take over your life. But even if you dabble in it, the savings can add up quickly," she says.
We asked Demer for step-by-step advice on how to gracefully become a couponer.