Transitioning From Bottles to Solid Food
Originally Posted by: Paul Kahalewai on Families of Multiples
How do you identify when your child is ready to transition to solid food? As a first time father, I was clueless as to what signs to look for. I did know that I was looking forward to them graduating from bottles. Eight bottles a day times three (I have triplets) was a lot of work. It just made sense that the quicker we made the move, the faster they would be able to start eating the things we ate.
Obviously it would be awhile before they were dining on meat and potatoes, but, you know what I mean.
When did we know we were ready?
- Your baby should be able to sit in a high chair or feeding seat with good head control.
- They also must be able to open their mouth when they see food coming towards it and be able to move the food from the spoon into their mouth.
If you think your multiples are ready, I advise starting with half a spoonful. We mixed rice cereal and oatmeal with breast milk. The first couple of feedings were very messy. When I say messy, I mean, more on them than in them. Be prepared, don’t get upset. It’s a process. Do not make your baby eat if they cry or turn away when you feed them. Go back to breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Remember – the transition is a gradual one.
The boys started trying different solids around 5 months. My sister brought us some fresh poi from Hawaii and we had it for Easter dinner. All of the boys tried it with various reactions.
(For those of you who don’t know, Poi is a Hawaiian staple made of fermented root of the taro plant, which has been baked and pounded to a paste.)
We started off mixing Earth’s Best Organic Whole Grain Oatmeal Cereal with Similac formula and a little breast milk. Two of our boys loved it!!! The third, well, not so much, but he was still learning how to eat. and I think it was too messy for him. They all did really well and were practically begging for more – even after the bowl was gone. After a couple of weeks we started to split 1 – 4 oz. jar of Earth’s Best Organic Winter Squash between the 3 boys. Again, two of them were over the top – loving every spoonful. The third was just getting used to eating from a spoon. He still managed to eat some of it. It was just a lot less than his two brothers!!!
It is suggested to introduce new foods slowly and to feed vegetables first – then fruits. As a rule of thumb we offered the same item for 5 days before switching to a new flavor.
We were still offering them 3 bottles per day but the last bottle was at 530 pm. and then we would give them a jar of solid baby food (each) before getting them ready for bed. At this point we only gave them vegetables and rice cereal, no fruit yet.
What a GLORIOUS DAY! This was a day that every parent longs for! I had been waiting for this moment for what seemed like an ETERNITY!!! At 15 months we decided to wean the boys from bottles entirely! I had personally mixed over 7,000 bottles!!! Raising triplet boys is not for the weak hearted or lazy! But alas, no more!!!
At the peak of bottle usage, we went through 24 bottles per day. That’s 3 bottles, every 3 hours each and every day. Then we scaled back to 15 bottles per day and then down to 9 bottles at the end.
Should I give my baby juice?
The short answer is no, babies do not need juice. Babies under 12 months should not be given any juice. 12 months up to 3 years give only 100% fruit juice and not more than 4 oz. per day. We dilute our juice with water 50/50 ratio. Offer it in a cup and not a bottle. Remember juice will reduce their appetite for other nutritious solid foods.
Tips – Good eating habits start early in life:
- Offer a good variety of healthy foods. Try to offer different colors and remember presentation is important to your child. From your child’s point of view: if it doesn’t look good – it probably doesn’t taste good.
- Do not overfeed, watch for signs that your child is full.
- If you have questions about your child’s nutrition or concerns about your child eating too much or too little talk to your pediatrician or doctor
Transitioning to solid foods can be a trying time, but the rewards are well worth it. It won’t be long, and they’ll be sitting next to you eating the same things you are.
What are some things your kids liked or didn’t like to eat? Let us know in the comments!
About the author:
Paul Kahalewai is currently a staff writer for the site
FamiliesofMultiples.com. Families of Multiples is a parenting resource
helping Moms and Dads of Twins, Triplets, Quads, or more overcome the
hurdles of raising multiple children of the same age.
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