January 13, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo
Ask any parent at what point you can start feeding baby solids, and you’re likely to get as many answers as people you ask. The best advice, though, will always come from your pediatrician. When my second daughter was born, I remember my surprise at her four-month check up when her doctor said the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) had revised their guidelines and were now advising parents to wait until six months of age before starting solids.
Our pediatrician strictly follows the AAP guidelines, but I took his advice with a wink and a nod. Truth is I had already started introducing solids to my daughter’s diet. She was an incredibly curious eater—still is at 2 1/2 years old. I followed the same “rules” as I’d been advised with my first daughter. Wait a few days between introducing new foods to see how her system handled each one, and I steered clear of potential allergens and honey, which is unsafe for babies under one year of age for fear of botulism.
The AAP change was prompted due to a spike in childhood allergies and eczema. The guidelines have since been revised back to the 4 to 6 month window, with a recommendation to wait until 6 months if possible. I can see the flummoxed look on new parents as I write. So who do you trust? Veteran parents know to rely on instinct, and when in doubt they usually refer to the pediatrician. When you do decide to start solids, remember from scratch is always the way to go to give your baby the best start possible.
Baby’s First Oatmeal
By pulsing the oats into a fine texture first, you get the right consistency for baby without the mushy mess of pureeing cooked oatmeal.
1/3 cup old fashioned oats, preferably gluten free
1 cup water
- Add the oats to a food processor and pulse until very fine. Combine with water in a small pot and bring to a boil. Let cook until extremely tender, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly, and add cold filtered water to thin out as needed.
- Once baby starts fruit and vegetable solids, a dollop of homemade applesauce is the perfect natural sweetener!