It’s unexpected when our babies respond with such disdain for baby food or table food. As parents, we’re often excited about this new milestone and it can be pretty shocking when our baby won’t eat solids.
In real life though, it’s quite common for babies to gag on solids, seem uninterested, and outright refuse.
Everyone else’s baby seems to be gulping it down by the jar full. So it leaves the question, “How do you get a baby to eat solids?” First, let’s talk about why your baby won’t eat solids.
Here Are Some Reasons Why Your Baby Won’t Eat Solids
How light is the pap, cereal or puree you are making for baby? Remember he has known only breast milk which is very liquid for the past six months. So your first purees to baby should be made light and not thick. Their first taste should contain more breastmilk or formula than cereal or food. So that it will be almost liquid-like. You can gradually thicken the texture as he progresses and gets used to it.
What is the temperature of the food? If it is hotter or colder than the usual breast or bottle milk, he may surely refuse it. In the beginning, always check or regulate the temperature of what you are offering your baby.
Some babies may not like to be fed cereals and purees. Have you tried giving soft foods like soft boiled yam or potatoes, banana, Akara, agidi/Eko to see if they will prefer picking and eating them? Mash sardines, mix it with butter or mashed avocado and smear on a piece of toasted bread. Watch and see if the baby prefers that to purees.
Please do not force-feed or beat your baby or they may start to dread and hate feeding times. It is normal for babies to reject food, so it’s up to you to persevere and be patient, introduce different things and bring up the one rejected at a later time to see if they will take it. Remember that a child can reject a particular food up to 15 times or more before accepting it.
Eating requires a lot of muscle coordination from opening the mouth, pulling food off of a spoon, closing the mouth, and effectively swallowing. We take this for granted and don’t even think about it, but for some babies, it just isn’t coming naturally.
Babies that are having difficulty with coordination, or oral motor skills usually, gag when trying to swallow or after getting the food into their mouths. Or, the food may fall out frequently, and babies won’t eat solids because they just don’t know-how. When they don’t know how to eat, it isn’t that fun, and there isn’t a lot of interest.
This article was first published on AfricaParent.com
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