When should we start solids?
This is completely personal preference.
General guidance for signs of readiness include around the middle of the first year, sitting unsupported, loss of tongue push reflex and ability to put food in their own mouth. Intestinal junctions are said to tighten up around this time reducing the food that goes through the intestinal wall, reducing the increased risk of (more) allergies, or long term damage from premature introduction.
Though most benefit from waiting until they’re at a consistent baseline before introducing solids, as it makes it a lot easier to identify fails and can make things more likely to be successful introductions if they aren’t already in a state of reaction/inflammation. Some do find introducing solids helps them to reach a baseline. Though it can be a tough decision to weigh up the risks of causing a more severe reactions and more acute inflammation.
How do I start solids?
Once you’ve identified your child’s symptom/trigger types it can make it easier to decide on a path for starting solids. For example, Janice Joneja-Vickerstaff has a suggested order of introducing solids to allergy (IgE) babies in her book “dealing with food allergies in children and babies” and those with predominantly gastro symptoms may benefit from a low FPIES or low FODMAP for starting.
Babies don’t have the same palates as adults, they’re used to drinking milk which is quite sweet and any new food will be a sensory experience for them of different flavours and textures, so you don’t have to make flavours stronger or more palatable to your tastes.
Should I start with my safe foods?
This is completely personal choice and may depend on how hard you found it to get to a baseline, and how stuck you would feel if you lost a safe food. Safe foods indirectly are typically lower risk to try directly – than completely untested foods – but as the quantity is so much larger they can still cause reactions. Sometimes, not always, direct fails will cause a safe food be lost indirectly too.
Purees or BLW?
Completely personal choice.
BLW offers a lot of benefits for motor development and supports hand eye coordination. But some do fear it means they have less control over how much their child consumes in a trial. So it can cause additional stress. Some use purees. Some do a bit of both. Or load up a spoon and giving it to their little one. Both can be very messy with a child with varying interest in food. You don’t have to commit 100% to one or the other, though doing some more in-depth reading on the methods can help in decision making.
I’d you don’t want to be strict with either method it is possible to use a bit of both to try and find a balance for what works for you. The most important part is following your child’s lead to support their positive relationship with food and their ability to understand their own feeling of fullness. Th
My baby didn’t eat much during our trial. How do I know whether the quantity was sufficient to cause a reaction?
Normally this means it’s better to extend the trial for longer for more certainty. Reactions should be more obvious from direct trials. So being patient should show you soon enough.
We are in the middle of a trial, but baby is refusing. Should I continue the trial or quit?
This is completely personal choice.
If your child completely refuses a food it may be less stressful all around to put it on a maybe list, because sometimes they do reject foods they’re sensitive to without being willing to ingest them. But the only way to know if it is or isn’t a trigger would be to retrial at a later date.
What can I give my baby to help with constipation?
Magnesium, vitamin C, probiotics, fibre and sweet foods are all great ways to encourage movement naturally. Though if your child develops symptoms of constipation during a trial it may be an indication their gut is reacting to the food.