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The Right Time to Start Your Baby on Solids

And 5 tips to help you with the transition!

The Right Time to Start Your Baby on Solids

*We've partnered with Inspired Start to help ease one of baby's biggest milestones: first foods.

Starting your baby on solid foods is such a fun and exciting milestone, but lots of times we find ourselves wondering when exactly that milestone is “supposed” to happen? Like all major milestones, the right time to start solids is different for every baby. That being said, there are some common signs that can help show that baby is ready for the next step in his or her food journey.

OK - so you’re “there”; you, your baby, and your pediatrician are ready for baby to start solids. We know first-hand that transition isn’t easy. To help, we’ve partnered with Inspired Start, the only baby food designed to introduce 8 common allergens, to get the dish (literally!) from Pegah Jalali, a registered dietitian at NYC’s Middleberg Nutrition. Here’s her 5 tips:

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1. Safety first!

Babies develop at different rates so it’s always helpful to ask your pediatrician, but signs of readiness for eating solids include being able to sit (even if supported), good head control, interest in foods when they see parents eating, and a decreased tongue thrust.

2. Introduce a wide variety of foods and textures.

When it comes to first foods, I recommend introducing food that parents consume themselves. If a family eats a lot of fish or nuts, they should offer fish and nuts to their babies when they introduce solids. It’s not always easy to find these ingredients in baby-friendly foods, but Inspired Start has delicious flavor combinations, high quality ingredients and a familiar pouch format to make this easy for parents.

3. Timing is everything.

I usually recommend trying solids 15-30 minutes after baby has enjoyed some milk. Some believe introducing solids when baby is hungry is best but, in my experience, this can be overwhelming since at first, babies do not really know how to eat or what to make of the food. That means you could have a very hangry baby on your hands! At first, baby will likely eat 1-2 teaspoons a day. After a week, offer solids twice a day. At this stage baby will likely take 2-3 tablespoons.

4. Try again and again and again.

Babies may not be interested or receptive, but that doesn’t mean that they "do not like" a certain food. Keep offering the same foods, especially in different forms. It can take 15-25 tries until they accept a new food!

5. Get spicy!

Babies can enjoy foods spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, oregano, garlic powder and many more spices. Blends like Inspired Start’s Mango + Soy and Banana + Shrimp give your little one exciting flavors and textures. The only two spices I recommend being careful with are salt, since babies’ kidneys are not fully developed, and pepper, which can be painful for them.

Whether you think baby is ready for solids now, in three weeks, or three months, we hope these tips will help ease the transition from breastmilk or formula to the wide variety of yummy foods that the world has to offer!

Photography by Charlene Petitjean-Barkulis for Well Rounded.

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.



Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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