When to wean Noah onto food has been a real dilemma for me recently. With James it was easy; we waited until he was six months old and began to let him have some food off our plate at every meal. It’s a really important step for babies, and I know it’ll be lots of messy fun, as it was with James!
The NHS website: Your baby’s first solid foods recommends waiting until six months. Any sooner, and I have to offer puréed fruit and vegetables only. Also, waiting until six months means that he should be able to feed himself, so I won’t have to spoon feed him, and I just don’t think I could be bothered with the hassle of having to spoon feed a baby while my dinner goes cold. I’d much prefer we all eat together, and I’m not a short order chef; I like that we all eat together, and all eat the same thing (obviously unless we’re in a restaurant- then of course we can eat what we fancy: I don’t have to do the cooking or the dishes!).
So, Noah will be six months old at the end of May, and I’d think by then he’ll show all the signs of being ready for food.
According to the NHS website, these are the signs of being ready for food:
- They can stay in a sitting position and hold their head steady.
- They can co-ordinate their eyes, hands and mouth so that they can look at the food, pick it up and put it in their mouth, all by themselves.
- They can swallow food. Babies who are not ready will push their food back out, so they get more round their face than they do in their mouths.
We are still waiting for Noah to be able to hold himself up in a sitting position. At the moment he slumps forwards and holds on to his feet, and he’s not keen on sitting in the Bumbo for too long, so I think we’ll really have to wait for him to master sitting properly so he can go in the highchair.
So, what’s the dilemma, you may be wondering?
Well, we go off to Egypt when Noah is six and a half months old. I don’t know about you, but almost everyone I know who has been to Egypt has had an, erm, “runny tummy”, and I’d much rather know that if a food doesn’t agree with Noah, that it’s because of the food, not because of something in the food. We are staying in a five-star resort, so you’d hope it would be okay, but you just never do know! Also, I know from my own experience, food in Egypt is generally pretty salty and/or sugary.
We’re only there for two weeks, and I’m pretty sure that anyone with a child over weaning age and under the age of five can remember the saying “food under one, just for fun”. So will waiting to give Noah food until we get back in June really cause him any delays or problems?
I asked the health visitor, and her advice was to start on time, and continue with food once I’m there. If I’m at all worried, she suggested taking tins of foods for Noah to eat while we’re there.
Noah has reflux, and the health visitor suggested that foods may help him with this, as the food won’t rift up on him quite as much as my milk does. She also mentioned that my milk won’t have enough vitamins or calories to sustain him after six months. I’m not sure about this one – Noah is sick after every single feed, so I’ve no idea how he is as big as he is, but he’s thriving just nicely on a minimum amount of milk – he’s in 9-12 month clothing (sob).
Some friends have advised emailing the hotel to request very small amounts of salt-free food to be available at every meal, or taking a small pot and a bottle of water to wash vegetables at the table to make sure they’re free of salt.
What would you do? Start to introduce foods then stop for a fortnight? Wait until he’s seven months old and we’re in the UK? Or introduce foods and keep on doing so while we’re in Egypt?