Some of the most joyous moments of parenthood are when your baby reaches his or her first milestones. I know this pretty well because I’m a mom to twins. I get to witness milestones in doubles! At eight months, we transitioned from milk and basic rice cereal to more complex solids! This new adventure is one of the first challenges for parents because training babies to like different types of foods requires patience, and perseverance. Starting solids is also one of the most important milestones because you’re essentially setting your baby on a course for a lifetime of healthy eating.
When Should I Introduce Solids
Studies have shown that correct weaning can lay the foundation of good health and nutrition for later life and the World Health Organizations has been campaigning vigorously for a later introduction of solids and exclusive breastfeeding until the age of six months. This has caused a lot of confusion among many parents, as up until quite recently it was considered to be perfectly safe to give a four-month-old baby some solids. Now, however, and as the result of numerous studies, such an early introduction to solids is thought to be the cause of many food allergies and other dietary and digestion problems. It is very important to remember that the delicate digestive systems of babies are just not equipped to process certain foods and that one should tread gently when choosing the first solids. As a general guideline, babies at the age of 26 weeks need more iron and should therefore slowly be introduced to some solids, while still being breastfed or given formula.
Apart from all the valuable official advice, it is just as important to remember that each little baby is different and will need to find her/his own way to learn to enjoy solid foods.
What You Need to Consider When Introducing Solids to Twins
While twins are bound to learn from each other, imitate each other and share many experiences, it is important to remember that they both have different needs and personalities. This applies to all areas of life and should also be remembered when introducing solids to twins. In most cases, the first six months will already have given you the opportunity to get to know each baby’s feeding habits and when you are introducing solids, you ought to follow each baby’s lead. Rather than deciding one day to go ahead and introduce solids to both, adopt an attitude of “gently offering” solids to each baby and observe and see how each baby reacts and copes. One may just take to solids like a duck to water, while the other may fuss and reject initially and only gradually come to enjoy eating solids.
You should most certainly not feel any pressure to introduce solids quickly and can rest assured in the knowledge that breast milk in particular and formula too, will provide your baby with sufficient nutrition for growth and well-being.
How To – Gently, Slowly and Separately
It is also important to choose a time in the day, when baby and mom are well rested and to give each baby plenty of individual attention when offering solids for the first time. Gently offer and see what happens, give more if baby wants more, stop and try some other time if baby pushes the spoon away. Keep the process slow, relaxed, gentle and focus on the individual reaction of each of your little darlings. Soon, they both will want more, look for your dinner and long to taste lots of different foods.