It may seem like it was just yesterday when you brought home your little bundle of joy then just like that, it’s time to wean your baby off of milk and introduce solid foods. This process might feel overwhelming, especially if your child is still experiencing baby reflux.
What are the symptoms of baby reflux?
It is important to note the symptoms. Repeated crying, vomiting or spitting up, arching of the back or neck during or after feeds, recurrent ear infections, incapacity to sleep or frequent waking, irritability and lastly, frequent hiccups. Babies typically grow out of reflux within the first two years of their life. With that being said, there are still some foods that can aggravate reflux and others that can ease it.
If your baby suffers with reflux, you may feel more comfortable consulting your doctor before you wean your baby off milk and transition them onto solid foods. As a general rule of thumb, you should avoid giving your baby solid food before they’re four months old.
It’s important that you start the weaning process with purees and baby led weaning.The best foods to feed a baby with reflux are purees of vegetables, particularly root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, swede, parsnips and sweet potato. You can also feed your baby any non-acidic fruits. You should avoid citrus fruits like oranges, apples and grapes, tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, cucumbers and aubergines. In addition to that, you should also avoid any foods that have cow’s milk proteins as well as spicy foods.
How to introduce solid foods?
By the time your little one is 4 to 6 months old, you'll probably have your breastfeeding or formula drill down to an art. However, don’t get too comfortable - your baby will soon be ready for "real" food. When it comes to giving your baby solid food, there are a few tips you can follow that can make the process much easier…
Wean your baby slowly
As a general rule of thumb, you should wean your baby slowly and let them take the lead on how much food they need. Don’t hurry meal times, allowing plenty of time for food to settle in your baby’s tummy.
Start with smooth foods
You should also start your baby on food that is completely smooth. The textures of different kinds of foods can be a trigger for your infant to spit it up. That is not to say you can never introduce different textures, just make sure that you do so slowly. You should also make sure that you sit your baby upright when feeding them.
Watch out for allergies
You can include any foods that are a part of your family’s diet during complementary feeding. As a precaution, you could introduce foods one at a time for three days at first and, if your baby has no issues, the next new food should be added.
This way, any problematic food would be easier to recognise in the unlikely event that an acute or delayed form of allergic reaction occurs. Once potential allergens, such as eggs and peanuts, have been introduced it is recommended that you continue to include them in your baby’s diet, ideally at least twice a week, to ensure that your baby remains tolerant to that particular food.
Spacing the time in between introducing new foods will give you the opportunity to discover the foods your baby likes and dislikes. Although your baby’s reflux can make introducing solid foods a challenge, it’s by no means impossible.