Feeding the 5 month old
Remember to start foods one at a time. Give each new food for 3 or 4 days in a row before starting another food. Single-ingredient foods are best at first. If baby gets a tummy ache or a rash, you'll know which food may be to blame.
Check with baby's doctor or clinic to find out what foods to offer first. Usually babies start with rice or barley cereals, and then slowly add other cereals, pureed vegetables and fruits. After baby has tried each of the separate foods, you can give him the mixed versions, like mixed vegetables or cereals.
If baby doesn't like a food, try again in a week or two.
Babies just starting on solids need foods that are pureed or mashed so the foods are very soft and fine-textured. You can buy baby food in jars at the grocery store, or make your own. When using baby food in jars, be sure the safety button on top is down when you buy it. Listen for the "pop" when you open the jar for the first time so you know the jar wasn't opened before.
Don't feed baby straight from the jar. Saliva from the spoon can spoil the leftover food. Put a small amount into a dish instead. If food is left over from the dish, throw it out. Refrigerate the rest of the jar, and use it up within the next day or two.
Don't use regular canned foods for your baby. They have too much salt and may have preservatives or artificial colors that are not good for babies.
You can use a blender or baby food grinder to make baby food yourself. Use foods that are steamed, boiled, roasted, broiled or cooked in a microwave, with no added fat, salt or sugar. Extra liquid may be needed to puree the food smoothly. Remove skin, bones, and fat from meats. Peel vegetables and fruits and remove seeds.
Clean hands and equipment are very important when handling baby food. Wash your hands and all cooking equipment in hot, soapy water and air-dry. Use a plastic cutting board instead of a wooden one, which can pick up germs more easily. These steps will help prevent food poisoning.
Some 5-month-old babies are ready to start learning how to drink from a cup, although they still need to use a bottle most of the time. Choose a non-breakable cup with handles to hold. A small cup is best. A large cup could cover baby's eyes when she drinks from it and scare her. Try these steps:
- Give baby the empty cup to hold and to look at.
- Let baby watch you and other family members drinking from a cup.
- Put a spoonful of water or juice in the cup and let baby help you tip it so he can drink.
- When he wants to hold his own cup, the tippy-style cups with lids will help prevent spills.
- If baby rejects the cup, do not force him. He will have lots of time to learn later.