There are many milestones to look forward to as your child gets older, and one of those is transitioning to solid foods. The world of possibilities and flavors opens up to them, and it gives you the chance to help them explore and find foods that they love. Your child may be thrilled to try new food, but after a few bites, they might become fussy and want mealtime to end.
Being a parent, this can be uncommonly frustrating and stressful, and it may have you wondering if your child is ready to transition. Whether you are giving them organic baby cereal or trying to get them to eat their fruits and veggies, there are some reasons why your child might have trouble moving to solid foods.
They Don’t Have the Proper Reflexes
Your child wasn’t born knowing how to eat solid food. As they get older, they develop the reflexes and abilities that are necessary to manipulate food in their mouths, which will eventually lead them to be able to chew their food.
It takes time for your child to learn how to move food from the front of their mouth to the back, as well as how to mash it with their gums. This is why it’s recommended that you move from breastmilk or formula to soft foods like organic baby cereal. However, if they are having problems eating this, then they may not have developed the proper reflexes. Consider talking to your pediatrician or holding off on solid foods for a little while longer.
They Can’t Sit in the Chair
In addition to having the proper eating reflexes, your child also needs to have trunk control and be able to keep their head and limbs steady so that they can move their jaw to swallow foods safely. Having the right chair helps with this task. You need to make sure that the chair supports your child’s hips and allows them to sit upright. They should also be able to plant their feet, as this helps anchor the body. Having a chair that is too big can hinder their ability to transition to solid foods, so make sure to get a chair that grows with them.
Your child is going through a lot of changes, and if they are teething, constipated, have gastroesophageal reflux disease or an overactive gag reflex, this could lead to them having trouble transitioning to solid food. Signs that pain might play a role in their inability to eat solid foods include keeping their mouth tightly closed as you try to feed them, arching their back, or trying to get out of their high chair (or refusing to get in it). If you notice these indicators, you should consider talking to your pediatrician to figure out how to make mealtime less painful and more enjoyable—for everyone.
By the time your child is approximately 4 to 6 months old, they should be getting ready to transition to solid food. Though every child is unique, and they develop at their own rate. If you find that you are having trouble transitioning your child to solid food, there could be many reasons for this. The best method of working is to talk to your child’s doctor. They should be able to give you some tips and tricks or answers as to why this transition is so challenging.