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How do I make the transition from feeding my baby milk to feeding her solids?

Knowing when and how to move your baby from milk onto solid foods can be difficult, particularly for first time mothers.

In general, babies can get all the nourishment they need from breast or bottled milk for the first four months of their lives. But after this, solids are needed for continued growth and development. So what's the easiest way to make the transition? Well, follow these five tips and you'll be fine...

Step by step
Introduce one new food to your baby at a time. This allows you to quickly identify what she likes and dislikes. It also makes it easier to establish the cause of any adverse reaction your baby may have to a particular food.

However once the initial introduction of solid food is over, it is important to give your child a variety of foods to encourage her taste buds to develop.

Spoon straight away
It's hugely beneficial to allow your baby to get used to eating from a spoon as early as possible. Let her hold a specially designed baby spoon and encourage her to use it to feed herself.

Don't force
Remember, when your baby wants to eat she will, and when she doesn't she wont. Imagine how you would feel if someone ten times bigger than you was trying to force food into your mouth when you're not hungry.

Keep it simple
Don't spend hours preparing your baby's meals because half it will just end up on her rather than in her. It really is a waste of time.

Take care with the microwave
Most mothers will sometimes use the microwave to heat up their baby's food. Ideally, you shouldn't do this at all but using the hob isn't always practical for today's busy mums. So when you do use the microwave, just remember to make sure the food is cooked through to the middle but at the same time not too hot. Microwaves don't heat food evenly leaving some areas cold, some warm and some exceptionally hot. Always allow the food to cool before serving, and thoroughly check for any hot spots that could burn your baby's mouth.

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