But if the techniques used in the clinic, which nevertheless will increase your baby's intake of breastmilk, do not deal with the problem, adding solids can help also. Increasing the baby's intake while breastfeeding is the first step and best step. There is no advantage to giving artificial baby milk (formula) and there definitely are some disadvantages, especially if it is given by bottle. The baby who is not satisfied completely at the breast may start to take more and more from the bottle, and end up refusing to take the breast completely.
The breastfed baby digests solid foods better and earlier than the artificially fed baby because breastmilk contains enzymes that help digest fats, proteins, and starch. As well, breastfed babies have received a wide variety of tastes in their lives in the breastmilk, since the flavours of many foods the mother eats will pass into her milk. Breastfed babies thus accept solids more readily than artificially fed babies. Breastfeeding is amazing, eh?
When the baby is starting to take solids at about six months of age, there is little difference what he starts with or the order foods are introduced. It is prudent to avoid highly spiced or highly allergenic foods at first (e.g. egg white, strawberries), but if the baby reaches for the potato on your plate, make sure it is not too hot, and let him have the potato. There is no need to go in any specific order, and there is no need for the baby to eat only one food for a certain period of time.
Some exclusively breastfed babies of 6 months of age or so, dislike infant cereal. There is no need for concern and no need to persist if the baby doesn't want the cereal. There is nothing magic or necessary about infant cereal. Offer your baby the foods that he is interested in. Allow the baby to enjoy food and do not worry exactly how much he actually takes at first. Much of it may end up in his hair and on the floor anyhow.
There is no need either that foods be pureed if the baby is six months of age or older. Simple mashing with a fork is all that is necessary at first. You also do not have to be exceedingly careful about how much the baby takes. Why limit the baby to one teaspoon if he wants more? You also do not need to waste your money on commercial baby foods.
• Be relaxed, feed the baby at your mealtimes, and as he becomes a more accomplished eater of solid foods, offer a greater variety of foods at any one time.
• The easiest way to get extra iron for your baby five or six months of age is by giving him meat. Infant cereal has iron, but it is poorly absorbed and may cause the baby to be constipated. If you wish your baby to be vegetarian, it would be best to speak with an experienced pediatric nutritionist about how to get iron into the baby's diet.
• There is no reason to introduce vegetables before fruit. Breastmilk is far sweeter than fruit, so there is no reason to believe that the baby will take vegetables better by delaying the introduction of fruit.
• Respect your baby's likes and dislikes. There is no essential food (except breastmilk). If your baby does not like a certain food, do not push it on him. If you think it important for him, wait a few weeks and offer it again.
• At about eight months of age, babies become somewhat assertive in displaying their individuality. Your baby may not want you to put a spoon into his mouth. He may want to take the spoon out of your hand and put it into his mouth himself, often upside down, so that the food falls on his lap. Respect his attempts at self-sufficiency and encourage his learning.
At this age, it may be prudent to go a little more slowly. Start with ripe avocado or easily mashed foods such as banana, or homemade oatmeal. Sometimes a baby will eat better from your finger (or his!) than off a spoon. Go a little more slowly with quantities as well. But as the baby tolerates solids, both quantity and variety of foods can be increased, as the baby desires.