The next time you question your baby feeding tactics remember this — you have a team that is embracing repetition right alongside with you. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a baby is ready for solids after they can check a few things off their list — being older than 6 months, sitting up on their own without help, and not pushing things away with their tongue are three top things on that list.
Our own expert Pediatrician, Dr. Mary Versfelt, shared that on average little ones are the most receptive to new tastes during that 4 to 6 month window. The key to gifting them the taste buds of an adventurous eater isn’t just to introduce as much as possible during their taste window, it’s to ensure that you’re not giving up on their eating habits after that first failed try. (Because the truth is that there will be lots of misses before there are successes.)
Knowing that you’re being inundated by a drive to get it all perfect on the first try we have a 2019 challenge for you — make “repetition” a part of your daily life. We know that more than one Instagram post has lauded your friends and family’s choice of a word of the year, and hey maybe you even chose one for yourself, but when it comes to your little one we’re adamant on that “repetition” is the best word to keep front and center.
Knowing that it will take on average over 10 tries of a new food shouldn’t spark fear and frustration, it should be your out for all the deep breaths possible. You and your little one aren’t going to get this right on the first try so don’t put pressure on yourself to do so.
Instead, Dr. Versfelt encourages you to have fun with the process. We came up with some ingenious way to keep the adventure alive as you teach your little ones about new foods, but in addition to those — making a fun social experience out of eating will help calm the fear in you both. Your little one isn’t too little for a lunch date. Invite your best mommy friend and her little one over to share in the repetition journey together. Dr. Versfelt suggests eating playdates because little ones are actually encouraged by seeing their friends trying a new food. (And it helps that you’ll have a partner in the feeding journey.)
The first step to not seeing the need for repetition as a sign of failure is to embrace it for all the good it brings into our lives. This year remember that each of those chances you have to introduce an old or new food to your little one is an opportunity to bond with them and show them even more of the world. It’s not a moment lost, it’s just another memory made.
Let us know on Instagram or in the comments on FB if you’ll be embracing “repetition” as your word of the year and giving yourself permission to cut yourself slack in the process.