Introduce solids only when your baby is well and relaxed.

Introduce solids only when your baby is well and relaxed.

Give solids after a bottle or breast feed in the first six months when milk is still her staple food. After six months you can do it either way you prefer, some babies need to suck before they sleep for instance, so you could then give the solids first and help her relax with a breast or bottle feed.

After six months you can do it either way, although it is probably better to give the bottle after solids as it could spoil her appetite if she has a lot of milk. Having the bottle last will give her longer sucking comfort and help her relax into sleep.

Do not add salt to your babys food. It places a strain on the still immature kidneys and is thought to increase the chances of developing hypertension (high blood pressure) in later life.

A too high concentration of protein in the first months can also place a strain on the kidneys.

Do not add a lot of butter to your babys meals because the liver cannot cope with too much fat in the first year.

During the first six months the babys food should be pureed, later the consistency should gradually become coarser. To puree baby food you can use a liquidiser, food processor, or sieve by hand through a baby food mill. Later on you can mash the food with a fork, or put it into the liquidiser or food processor for a short time.

Keep your babys utensils clean but it is not necessary to sterilise them. Bottles need to be sterilised until the baby is a year old because of the many crevices in the bottle in which germs can grow and because milk is an ideal medium for bacteria to multiply.

When cooking baby food use as little water as possible so that you do not have to pour off nutrients unnecessarily.

Beans, peas, cabbage and cauliflower are inclined to give babies wind so introduce with care.

Spinach can become toxic to a small baby if left for more than 24 hours after cooking so serve the day you cook it.

Let water or milk cool before adding it to cereal or the mixture will form lumps.

Fried foods should not be given in the first six months and after that only occasionally, if at all, in the first year.

Introduce solids only when your baby is well and relaxed.

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