Baby's Signs of Readiness for Solid Foods

~ Posted on Monday, May 26, 2014 at 7:04 AM ~

I often get asked by my blog followers when they should start solids on their kiddos. Now, the answer is not when, not at a specific age but whether the signs of readiness for starting solids are there. What signs to look out for you ask? Here is my typical checklist which I applied on our 3 kiddos so far:

1) Is your baby able to sit up straight and hold his/her head upright? As in his/her neck is strong enough to hold up their head?

Why the ability to hold their own neck upright is important? It is because baby will need to swallow their food. Imagine you feed them food and mid swallowing, their neck rolled to their sides because they are not strong yet to hold their own head. Dangerous...


2) Have you check your baby's tongue reflex?

Tongue reflex meant if you put some small food in her mouth, does she spit it back out? If yes, she is definitely NOT ready because the gag reflex is still strong meaning she cannot swallow bigger size food other than her current milk at the moment. How I conduct the test on this for our kiddos is when I eat my dinner (most of the time with rice), I will take one small grain of rice (softer ones of course!) and put it into our kiddo's mouth. And wait. See whether the rice comes back out or not. If the grain of rice came back out, it means they are not ready yet.

Excerpt from Dr. Sear's website on tongue-thrust reflex:

"In the first four months the tongue thrust reflex protects the infant against choking. When any unusual substance is placed on the tongue, it automatically protrudes outward rather than back. Between four and six months this reflex gradually diminishes, giving the glob of cereal a fighting chance of making it from the tongue to the tummy. Not only is the mouth-end of baby’s digestive tract not ready for early solids, neither is the lower end."

Signs of Readiness for Solid Foods


3) Is he/she has increased appetite?

Signs of Readiness for Solid Foods

I find this easy to monitor for all 3 of our fully breastfeeding kiddos. Reason being, I have been their main source of live tap (direct all the way) so I will definitely know when they are hungry still after I nursed them. You will also need to take note of growth spurts period. DO NOT confuse growth spurts with baby's having increased appetite! For our kiddos, their growth spurts were when they were 1, 2, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months old. They could nurse almost every hour, on and on and on. You will need to watch out for the other signs of readiness as well okay?

Apologies for not being able to comment on how it goes for formula feeding kiddos since we have no experience in that.


4) Is he/she particularly more interested when he/she sees people around eating food?

In general, whenever your little ones see you or family member eat, they are very interested and keep looking and wanting to have a part of what you are having.

Signs of Readiness for Solid Foods

Just because other kiddos you know starts early doesn't mean yours should follow suit. I personally feel 6 months onwards is better as kiddo's body organs are more matured by then and functions better, ready to handle the digestion process for new food texture.

There's no need to rush the solids stage. Our 2nd and 3rd kiddos only started solids at 7.5 mths old. Solids stage is meant to let kiddo experience new taste, new texture, NOT to fill them up. If others are telling you their kiddos started solids at 2, 3, 4 months old and have no problems at all, fine, by all means, good for them. But that is THEIR kiddo, NOT yours. You as the parent should know and watch out for your baby's signs of readiness for solids.

~ Further reading:

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Comparison of Immunization Schedules

~ Posted on Friday, May 23, 2014 at 7:58 AM ~

Few months back, I asked around on my blog FB page for the immunization health cards of kiddos all around the world and compiled those that I received.

What prompted me to find out more and compiled the data? It was during a family visit and my brother in law was telling us about the jabs his daughter received few days before our visit and I was wondering why is she getting the jab when it was not even listed in our kiddo's immunization health card?!

** Image Credit: Google search

You can have a look at the Comparison of Immunization Schedules.pdf (1.34 mb) PDF file and see for yourself how the age requirements differs by each hospitals, states, countries.

What's my take after seeing all the different details in the compiled file? As a parent, I believe in vaccinations but only those listed in our kiddos' immunization health cards. We will also delay the jabs if our kiddo is not feeling well prior to the jab appointment. I also delayed the MMR jabs for our older 2 kiddos (they got the jab at 18 months instead of 12 months). Also, try not to go for those multiple jabs in 1 shot type, MMR jab has 3 in 1. I've heard of 5/6 jabs in 1 shot, I think that's a bit too much for a baby to handle.

If you want to find out more about immunization, read up the following links:

* WHO Immunization

* CDC Immunization Schedules for Infants and Children in Easy-to-read Formats

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Movie Review - Return to Zero

~ Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 9:44 AM ~

It has been a long time since I get to preview an upcoming movie! Few days ago, I received a pitch to participate in a special “sneak peek” screening of "Return to Zero", which premiers 20 May 2014 8.00pm on Lifetime (Chanel 709 on Astro). So below is my review for the  movie:

Title:  Return to Zero
Director: Sean Hanish
Cast: Minnie Driver, Paul Adelstein, Alfred Molina, Connie Nielsen, Kathy Baker, Andrea Anders, Sarah Jones
Release Date: 20 May 2014 8.00pm on Lifetime (Chanel 709 on Astro)
Repeats on 25 May, Sunday at 9pm and 31 May, Saturday at 4pm
Running Time: 107 Minutes

Synopsis of the movie:

"Based on a true story, Return to Zero tells the story of a successful couple, Maggie (Minnie Driver) and Aaron (Paul Adelstein), who are preparing for the arrival of their first child. Just weeks before their due date they are devastated to discover that their baby son has died in the womb and will be stillborn. The two attempt to go on with their lives but cannot escape their postpartum grief and their relationship has been forever altered by this loss. They try to cope in a myriad of ways-- through denial, escape, and alcohol-- but when Maggie discovers that Aaron is having an affair with a co-worker, she decides to end the marriage. Just when Maggie believes she has started a new life, she discovers that she is pregnant. With the help of an empathetic doctor who once experienced a similar loss, Maggie finally learns to grieve for her son and must reunite with Aaron to prepare for their second pregnancy."

Other Notes:

* Return to Zero has been selected as one of the official selection of RIFF Awards 2014, and CINEQUEST Film Festival. 

* Return to Zero is based on the real-life experience of Sean Hanish and his wife. Sean and his wife Kiley had a stillborn child. In 2005, in week 37 of the pregnancy, after a healthy check just the previous month, there was no heartbeat from their unborn child. Their son, Norbert, was born still.

*  Sean Hanish used the actual diagnosis of his son in the film as well as some of the beautiful words that were said at his memorial service.

As a mother of 3 kiddos, I've been blessed through and through again with wonderful pregnancies and deliveries, I can't imagine how heartbreaking it would be to find out the child you have been carrying in your womb passed away.

I have heard of experiences from friends of friends about their stillborn, how despite finding out their child is no longer alive that they still have to go through the delivery process. We may never know the heartaches of going through the experience of the loss of a child and the impact towards the relationship and family.

How often do you come across a film that touches on the aspect of stillbirth and the effects of it? The scene where Minnie Driver delivered her baby boy and hugged him before he was passed on to the nurse - just heartbreaking. Sad when the child you have been carrying in your womb for so long passed away, never get to see the world...

Unless the person have gone through a similar situation, I don't think we can ever understand what the parents go through when they lose an unborn child, the trauma, guilt, anger and all. I think this movie gives us hope that things will turn out better one day and that you are not alone in this and for us to cherish our loved ones every day we can. A must see film!

I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with a copy of the movie in a CD in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine.

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