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How to Introduce Any New Food Safely to a Baby?
Introducing the first solid food to your baby can be tricky especially for first-time moms as you are not sure which food may trigger a reaction. One of the many new terms you will learn as a new parent is: 3 day thumb rule or 3 day wait rule of food introduction to your baby.In simple words, give one new food for 3 days straight, once a day to understand if your baby can digest it well and has no allergy to it.
Why Wait for 3 Days?
Many healthy foods like: Dairy, Eggs, certain vegetables are common allergens in babies. Even though a mother may not ever have had reaction to any such food, her baby may be allergic to it. Apart from the allergies, a few foods may cause digestive problems leading to abdominal pain, gas and bowel issues. So, to make sure it doesn’t happen, you should do this test.
Why Exactly 3 Days? Why not Less or More?
Giving the same food item to your baby continuously for 3 days will help you understand whether a specific food is triggering any reaction in the body. When you start a new food for your baby, it may take at least two days to show a reaction. You can give him a different food for the next 3 days and then repeat the first food and wait for any allergy or reaction. Like this, you can a few variety of foods in a lesser span of time and check whether your baby is intolerant to them or not. If you reduce the number of days to two or one and introduce many foods within this span of time, when an allergy breaks out, you may be confused that which food is causing the trouble. The three days wait rule gives you sufficient time to figure out the culprit food and later cut down it from your baby’s diet. Hence One at a Time!
How many Times a Day a New Food can be given?
Every baby has his own pace of digestion and reaction but since you are introducing a new solid food to your baby, it is suggested to give it only once in a day and if your baby is tolerant to that food, gradually increase the frequency by observing your baby’s interest and hunger.
How much Quantity of New Food is Allowed in 3 Days Rule?
You can give one bowl of a food during the 3 days wait rule. Start small quantity if any history of allergy of that food in the family or if its common allergen.
What Time of The Day is Good to Try a New Food?
Morning and afternoon meals are digested easily in comparison to the dinner. When your baby is happiest and most active is the best time to introduce a new food. Usually, babies are awake and active in morning and afternoon. Moreover, you can get sufficient time to notice any health changes or reaction during the day after introducing a new food. If you feed your baby a new food in the evening or during dinner, he will fall asleep soon and even if he encounters with an allergy, you will be able to notice it the next day. If any allergy triggers in night, getting a medical assistance may be difficult during that time in comparison to the daytime.
Read: Weight Booster Foods for Babies
Till What Age should I Follow This?
The 3 day wait rule can be followed till the first 2-3 months of baby’s solid food introduction. Also, for some heavy to digest foods like meat or dairy, take this test even if baby is 12-months old. Your baby’s nutrition is most important to you and you may not want to add to the chaos by getting confused about which food is causing allergy to your baby. The 3 day wait rule is the best way to find out the culprit food to which your baby is intolerant. The allergen foods can be introduced later to check whether your baby is still intolerant to them or not.