What is 3 day wait rule, for introducing the solids to baby? Is it necessary to follow this rule?
You must have heard of the 3 or 4 day wait rule numerous times, while reading up on introducing solids to your baby. 3 day wait rule simply means you should wait for 2 to 3 days whenever you start giving a new food item to your baby, before introducing another new item.
So, give the same or already introduced food items during the next couple of days. This rule helps in pin-pointing if a particular food item is causing allergy or any other kind of reactions like gas, diarrhoea or constipation etc.
So, if you introduced rice cereal today as baby’s first food, offer the same for the next two days. If you see any adverse reaction, you know which food item is the culprit. If all is well after 3 days, you may now introduce banana and wait again for 3 days before introducing apple sauce. You can however puree banana and mix with rice cereal since that is already tried and tested.
How long should I continue following the 3 day wait rule?
You will find that your baby has been introduced to most new food items by 9 months or so, you will find yourself relax a bit. But it is best to err in the side of caution. You might want to follow the 3 day wait rule when you introduce eggs or chicken or fish or something store-bought.
One thing you can continue to follow even if you stop waiting for 3 days as baby gets older is to introduce the new food item during morning or early lunch. This gives you time to monitor the baby throughout the day and also have access to medical help should it be needed.
Be extra-careful if there is an history of food allergy in your family. E.g. if you or your partner or a close relative has an allergy to brinjal / eggplant, wait to introduce it after a year after a discussion with baby’s doctor and then too be vigilant for any adverse symptoms for next 3 days, after which you may be relatively sure that it is safe.
If you see any adverse reaction like a rash or loose motions or constipation, discontinue that item for a few weeks and then try again.
Age-wise Food Chart for Babies till 1 year