If you have (or have had) an infant, it’s likely that you’ve been given advice on when to start feeding your baby. You’ve probably been told to give your baby some rice cereal to help the baby sleep longer or to give yourself more time in between breastfeeding sessions. These are not good reasons to start feeding your baby. Instead of trying to stuff your baby’s belly or even waiting for a magical age, try looking for signs that your baby is ready to eat solids.
The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends “around 6 months” for solids. There are a couple of reasons that 6 months is the recommended age, the baby’s digestive system being one. The other being that there are some developmental markers that should take place before a baby eats solids which typically take place around 6 months.
These markers, or signs, are more important than the baby’s age because they indicate that the baby is physically capable. We all know that each baby develops at his own pace which is why there is no magic number at which a baby is ready to eat and watching for the signs is extremely important.
I am not a medical professional. The information I am sharing is based on research and personal experience. This is in no way intended to be medical advice. Always consult a doctor for medical advice.
Signs That Your Baby is Ready to Eat Solids:
Able to sit unassisted.
Watches you eat, following your eating utensil.
Reaches for food and is eager to participate in mealtime.
Can pick up objects and food.
Has lost the reflex that causes him or her to automatically push food out with tongue.
Safety Tips for Starting Your Baby on Solid Foods
Make sure your baby is sitting upright.
Eat Right recommends that you hold your baby in your lap, facing you. I started my son in a Bumbo and it worked out well but I can see why you might want to hold your baby, in the event o choking.
Don't feed your baby solids from a bottle.
The purpose of introducing solids is to introduce your baby to eating food, not to stuff her. Putting solids in a bottle defeats the purpose of teaching your child the skill of eating solid foods. Plus, it can lead to choking and overeating.
Try new foods in the morning.
Since your baby is new to eating solid foods, there may be allergies that you are unaware of. Introducing solids early in the day gives the body time to digest and you time to see if there is a reaction.
Recommended First Foods for Your Baby:
About the Author
Hi! I'm Inez, the owner and content creator of For the Love of Mom, a website dedicated to helping moms thrive in motherhood by offering helpful advice, tips and resources.