When To Feed Baby Solids
When to introduce baby to solids
In general, babies can start on solids (starting with rice cereal diluted with breast milk, formula or water, then moving on to pureed fruits and vegetables) somewhere in the first four to six months of his life.
But there are a few signs to watch for to ensure baby is as ready for this next step as you are:
- He shows interest in what you are eating
- She’s outgrown the tongue-thrust or extrusion reflex, which instinctively helps baby to push foreign objects out of her mouth with her tongue
- She can hold her head up and sit with support without slumping forward
- He seems hungry for more than breast milk or wants to nurse more often
- Her birth weight has doubled
Check with your doc
Before starting baby on any new foods, check with your doctor to discuss whether or not your baby is ready or if he has any allergies you should watch out for. Your doctor may also give you advice on how to proceed with introducing foods in a specific order to ensure success with solids.
How to start
The most common solid food to first introduce to baby is a single-grain iron-fortified baby cereal like rice or oatmeal. Mix a small amount (maybe a tablespoon to start) with a small amount of breast milk, formula or water to dilute it to a slightly-thicker-than-liquid texture.
Feed it to baby on a spoon, not from a bottle. If he rejects it, try thinning it a bit more.
Don’t force it
If baby has a hard time taking the cereal from a spoon or swallowing it, he may not be ready. If you’ve tried a few times without success, call it a day on introducing new foods and wait a week or so. A lot can change with baby’s development in a short time. Try and try again but don’t force it.