It feels like you met your little one just a few days ago, yet here you are wondering if your baby is ready for solid foods. How did that happen so fast? After all the work you put into your parenting journey, using breastfeeding or formula to feed your baby, it can seem daunting to take on a different, and messier food source. Should you go with purees only? How about baby-led weaning?
With all the available advice, many new parents find the process of introducing solids a challenging and overwhelming task. As you start to introduce solids, your baby is just as likely to play with the food as they are to eat it, and that’s fine. As they say, “Food before one is just for fun.” Read on to learn more about picking the time to transition to solids.
Is Your Baby Ready for Solid Foods?
Before you start on this path, you should determine if your baby is ready for solid foods. And when you try to feed solids to you baby, and things don’t work out, just try again in a couple of days or weeks. However, here are a few hard and fast rules for a baby’s readiness for solids. They include, but are not limited to:
- When your baby is sitting well. This means unassisted, comfortably, and confidently.
- Your baby does not immediately push solids out of their mouth, exhibiting the tongue-thrust reflex.
- Your baby loves to chew on toys, books, your hand or anything else.
What About Teeth?
Your baby does not need to have teeth to try solid foods. Those gums are surprisingly strong. You may know your baby is ready for solid foods when they literally grab it from your plate. In that case, follow your little one’s lead and start with something soft and easy to chew.
Some good foods to start feeding solids with include:
- Baby cereal, such as oatmeal, rice, barley
- Cooked peas or carrots
- Squash or sweet potato
Most babies start on solids by six months. But, every child is different, so the age for when a baby is ready for solid foods may range widely. Remember to keep it fun. If your baby is not showing signs that they are ready, keep watching for them, and try again later.
As you well know, babies change daily. What was not interesting yesterday could be their new favorite activity the next. If you are wondering when to start, watch for the signs, so you’ll know when your baby is ready for solid foods.