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Starting Solid Foods

  • Starting Solid Foods

    Most babies are ready to start solid foods around age four to six months however it does vary by baby so it's a good idea to check with your pediatrician and make sure that their growth and developmental stage is appropriate for starting solids.  The most important thing is to just start with single ingredient foods, so baby cereals are often a good idea or fruit and vegetables or even meat purees are good first foods.  

    Especially in those early months of four to six months, when you're just starting it's not really meant to be a replacement for breast milk or formula but just a supplement to what you are already doing.  In general for a healthy baby, that's growing well; I would let them direct what they seem ready to do.  Most of the time one or two tablespoons of food are probably what you'll see a baby who is first starting out with solids take.  Bigger babies and hungrier babies, they may take up to three or four.  First I would just start with offering once a day but if your baby seems ready and excited about the solids, you can start advancing to two to three times a day as they get closer to six months old.  

    Usually around eight to ten months your baby might start to be ready for some chunkier or even some finger foods.  The developmental milestones to look for would be a baby that can sit up on its own has very good head and neck control, and it's starting to be adept at picking things up with their hands. 

    It's not that important if your baby has teeth or not because if you think about it babies aren't chewing with those front teeth.  They're chewing with their gums in the back so a lot of people do worry my baby doesn't have enough teeth but really that is probably not the most important indicator. 

    Well when you're first starting with finger foods, the important thing is that it is something easy for your baby to pick up and something that safe and not a choking hazard for them.  So very soft cooked fruits and vegetables, diced carrots that are cooked soft, peas, things like that.  Soft fruits that you can cut up, peaches, cooked apples, things like that are good.  As they get a little bit more advanced the cheerios can be a good idea, because they come with a little hole that makes it easy to pick up and less of a choking hazard.

Infant and Toddler Care Pediatrics