How to Tell When it’s Time to Start Baby on Solids
Everyone knows that when their baby is born, that baby must be given either breast milk or formula. But what most people don’t know is when they should start baby on solids. The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents wait until the age of 6 months before introducing solid foods in addition to these 8 signs of readiness.
- Head control
In order for your baby to eat solid food, he needs to be able to keep his head upright. If he’s not able to do this yet, just wait a little longer until he is.
- No more extrusion reflex
This is the reflex that helps your baby from choking. But in small babies, they will instinctively push everything out of their mouths with their tongue. When they are ready to start eating solids, they will instead start swallowing pureed foods.
- Sitting upright
Your baby doesn’t have to be a master at sitting just yet but he needs to be able to sit upright enough with just a little support in order to swallow solids effectively.
- Tasting everything
Has he begun putting everything he can put his hands on into his mouth? If so, that’s a good sign he’s ready to try eating solid foods.
- Makes chewing motions
Your baby might sit on your lap while you eat and watch your spouse, and then make chewing motions with his mouth. Since the mouth and tongue develop at the same time as the digestive system, this is a good sign he’s getting ready to eat more than your breast milk.
- Major weight gain
When your baby starts doubling in weight, this is a likely time for him to begin feasting on solids. Keep in mind, he’ll simply be trying little bits of things here and there. He is not ready for an eight-course dinner just yet but he is ready for some mashed sweet potatoes or avocado.
- Increase in appetite
Babies are generally ready for solids when they still seem hungry even after eating breast milk or formula around 10 times a day.
- Great interest in what you’re eating
Babies are curious by nature. So when they’re interested in something, you’ll notice them staring at it intently or trying to grab it. If you’re holding your baby during dinner and he tries to grab food off your plate or intercept your forkful of spaghetti as you try to eat it.