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Starting Your Baby on Solid Foods

Starting Your Baby on Solid Foods

For months your baby has thrived with just breast milk or formula on the menu. Now that he's getting bigger, he seems to want more out of lunch than mere milk. When is the best time, and what are the best ways, to introduce solid foods to your infant?

Feeding Roles
As you begin this new stage, it's important to understand the roles you each need to play so that he grows well and develops life-long healthy eating habits. Remember:

  • You're in charge of making healthy, appropriate food available to your child in a way he can handle.
  • Your child is in charge of what, when, and how much he eats.
  • He's both the learner and the explorer: you are the supportive, reassuring facilitator.

Solid Signals
The newest recommendations are to introduce solids when your baby is about 4 to 6 months old. Breast milk or formula should continue to be your baby's primary food until he is 1 year old, or longer if you wish.

Your baby may be ready for solids when he:

  • Has doubled his birth weight and weighs at least 13 pounds.
  • Makes mouthing movements as he watches other people eat.
  • Is still hungry after eating a good amount of breast milk or formula.
  • Doesn't push his tongue out at a spoon when you try to feed him.
  • Pulls in his lower lip for food instead of sticking it out.
  • Holds his head up on his own.
  • Sits upright easily with some support.
  • Follows food with his eyes.
  • Closes his lips over food.

Reactions to Food
Introduce new foods one at a time to see whether your baby has an allergic reaction or is sensitive to a particular food. Food reactions usually show up as rashes on the face or in the diaper area, by spitting up, or by loose stools. Babies don't need the sugar or the salt that adults eat, so don't add them to your child's food, even though it may taste bland to you.

Feeding Basics
Always start with solids on a spoon. Never put solids in a bottle.

  • Hold your baby in your lap when you start out. Be sure her head and neck are upright.
  • Talk quietly. She needs to concentrate when she's starting out.
  • Hold the filled spoon in front of your baby and wait until she opens up. Put a little food on her lip to tempt her if her mouth stays closed.
  • Wait for her to pay attention to the spoon before you put it in her mouth.
  • Stop when she shuts her mouth, turns away, or arches.
  • Let her touch her food. It's her way of finding out about it.
  • Watch your own facial expression. If you frown as you present pureed peas, your baby will wonder why she's getting that green stuff.
  • Breast milk and formula are still important, but give your baby solids first at mealtime to encourage her to accept new foods.

101 Comments

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how much

tami302 4/29/2016
My son is now six months old. i am wondering how any times a day i should offer solids to him and how much i should let him eat at a time?

helpful tips

meme 4/27/2016
I used some of these tips on my twins. Worked wonders.

baby bullet

4/26/2016
we can't wait to use our baby bullet!

Thanks

KeKe 4/25/2016
Thank you, I am ready to move toward solid food and less milk.

Good article

RogerM001 4/25/2016
Very interesting article. Well explained.
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