How to know if your baby is ready for solids? Although many health organizations suggest you should start your baby on solids at six months, this may not always be the case. Your baby is unique and will show you a number of signs when she is ready and it could be as early as at four months. The following five signs, when combined, are a good indicator your baby is ready for solids:
• Your baby’s tongue-thrust reflex keeps her safe by not allowing much more than milk to get past her tongue in her first four months. If she stops that adorable tongue wiggle, it’s a sign she might be ready for something a little more solid.
• So you know that cute bobbing thing your baby does when she can’t actually hold her head up? If she stops doing that, then she’s likely ready to start solid food.
• Along with the end of the head bob, if your baby can sit upright with little to no support, that’s a sign she’s ready for solid food.
• If she starts showing the ability to know when she’s full by actions such as pushing away her bottle, then if all the other signs are there, she is ready to eat solid foods.
• This is important so you don’t end up overfeeding the solids. If she is showing interest in your food, that may also indicate she is ready to expand her food horizons. But this is the last sign to look for. If she is generally grabbing at everything then this may not be a sign.
How to introduce solid foods to a baby
Once you see the signs that tell you baby is ready to meet her lifelong companion, solid food, you need a plan. The following tips are going to help you ease baby food in a no-pressure way; just remember to be patient as you move from food to food and help baby develop her palette.
• Before you delve into the lab of solid food, you should purchase a special spoon for your baby. Your big people spoons are too deep and solid enough to cause injury.
• Purchase a BPA-free plastic baby spoon, and one that’s quite shallow, for the first two months of feeding.
• The first solid food your baby should have is rice cereal, which is light and therefore easily digestible for baby’s sensitive stomach.
• The first time you try to feed baby she may turn away from the food but that doesn’t mean she isn’t ready. Just wait a week and try again; if the problem continues for more than two weeks then you may want to consult your pediatrician.
• Pro Tip: Resist that desire you may have to put the cereal in the bottle. Your baby needs to learn to eat off of a spoon.
• Once your baby gets used to the rice cereal, you can try other cereals before moving on to veggies and fruits.
• Although you can start with veggies or fruit, we would recommend veggies so baby gets used to the more simple flavors before trying the sweet stuff.
• Stagger the introduction of new foods by at least three days. This will allow you to scope out allergies and also help baby get used to the flavors and textures.
A DELICIOUS RECIPE YOUR BABY WILL LOVE
Baby’s First Cereal (6-7 months)
Serving Size: 1
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
1/4 cup rice
1 cup water
1/4 cup breast milk or formula
• Grind your rice into a powder.
• Bring your water to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat.
• Add your ground rice to water and whisk, and continue this for 10 minutes.
• Add formula or breast milk and whisk in.
• Your rice should be nicely cooked now and should be fairly thin in consistency –
enough so that it can be fed from a bottle (but don’t actually feed from the bottle).
• Cool before feeding.
Ana is a 34-year-old food lover and baby food master chef. Her mission is to share the best and easiest baby food recipes with other moms and dads. She’s the author of Simple baby food: Quick and natural recipes your baby will love which is free to download at Amazon between 25th – 29th July 2016. Learn from her experience as a mom and prepare delicious food your baby will love and follow her on Twitter here.