When it comes to transitioning your baby from an all liquid diet to eating baby food, you may have a number of questions.
While your baby’s pediatrician should be your final authority on these matters, here is some general information that can help you know when your baby is ready to start solid foods.
Most babies are ready to begin adding solid food to their diet at around age 4 to 6 months.
The exact time varies from child to child. Watch your child for these signs of readiness:
- The texture of your baby’s stools has changed from the soft, mustard-like baby consistency to a more formed stool.
- Your baby’s appetite is increased. A child who was sleeping through the night may start waking up to be fed, and may consume increased amounts of breast milk or infant formula when fed.
- Your baby can support the weight of her own head, and can sit up (with help if necessary).
- Your baby weighs about 15 pounds, or has doubled his or her birth weight.
- Your baby expresses curiosity concerning your food, perhaps reaching for your food.
When a baby is breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, she must stick her tongue out to latch on properly. This is a natural reflex that your baby will begin to lose when it is time to start introducing solid foods.
Remember, as long as your baby is getting enough to eat, there is no rush to begin solid foods, especially if there are food allergies in your family.
Most pediatricians recommend beginning with rice cereal for babies. Once that is well tolerated, additional baby cereals can be added.
After that you can begin introducing fruits and vegetables. After the introduction of a food, always wait at least 3 days before introducing something else new. This way if your baby has a reaction, you will be readily able to determine the culprit.
Before you give your baby any food, taste it yourself to make sure it is not spoiled.