What's the right age to start solids?
Real Mom Problem
“My baby boy will be six months on Friday. My doctor said he can have baby cereal. I am thinking maybe he can start eating baby food now too. When did you start with baby food?”
- 1. The AAP recommends starting solids around 4-6 months
- 2. It's ok to delay solids even longer
- 3. Look for signs of readiness to know when to start
- 4. Always check with your child's pediatrician before starting solids
Real Mom Solutions
Most pediatricians will recommend starting solids somewhere between four to six months of age. However many moms believe delaying solids even longer is better for the baby's health. Some babies get solids earlier than four months to help them with reflux or other feeding issues. Check out these moms' approaches to feeding solids to help you figure out what age is right for your baby.
Wait Until at Least Six Months
We've always delayed solids. I've never started solids with any of my kids before 8 months. They don't get them on a regular basis until probably after a year.
I waited until 7.5 months to try and see if she was interested and she has been crazy about solids ever since. I planned on waiting longer, but she was showing signs of readiness.
I personally wouldn't give solids to a baby under 6 months, but I know my pediatrician and many others okay it for some babies at 4 months. I think it depends on the baby (they're all different and develop at different speeds and have different needs), but 1 month is definitely too young!
Just remember, any solids before a year old is just practice food. Always nurse before giving solids and never replace a nursing session with a solid meal. Baby's weight gain can slow down drastically.
I have nine children and never gave any solids until at least 4-6 months old...my youngest is just a little over 3 weeks old. I cannot even imagine giving her little sensitive tummy any solids.
Some Moms Try Solids Earlier
My third daughter had her first foods at about 2.5 months old. Why? Because the one constant the baby books, websites and pediatrician said was watch for the signs. Does your baby follow the spoon? Does your baby open their mouth when you eat? Has your baby lost the tongue thrust?
My sons each got VERY thin baby rice cereal fed with a spoon at two weeks. They did great and were MUCH happier babies. My oldest was eating eight ounces every two hours and then throwing it all up and was a fussy baby. I talked to the pediatrician about it and that's what he recommended and it worked. I did the same thing for my other babies and they did fine.
I fed all my kids at 4 months. Start with one food at a time to check for allergies. Ideally you would start with cereal at four months, fruit at six months then veggies and then meat at about eight months. At least that's what is recommended by some doctors.
Wait Until Your Baby's Really Ready
My daughter will be 4 months. She has doubled her birth weight. She is a big baby. She sits with support. However she doesn't show interest in foods. She sleeps all night. She is happy and doesn't scream likes she's hungry. So why would I start her on solids now? I don't understand why people are in a rush to give solids.
I started at six months and stopped. She has 90+ years to eat. She is not ready yet. Six months is not right for everyone? Some babies need later. It's not a one size fits all like people think.
Just because they are reaching for your food or eyeballing your plate doesn't mean they are ready to eat. Your baby is going to want to try out that knife on your plate too just because he sees you using it, so does that mean you give it to him? Babies aren't ready for solid foods (including cereal) until at least 6 months.
My son is almost 7 months old and I've tried some bananas and apples (Gerber) but he spits most of it out. He does that with just about everything he tries so now I'm waiting and doing baby led solids