How do you know the time is right to introduce solid food? Way back in day for my babyhood, parents were introducing mushy table food at two months. Then the recommendation changed to four months. Now it's pretty common for your pediatrician to recommend six months. But there are many parents (and some experts) that say that baby food isn't needed until nine months to a year old. So what gives? Who is right?
The answer is that everyone is kind of right. Well except for the ones giving mushy pot roast to a two month old. Two months old is too early for solids. But just like for everything else in a baby's development, no two babies are the same and some babies are ready for solids before their peers. My two babies couldn't have been more different. My first refused most solid food until he was almost 13 months old! My daughter though? She was plowing through avocado at 5 months. So when is a good time to start trying solids with baby? Here are some signs that your baby is ready.
- Loss of the tongue thrust reflex - You know how your newborn pushes their tongue out of their mouths regularly? This is a protective reflex that all babies are born with to help keep foreign objects out of the mouth. Nature is so smart, right? So when the stop doing that, they may be ready to try solid foods. This happens anywhere from 4 to 6 months old.
- Baby should be AT LEAST 4 months old- But it's ok to wait.
- Your baby can sit up unassisted with good head control- This helps baby accept food and minimizes the risk of choking.
- Baby can take food into the mouth and hold it there.
- Baby seems to be more and more hungry without becoming satisfied- Remember though that starting solid food should NOT replace nursing or a bottle. Until one year-old, your baby should get most of their nutrition from breast milk or formula.
Introducing solids can be done in a few different ways. Some parents choose jar food, while others make their own baby food and freeze it. Others (like me) use a method called Baby Led Solids which is basic soft foods in their natural form (Think avocado, melon, and banana etc.) given without mashing it up.
When did your baby start solid foods? What was your baby's first food? What method did you use?
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