The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be fed breast milk or formula exclusively for six months, though some parents feel that their babies are ready to start solids a bit sooner. A baby should never start solids before four months. The digestive system is just not ready.
Remember that these first tastes are just that. A child will rely on breast milk or formula for the primary nutritional needs up until one year of age. Starting solids is about practice and exploration.
Signs your baby might be ready to start solids:
- can keep is head upright and in a steady position
- has lost the extrusion reflex, which causes him to push the food out of his mouth with the tongue
- can sit well when supported
- has doubled the birth weight and is growing well
- seems hungrier, even with ten or so breast milk or formula feedings per day
- interested in what’s on YOUR plate
First foods should be soft or pureed and might be better received if tending toward bland or sweet. Some great options include sweet potatoes, avocado, pears, applesauce, bananas and squash.
Happy eating, sweet babies!