Making the Move to Solids

Monday, June 22, 2015

Breastfeeding is the best source of nutrition for babies for the first six months. At some point between four and six months, you can start to introduce some solid foods, a little at a time.

How to tell when baby is ready to try solid foods
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends introducing solids when your baby reaches all these milestones:

  • Holds his or her head up with good control
  • Opens his or her mouth when food comes his way
  • Is able to move food from a spoon to his or her throat, rather than spitting it out
  • Is big enough―generally, double the birth weight and weighs about 13 pounds or more 

Getting started

Make the transition to solids gradually. You might try giving a little breast milk or formula first, then feeding half a small spoonful of food or less, then giving a little more milk or formula.  

Although most people introduce single-grain foods first, for most babies it does not matter what the first solid foods are. Introduce one new food at a time. Wait two to three days before starting each new food, and watch for any allergic reactions like diarrhea, rash, or vomiting. If you see any of these reactions, stop the new food and talk with your child’s health care professional.

Within a few months of starting solid foods, your baby’s daily diet should include a variety of foods that may include breast milk and/or formula, meats, cereal, vegetables, fruits, eggs, and fish.  This article on Switching to Solid Foods from healthychildren.org provides more information on taking this important step for your baby’s nutritional health.



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