Is Baby Ready?
Before introducing your baby to solid food, look for these signs that she's ready to take the next nutritional step:
- Your little one must be able to sit up unsupported and have good head and neck control
- Your baby should be showing an interest in eating by opening his mouth when a spoon is introduced
- Your child should be showing interest in what you're eating
What to Eat
The first food most commonly introduced is an iron-fortified rice cereal, which is made into a loose, paste-like consistency by mixing it with breast milk, formula, or water. Most pediatricians suggest starting cereal at about six months. At first, your baby may push the cereal or spoon out with his tongue as if he does not like it. This is a natural reflex, and it may take him a little while to learn this new way of eating.
If your baby is doing well and gaining weight, your pediatrician may suggest you start pureed vegetables and fruits between six and eight months of age; pureed meats may be offered after eight months of age.
But, keep in mind that formula or breastfeeding should remain your little one's main source of nutrition for his or her first year.
Different babies are ready to begin solids at different times. Follow your own instincts to determine when the timing is right for your little one. When you sense that your baby is ready, talk to your pediatrician about starting solids.