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The 4 to 6-month mark is such an exciting time because you can start teaching your baby about solid food! But it can also be nerve-racking as you worry about choking and wonder if your baby will have any food allergies. Keep reading for information to help you introduce solid food to your
When to Start Solids
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies are exclusively breastfed for the first six month and that solids can be started at the 6-month mark. However, there are many babies that aren’t exclusively breastfed during this time. Babies receiving formula may still want to wait until the 6-month mark.
For my son, we ended up starting solids right at 4 months. At that point, we couldn’t keep him full with
Signs Baby is Ready to Try Solids
- Tongue reflex is no longer pushing food right back out
- Baby can sit up with minimal support
- Baby is interested in mealtime (i.e. trying to grab your food)
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It used to be recommended to start with rice cereal followed by oatmeal. These foods have a low potential
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If you aren’t feeling the baby cereal, it’s now known that other foods can be appropriate. Avocados, bananas and sweet potatoes all make good options for first foods. Just follow the same principle and mix with breast milk or formula and slowly increase consistency as tolerated.
Introducing Common A
It used to be believed that you need to wait until your baby was at least a year old to introduce things like peanuts, eggs, and wheat. However, if you don’t have any family history of food allergies, then it’s thought to be better to introduce these foods early. Just keep in mind appropriate consistency. Peanut butter can be too thick for baby for example.
Introducing New Food
It’s recommended that at first, you introduce one food no more often than every 3 days. This gives you time to make sure your baby doesn’t have a reaction. During this time, you want to feed the new food, but you can also offer foods that you have previously introduced.
If your baby doesn’t like something, keep trying it. It sometimes takes 10 or more times for a baby to decide he likes something. The various flavors take some getting used to when all you’ve ever had is milk. Some foods that I found work well include zucchini, sweet potatoes, peaches, pears, plums, avocado, and cauliflower.
Foods NOT to Try During the First Year
Nuts, popcorn, raw veggies, whole grapes, and hotdogs aren’t recommended because of choking risk. Grapes can be cut up and other berries like blueberries can be squished to reduce this risk.
Amount of Food
When you are used to looking at adult serving sizes, it can be hard to gauge what an appropriate amount of food for a baby is. At first, even the small containers of baby food will be too much for one sitting.
When feeding your baby, pay close attention to signs that your baby is full. These signs include, covering the mouth, pushing food away, turning away, getting distracted, and spitting food out. Signs that baby is still hungry include pulling the spoon to his mouth, focusing on you and the food, getting excited when you provide more food. When you are feeding your baby, you don’t want to force food in after he’s full. Once baby is able to feed himself, then it becomes easier to tell when he’s done.
Remember that most of your baby’s calories will still come from breast milk or formula for the first few months of solids.
For a helpful guide to daily servings, grab my baby meal planner here.
Baby Food Storage
Once you have fed baby directly from a container, you should discard any remaining food. Therefore, it’s wise to transfer food from its container into a bowl a little at a time. If you do that, unused baby food can be stored in the fridge for about 24 hours.
Baby will not be able to pick up food until he develops the pincher grasp around 8 months. Until this point, you will need to feed your baby. Once he starts developing the pincher grasp, cheerios make a good option for practice.
Adult spoons will be too big, so make sure to have some silicon or plastic baby spoons on hand. I find that these spoons work well at first because they are tiny on the end, but they have long handles which
Another option is to use a fresh food feeder like this. It allows the
Keep Meal Time Fun
For the first few months, your baby will continue to get
Don’t stress too much about starting solid foods. Take your
For tips on making homemade baby food and ideas of things that make good first foods, check out this post.
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Mom, wife, veterinary pharmacist, equestrian, ice cream lover and occasional hot mess