Your Baby is Ready for Solid Food- Are You?
After months of living off liquid meals, soon your baby will be ready to indulge in something a little more solid. When a baby is ready he or she will be able to show signs of this and become interested in food. Knowing when a baby is ready for solid food can differ between children so be sure to partner with your pediatrician to know when is right for your child.
Here are a few simple signs that baby is ready to expand into solids:
- 1) Baby has good head control. All babies learn to hold their head up at a certain point, but if your baby has not done this yet, hold off on solids. This includes holding their head up while sitting. It is never a good idea to give solids to a baby that is in a horizontal position. Choking can occur and can be bad for digestion.
- 2) While head control is important, so is being able to sit in an upright position. Teaching good eating habits, include how and where to eat, is never a bad idea. Even at a young age, babies can benefit from a routine like sitting at the dinner table.
- 3) Tongue thrust has vanished. Also called extrusion reflex, this is something that all babies do from birth. If this reflex is still present and rather strong, food will just be pushed out of the mouth.
- 4) Baby is interested. If your baby is trying to grab a piece of food off your plate, then he or she may be ready to indulge herself. Remember though that babies are naturally curious and will reach for anything, and this should not be the deciding factor when contemplating solid food readiness.
Once again, always consult with the pediatrician on whether to start solid food with your baby. Many babies do not need solids until they are at least six months old and get their nutrition from breast milk or formula. Although six months of age is recommended by the AAP, some babies start solid food as early as four months old.
When the time nears, a mother will have the best judgement as to whether or not a baby is ready.