Solid Foods – When?

Baby on Solids eating Blueberries

How do I know when my baby is ready for solid foods?

 

Your baby will tell you when he or she is ready for solid foods.

But, baby can’t talk (yet), so you’ve got to be able read the signs.

However, it’s easy to interpret the signs wrongly.

You need to know how to interpret those signs correctly.

Here’s how.

Sleeping Patterns

One of the signs that your baby is ready for solid food is if there is a change in the sleeping pattern.  For example, if baby used to sleep through the night but is now waking, or if baby is waking up more often than normal during the night.

However, a change in sleep pattern doesn’t necessarily mean that baby is ready for solid food.  It could mean that he or she is teething.  Or that he has some other discomfort.   Or that she has indigestion.

So, while a change is sleeping pattern is traditionally one of the signs of being ready for solid food, you need to look for other signs too, which will confirm baby’s readiness.

Hunger Signs

Does your baby seem hungrier than usual?  Perhaps he seems dissatisfied after his usual milk feeds?  This could just be a growth spurt.  Feed him more.  If it’s a growth spurt, the requirements for extra food will last only for a few days.  If baby is ready for solid food, the hunger signs will last longer.

Watching Food

Does your baby watch you eating?  Does she open her mouth while you eat?  Does she try to grab your food or your cutlery?

Rule Out Illness

If these signs are present, and your baby isn’t ill, or teething, or suffering other discomfort, then you have a pretty good indication that your baby is ready for something more satisfying than milk!

Two things to remember:

  1. Putting baby onto solid foods too early can cause indigestion.   Normally, solid food means a more restful night for everyone concerned, but if you make the change too early, it will have the opposite effect.
  2. All babies are different.   Even if your family or friends tell you that their babies were ready for solid food at a particular age, it doesn’t mean your baby will be the same.   Moving to solid food can occur anywhere from 4 months to one year.

It will happen when your baby tells you he or she is ready.

Tips for Feeding

Tip:  Your baby should have good head control before you tempt her with solid food.  Why?  So that she can turn her head away to refuse food if she wishes.

Tip:  Can your baby sit properly, without support?  If your baby can’t sit unsupported at this stage (many babies can’t), then you’ll need to support him during feeding.  Why? To make swallowing and digestion easier.

Go Solid!

Now that you know what signs to look for, and how to interpret them correctly, you can easily see the right time to move your baby gradually onto solid foods.

What’s Next?

Well, now you need to know what type of solid foods to feed to baby.  The first question is, will you use commercial baby food, or homemade baby food?  Isn’t homemade baby food a lot of trouble?  What type of food is suitable for homemade?  All the questions (and more) are answered in these articles – click on the links below for loads more useful information.

Is commercial baby food good for baby?

Tips for making the most of commercial baby food

Why you should consider homemade baby food

How to make homemade baby food really easy (great tips)

Should you peel homemade baby food or not?

Should homemade baby food be cooked or eaten raw?

Can you serve fish to baby?

Should baby eat meat?

Can you use canned food  in homemade baby food?

What about frozen food?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Flickr – DevinF

 

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