Introducing your baby to solid food is big step in child development. Pediatricians recommend that babies start when they are ready which is usually at about six months. However, every baby is different and experiences development at his or her own pace.
As a parent, you can more readily decide if your baby is ready for solid food. Here are a few simple questions to as yourself before your little one makes the transition from breast milk or formula to more solid foods.
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Is Your Baby Telling You That He/She Is Ready?
Can your baby hold his/her head up high?
Some babies are able to lift their heads from the day they are born. But it’s usually not until they are three to four months old when babies are able to lift their heads consistently and for longer periods.
Can your baby sit up with minimal support?
Babies typically start sitting, initially with a fair bit of propping, at about six months of age.
Is your baby interested in solid food?
As babies become more aware of the world around them, they become more interested in food, often watching food intently and opening their mouths in eager anticipation. If your baby doesn’t show interest in solid food, there’s no rush. Breast milk and formula are the primary sources of nutrition in the first year of life.
Is he/she big enough?
- Usually babies are big enough to tackle solid foods at the time they double their birth weight and reach a minimum of about 13 pounds.
- This is often accompanied by digestive readiness.
- Babies need to be able to move food from the front of their mouth to the back of their throat. They can usually do this between three to seven months. If your baby spits out food when it is offered, thin it down or wait a couple weeks and try again.
Whether you’re a first-time parent or you’ve walked the path of parenthood before, child is unique. When you have questions related to pediatric development and more, visit the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC website or call 412-692-5325 to schedule an appointment.
For more than a century, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital has provided high-quality medical care to women at all stages of life. UPMC Magee is long renowned for its services to women and babies, but also offers a wide range of care to men as well. Nearly 10,000 babies are born each year at Magee, and the hospital’s NICU is one of the largest in the country. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recognizes Magee as a National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, and the Magee-Womens Research Institute is the largest research institute in the U.S. devoted exclusively to women’s health and reproductive biology.