Tips to Introduce Solids

Most new parents worry about certain milestones in their baby’s life. One of these is how to introduce easily from breast milk or formula to solids. Around 6 months, your baby may be ready to try some solid food to go with (not instead of) his or her formula or breast milk. (Note: always check with your pediatrician before starting solids.)

While this age is a general guideline, there are some behavioral signs to look for to see if your baby is ready to try solid food. First of all, make sure your baby can easily hold his or her head upright. He or she should also be able to sit up with only a little bit of support. These things happen at a different age for each child, so it may not be the same as his or her older siblings. You may also notice that your baby is hungry more often, or doesn’t seem satisfied with the bottles you are feeding her. Finally, your baby should be both interested in what you’re eating and interesting in putting his or her mouth on toys and other objects.

Remember to keep feeding your baby either breast milk or formula, whatever he or she is used to. Add in solid food slowly, as too much of it or too many different kinds can shock an infant’s system. Start with baby cereal mixed with formula or breast milk. This is the best way to start your child on solid food. You can begin with barely enough cereal to make the milk thick, serving it with a spoon to get used to that way of eating. Gradually increase the amount of cereal as opposed to milk and vary the types of baby cereal being used.

As you continue introducing foods, make sure you add them one new food at a time. The general rule is to wait three days between the introduction of new foods. There are many reasons for this. If your baby has an allergic reaction to something, you will know exactly which food it is, rather than trying to guess. If you notice any bad reactions, call your pediatrician and let him or her know which food your child was reacting to, and what the reaction was. Generally, it is recommended that you try fruits and vegetables first, before moving onto proteins. Your child care provider will help you through this transition.