Starting solids and the introduction of food to the baby is one thing parents are always excited about. There are various guidelines from AAP, WHO, and pediatricians regarding when to start solids for the babies. Most people recommend starting solids at the age of 6 months but there is always a debate about starting solids at 4 months or 6 months of age.
Some health care groups recommend starting food at 6 months of age and are very strict about it so as to prevent development of food allergies in babies. On the other hand, some groups and health care professionals go by the 4 -month mark. Every baby grows at a different pace and it is better not to rush into the temptation of starting solids but to observe if your baby is showing the signs of readiness. Go by your observations and the guidance of the pediatrician.
Also, starting solids doesn’t mean that you cut back on the baby’s milk feeding. Breastmilk or formula is the main source of nutrition for babies until 1 year of age. Feeding solids is to just introduce them to food!
Signs that your baby is ready for solids:
Okay so now what are these signs of readiness and what should you observe in your baby? Here are the signs that your baby might be ready for something other than breastmilk or formula.
1. Good head control: The baby should be able to move his head right and left. He also should be able to put the head upright and should be able to support the weight of his own head.
2. Sit-Up independently for a few seconds: The baby should be able to sit-up without any support at least for a few seconds. Also, he should be able to sit upright in the high chair when strapped. It is an important sign to look for as it is essential for the baby to sit up so that the food passes down to his stomach smoothly.
3. Shows interest in your food: This is when your baby shows a lot of curiosity when you eat. He looks at you or tries to open his mouth while you eat. This is such a cute sign to observe! <3
4. Loses tongue thrust: Babies have a natural tendency to push everything out other than the milk. So observe that this reflex of them is gone so that they will be able to swallow food.
5. Doubles the birth weight: The baby should have doubled his birth weight indicating that he is growing at a certain pace and now its time to supplement milk with solids.
So these are the few signs you should observe and let your pediatrician know. If the pediatrician gives a thumbs up, then go ahead and introduce them to the world of different food and flavors. Happy feeding! 🙂