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Is Your Baby Ready for Solid Foods?

Is Your Baby Ready for Solid Foods?

If she always seems hungry, you may be thinking about introducing solid foods to your baby. But the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends baby be 4 to 6 months old before solid foods are introduced. Remember, not all babies are ready to eat solid foods at the same time.

Rely on your baby, not a calendar, to let you know if she's ready at this age. If you introduce solid foods too early, your baby is more likely to have allergic reactions. Babies can't properly chew and swallow solid foods much before 4 to 6 months of age. And your baby's digestive system must mature somewhat before it can handle these new foods.

Before you introduce solid foods, ask yourself these questions:

  • Has baby doubled her birth weight?

  • Does baby consume 32 ounces or more of breastmilk or formula each day?

  • Can baby sit up with little support and turn her head when she's full?

  • Can baby move a dab of thinned baby cereal to the back of her tongue and swallow it? (This is a signal that baby has the ability to swallow nonliquid foods.)

  • Does baby frequently put things in her mouth?

  • Is baby interested in trying new tastes and textures?

  • Does baby watch with interest as you eat, perhaps even opening her mouth and leaning forward as if to ask for a bite?
If you can answer yes to these questions, baby may be ready to start solid foods. Just remember, until your baby is about a year old, her main source of nutrition should still be breastmilk or iron-fortified formula.

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About The Author

Julianne Deveraux travels between Atlanta and Boston as a freelance writer and is a frequent contributor to Your Baby Today.

The content on these pages is provided as general information only and should not be substituted for the advice of your physician.


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