When Can Baby Start to Eat Solid Foods

When Can Baby Start to Eat Solid Foods is a question a lot of parents have asked, and in this article we are going to answer this in detailed approach, while also telling you those signs which shows your baby is ready to start eating solid foods.

All babies rely solely on breast milk or industrially prepared milk when they are born. As they grow older, their body’s increased metabolism leaves them hungry almost all the time. Due to this, they request for food at regular intervals.

To meet their increasing demand for food, parents start to feed their children solid foods. Some parents do this without a doctor’s permit and it’s wrong. Other parents wait until the baby is older than six months as this is a common culture.

Every parent wants to be intentional about raising their children, and many cannot afford to follow the crowd. At the end of this article, you will be equipped with the right knowledge to help your baby smoothly transition to the world of eating solid foods while knowing the exact time when your baby can start to eat solid foods.

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When Can a Baby Start To Eat Solid Foods?

Head coordination is the first sign that your baby is ready for solids. On average,  your baby should be able to sit up, roll over and move around comfortably.

The six months mark amongst cultures coincides with this growth milestone. The baby has gained energy at this point, and most are already making attempts to crawl. The activities of the baby at this age are energy consuming so, many are open to diversifying their diet. They get hungry very quickly, and breast milk cannot quench their hunger completely.

The aesthetics of adult foods is one of the things that draws the interest of babies. At some point, you would notice your baby becomes interested in what you are eating. They would watch you eat closely and reach out to put it in their mouth. This is a green light. However, do not be in a haste to feed your baby too much. Only feed them as much as they want.

You can start incorporating solids into your baby’s diet if they accept it whenever you feed them. Inconsistency is a sign that they are not ready for solids just yet. You can add a few morsels to their mouths each time you eat. It would help their taste buds get used to the taste.

Some parents start feeding babies tiny morsels the moment they start teething. It ensures that as the baby grows, they get to know that there are other foods outside of breast milk. Although, this approach can be counterproductive. The teething phase is a rough period for most babies. Introducing a new change in the midst of this may attract long lasting resistance. But, there’s no harm in trying. Once you notice your baby doesn’t want it, don’t push. Allow them some time and try again when they are older.

It can be rewarding to have a conversation with your baby’s pediatrician to know when your baby can start to eat solid foods before giving them solid foods. The pediatrician will examine your baby to be sure their body is ready to digest and assimilate solids. The signs parents should be looking out for range from body coordination to teething, awareness of the environment and desire to eat adult meals.

Also Read: When Can Babies Drink Distilled Water


At What Age Should You Introduce Solid Foods To Your Baby?

Definitely not before four months. From four months and above, babies can start eating solid foods but with thorough supervision. This means, aside certain signs, the age of the baby in months can say when your baby can start to eat solid foods.

Babies before the age of four months have a really delicate digestive system. Moms are often advised to avoid certain kinds of food because it affects the constituents of breast milk. Some have found a correlation between high fibre foods and constipation. Moms have reported that their babies had a hard time passing faeces when they eat certain kinds. This is because the digestive system is still developing and cannot handle certain kinds of food.

In scenarios where the baby’s body is finding it tough to digest certain milk constituents, it would have a harder time breaking down solids.

As humans we all differ hence there are no concrete rules around this. Some babies barely encounter issues digesting milk rich in fibre, others face serious health disruptions. Parents are urged to monitor their children properly to deduce the best time to introduce solid foods. It’s amazing that even babies of the same parents hit this milestone at different times.

At six months, most babies have gained an upper hand when it comes to coordinating their own bodies. They can reach for things, grab them, break objects and so on. Your baby might start making attempts to take the food to its mouth. When this happens, help them in getting the food to where they want. Some babies will still suck on the morsel. It simply means they are not ready for solids yet but allow them do as they please. The action of sucking will be followed by biting and chewing in due time.

Some babies will start chewing the food with their gum from as early as five months. The parents should go with the flow and feed the child. But, they must regulate how much the child consumes daily. Breast milk and infant formula should remain the main meal unless the baby’s taste is different. Although, it’s very unlikely.

Many babies will not reach out for solid food at six months no matter how colorful it is. This is very normal. The parents do not have to panic or find ways to get their child excited. All children are different and yours will catch up with time. It has been shown that keeping your child close each time you eat can hasten this. Curiosity levels rise as your child grows. It may want to know what you are eating and try it out at some point. Until then, let your baby be.

Towards the 8th to 12th month, almost all babies start yearning for solid. A few stubbornly will remain stuck in their ways. Parents should come up with ways to introduce solids by the 12th month if the baby does not seem interested. However, do not underestimate their cues. Whenever anything appears confusing, see a doctor.  Some babies start exhibiting signs of eating disorders at this age. Nonetheless, every transition takes time, and it’s always a gradual process.

Also Read: Common Unwanted Behaviors In Kids And How to Handle Them


Signs Your Baby Is Ready To Eat Solid Foods

There are several signs that show your baby is ready to eat solid foods. The confusing thing is, some of these signs may mean other things so it’s easy to interpret it wrongly. The signs listed below are only associated with your baby’s desire for solid foods.

1. Proper Body Coordination

Babies have to show strength and a bit of independence before they can start eating solid foods. Your baby should be able to turn their head around comfortably, sit for an averagely long period and make funny noises in respond to stimulus. This is the first sign that shows they are ready or preparing to start eating solid foods.


2. Increased Awareness of Self and Environment

Babies start to realize they are not an attachment of their mother from around six months. They start to develop their own interest and become increasingly curious. The baby may start to reach out to objects, wave at people and look in your eye when you are talking. They may start to notice that everyone else eats different kind of foods. Many will still observe everyone before making attempts to try out the food.


3. Attempting To Eat Solid Food

Parents carry their babies on their legs or put them in a chair close by so that they can watch them eat. The intention is to plant interest for solid foods in the baby’s mind. This works out as expected most of the time. Initially, the babies only watch them to try to understand what it is they are doing. Once they grasp that the food goes into their mouths and never comes back, they feel moved to try it too. Very often it appears like some sort of game. After awhile, they start to understand that people eat food whenever they are hungry.


4. Opens Their Mouth To Accept Food When Offered

Many babies will reject the food the first few times they are offered. Others accept it right away. At this stage, parents can start feeding the child mashed foods and other soft meals that does not require chewing. It is also common for babies to become choosy so they would only accepts foods that taste nicely in their mouths. Parents should put in an effort to ensure the food tastes really sweet so that they don’t reject the food after the first time. Here, first impression matters a lot.

These are the four signs to look out for before offering your baby solid food. Some babies display two or more of this traits at once. The important thing is to allow everything go at their own paces. When your baby starts to show all four traits, it means they are more than ready to join the bandwagon of humans that eat solid foods. And, babies do not get to this point at the same time. There is no need to compare your baby with others. Just wait patiently, your baby will be ready with time.

Also Read: How to Increase Breast Milk Supply for your Baby


How Should I Start Feeding My Baby Solids?

Whatever you chose to feed your baby first is up to you. You would have to ignore tales and focus on healthy meals. Some cultures claim the baby grows to dislike the first food offered. This is not true as there is no scientific backing for this claim. You can offer your baby vegetables and other kinds of greens but it must be very soft to prevent choking.

Whenever you are feeding your baby with solids, you must look appealing. Act like what you are offering is super sweet. There are findings that show that when you exude a happy charisma, the tendencies of your baby rejecting the meal is less. Some babies will reject the meal and this is fine. Do not try to force them. Return to breast milk or formula every time this happens but do not stop. Try again after a short while.

Feeding a baby requires a great deal of patience. Start by inserting soft and tiny morsels in your baby’s mouth. Give them time to mash it further with their gum before offering another. Some parents feed their babies with breast milk or formula at the same time. It’s like adding solids to the diet and not replacing it. Babies are less likely to reject solids when this approach is used.

The first ten times you try to do this can be really messy. Your baby’s face may get covered with the food. Their clothes or even yours may get stained. As you two get used to the routine, it becomes less clumsy and messy.

Watch out for changes in your baby’s stool. If it gets greener or thicker, it’s a sign that their gut is mature enough and the solids are being digested. However, if it becomes watery, it means the digestive system is not mature enough. This can lead to gut irritation. Parents should pay a close attention to their baby’s stools in order to know when to continue or discontinue.

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Which Foods Should You Avoid Giving To Your Baby In The First Year?

In as much as introducing solids is a good idea, some foods should not be considered for babies. Some may affect their appetite and others could lead to choking. Check out this list of seven solid foods you should avoid giving your baby in the first year.

1. Honey

Honey has a very sweet taste. An excess of this can cause serious digestion problems. Also, most honey bottles available meet health standards for adults. Babies are more delicate and any contaminant that gets to their body can make them ill.

2. Cow Milk

Cow milk cannot meet all your baby’s nutritional requirements. Your baby also faces the risk of indigestion if they happen to have intolerance for its content. Yoghurt and cheese are healthier alternatives.

3. Sugar

Tolerance for sugar in babies is very low. It’s often better to avoid sugary foods in the first year.

4. Fruit Juice

Fruit juice can mess with your baby’s appetite. Most juices from fruits are also very sweet. The sugar content may be higher than what your baby can handle so it’s best to avoid this altogether.

5. Bacon and Other Smoked Meat

Grilled or smoked meat contains a high concentration of sodium. This can affect the salt-water balance in your baby’s system.

6. Fish From Unknown Sources

Fish may be rich in protein but the ones harvested from unclean waters are most likely contaminated.

7. Foods That Require Chewing

Whatever you offer your baby should be soft and easily dissolved in saliva. Foods that require chewing can cause choking.