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Introducing Solid Feedings

Introducing Solid Feedings

McKenzie Pediatrics

How Do I Tell Whether My Baby Is Ready For Solid Foods?

The majority of infants are developmentally ready to begin solid feedings by 4 to 6 months of age. Picking the right time to introduce solids is very important. A baby is ready if:

What If I Start Giving My Baby Solid Feedings Before She Is Ready?

Your mother or grandmother may tell you that they started their children on solid feedings well before four months of age, and that “they did just fine.” For the most part, they are right. But introducing solid feedings too early increases the risk of a baby choking and aspirating food into its lungs, which increases the risk of serious illness or even death. Introducing solid foods too early also increases the chance that you and your baby will become quickly frustrated by the feeding process, and this might set the stage for future mealtime hassles.

What If I Decide To Wait Until My Baby Is Older To Start Solid Feedings?

Waiting too long, past 8 months of age, to introduce solid feedings might lead to difficulties. Older babies often resist being taught the new tricks of chewing and swallowing solids, since they are too long accustomed to the ease of obtaining their nutrition from the bottle or breast. They might also be less adventurous in trying new tastes the older they are.

What Foods Do I Start With?

It doesn’t matter a great deal exactly which foods you start with, but a few general principles should be followed:

Beginning solid feedings can be a complex and sometimes frustrating experience, but one that can be a lot of fun if done patiently and correctly. Remember that early on there are absolutely no maximum or minimum amounts of solid foods your baby has to have each day. She is still getting all of her nutritional needs met from her breast milk or formula. So stay relaxed, don’t worry if you miss a meal, and don’t worry about overfeeding…your baby will let you know when she is full!