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Infant Feeding Series: Starting Solids

After the first several months of life, your baby is approaching that age when either of one of two scenarios occurs:

1. Baby is practically grabbing the spoon out of your hand when you’re eating and seems so eager to eat some of that!

2. Friends, family members, and even the pediatrician keep asking when you plan to start solids.

What is the right age, what is the right first food, and how exactly do you go from there? This blog covers a plan that is based on research, professional, and personal experience. The important thing is to follow your baby’s lead. It is up to your baby to learn to eat at his or her own pace, not up to you to make them eat.

What is the right age to start solids?

According to the current recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the age to consider starting solids is 6 months old. This is later than previous recommendations and probably later than our parents started feeding us foods. There are several reasons why this age is recommended, which include developmental milestones and readiness, digestive system maturity, and long-term studies looking at outcomes of risk for developing issues like food allergies, digestive disorders, obesity, diabetes, etc. In addition to watching the calendar for that 6-month birthday, watch your baby closely for signs of readiness as well.

Here are some things to watch for to make sure your baby is ready to transition to solids (and is more likely to be successful doing so):

  • Baby can sit with minimal support, and has very stable head control. Read more