Starting Solid Foods

Once your baby is ready, introduce solids slowly.  It may take time for your baby to accept solids.  It’s not uncommon for some babies to take several months after solids have been introduced before they really take to them.  A few bites once a day is enough in the beginning.  If you’re doing baby-led weaning, your baby may just want to explore the textures of foods with their hands before actually tasting anything.  

Signs your baby may be ready to start solids:

  • Baby is 6-9 months old.  (It's not recommend you start solids before 6 months even if baby is showing signs of readiness.) 
  • Baby can sit up well without support.
  • Baby doesn't push solids out of his/her mouth with the tongue.
  • Baby is ready and willing to chew.
  • Baby is developing a “pincer” grasp, where he/she picks up food or other objects between thumb and forefinger. 
  • Baby is eager to participate in mealtime and may try to grab food from your plate and put it in his/her mouth.

During the first year, solids are only meant to complement breastmilk, not take the place of breastfeeding.  If your baby is younger than a year, make sure that you always nurse before offering solids. Nursing first also ensures your milk supply is maintained and baby gets the breastmilk that he/she needs.  Babies who start solids early, and babies who eat a lot of solids tend to wean earlier.  

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