Dr. Mona's Mom Blog

Is your baby ready for solids?

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Let’s walk through all the signs of readiness so you know when it’s time to start. Whether you’re starting with purees or BLW, we got your back!

Giving those first foods can be one of the most exciting things in the first year with baby, BUT we first need to make sure baby is really ready for those foods!

Do not introduce food before four months of age, and make sure to watch for signs of readiness. Clear the introduction of solids with your child’s clinician to ensure they are developmentally ready.

Remember that breast milk and/or formula is still the predominant source of nutrition when starting solids, but foods may be started when a child is showing signs of readiness. Some may be as early as four months for purees, while others will be much later.

Signs of Readiness for Purees or Baby-Led Weaning

PUREES

  • Baby has good head and neck control and holds their head up high (baby should not be like a bobble-head doll).
  • Baby can sit upright on their own with support. You can support them on your lap or in a high chair with towels wedged near their hips so they don’t topple over.
  • Baby has lost the tongue thrust reflex and is able to move food to the back of their throat.
  • At least four months old.

BABY-LED WEANING

  • Baby has good head and neck control and holds their head up high (baby should not be like a bobble-head doll).
  • Baby can sit upright on their own with very minimal support. If they are focusing on sitting, they may not be interested in grabbing food. That is why some people like to do purees before BLW to encourage the taste of foods (allergens) after 4 months when they’re showing signs they want to eat, but can’t quite sit on their own.
  • Baby shows an interest in food: When you are eating, they are opening their mouth or trying to grab your spoon or food off your plate.
  • At least 6 months old.

WHAT SIGNS YOUR BABY DOES NOT NEED

  • Your baby does not need teeth to start solids: Baby can mash food down with their gums.
  • Your baby does not need to have a pincer grasp (forefinger and thumb) to start solids: Baby can grab food with their palms.

If you wait for these, you could miss out on months of solid foods.

Download our Food! Signs of Readiness Guide for more information walking you through more signs of food readiness, so you know when it’s time to start the first foods fun!

PS: You may also want to listen to this episode where I answer questions to a mom of a 6 month old regarding induction of allergenic foods!

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All information presented on this blog, my Instagram, and my podcast is for educational purposes and should not be taken as personal medical advice. These platforms are to educate and should not replace the medical judgment of a licensed healthcare provider who is evaluating a patient.

It is the responsibility of the guardian to seek appropriate medical attention when they are concerned about their child.

All opinions are my own and do not reflect the opinions of my employer or hospitals I may be affiliated with.