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Introducing Solids to Baby | How do you know when your baby is ready for solid foods?

Introducing Solids to Baby | How do you know when your baby is ready for solid foods?

Starting your baby on solid food is an exciting time. We get to buy the cute high chairs, pull out our baby bullets and cute TwistShake food catching bibs, and watch our little ones make a huge mess but how do you know your baby is ready for solid foods?

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Its recommended by many people including doctors that baby start solids anywhere between 4-6 months of age, as long as they have good head control.

I’m going to explain why I wanted to wait for baby Jude to turn 6 months.

At Jude’s 4 months evaluation our pediatrician gave us the go ahead to start giving Jude solid food but when I looked at Jude he seemed so small. Too young. How could a baby this size be ready for solid food? I started to read more into what makes a baby ready to eat solids. I noticed most people gave the same advice our pediatrician gave us; wait till he has good head control.

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According to American Academy of Pediatrics it is recommended to wait until baby is at least 6 months of age, not 4-6 months of age.

These were my reasons for waiting until Jude was 6 months:

  1. A baby’s digestive system is not fully developed until about 6 months of age. If solid foods are introduced too early baby can experience digestive problems such as constipation, gas and digestive upset. By waiting you lessen the chance of these problems with baby.

  2. Studies show that iron-fortified meals introduced too early, primarily in a babies first 4-6 months, reduced the efficiency of baby’s iron absorption (Pisacane, 1995), However, around 6 months of age babies start to run low on their iron reserves and unless exclusively breastfed, iron rich solids help replenish that.

  3. If you wait till 6 months or older it will be easier because babies are developmentally and physiologically ready.

    See KellyMom for more information.

My goal was to wait until Jude turned 6 months, but that doesn’t mean we did. He started to give us clear signs that he was ready and we introduced Jude to solids at 5 1/2 months.

I thought he had sleep regression

He wasn’t sleeping through the night anymore. Jude is an amazing sleeper and was sleeping through the night at 2 months. When he started fussing friends laughed and said, “welcome to sleep regression.” This didn’t make sense to me, though. He was fussing around 4am and had a difficult time going back down.

When he was a newborn he would eat and fall back to sleep so I thought, maybe he’s hangry?

Sure enough, an 8 ounce bottle put him right back down for the night and every bottle after that was 7-8 ounces.

“He’s watching me eat like I’m having a big juicy steak!”

A few weeks ago, I started to notice Jude was eyeballing everything I ate. I said to my husband, “he’s watching me eat like I’m having a big juicy steak! I think he is going to be ready for solid food soon.” It got to a point where I felt bad if I was eating in front of him. So I adjusted my meals to match his, that way I didn’t feel like I was teasing my little man.

This is gross…

When Jude started drinking more formula he also started to spit up more often, our pediatrician warned us this may happen. He was never one to vomit, maybe the occasional spit up and some formula drool after a bottle but that was it. So I started to watch him closely and noticed that every time he did, he would eat it. That’s right; he would eat it his baby vomit. It was gross but it also meant he hit a big milestone. His tongue thrust reflex had disappeared or at least subsided.

When this disappears you may also notice baby stops drooling. This is a great indication he is ready for solids.

That bottom lip looks tasty

About 2 weeks ago Jude started doing something funny; he started to eat his bottom lip. I would watch him and laugh. He would sit and suck his bottom lip so hard I thought he was going to give himself a bruise.

He also started to put everything in his mouth. Everything. He was trying to eat it all, from his lip to play mat. I know this is normal for babies as they grow and want to understand their surrounding, but Jude looked hangry.

I’m glad we waited for as long as we did. Thinking back, I can’t imagine having my poor baby wait any longer. There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer to starting solids because all babies progress at different rates.

Use your best judgement and remember to take the signs he’s giving you into consideration. Whether that is to start him sooner, or hold off a little longer until his body can digest his new meals.

How long did you wait and why?

Happy eating everyone!

With Love, Frankie







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Hospital Bag Checklist