If you have (or have had) an infant, it’s likely that you’ve been given advice on when to start feeding your baby. You’ve probably been told to give your baby some rice cereal (here are some good reason to skip rice cereal) to help the baby sleep longer or to give yourself more time in between feedings. These are not good reasons to start feeding your baby, in my humble opinion. Instead of trying to stuff your baby’s belly or even waiting for a magical age, instead try looking for signs that your baby is ready to eat solids.
I started feeding my son solids at 6 months and one week. I actually wanted to wait longer but he was clearly ready to eat.
Though I was very determined to wait, I’ll admit I felt pressured by a lot of people to feed my son before he was 6 months. Some of this came from direct comments that were made to me and some of it came from seeing or hearing what other moms were doing and second guessing my stance to wait until at least 6 months.
But I held my ground.
The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends “around 6 months” for solids. There are a couple of reasons that 6 months is the recommended age, the baby’s digestive system being one. The other being that there are some developmental markers that should take place before a baby eats solids. These generally take place around 6 months.
These markers, or signs, are more important than the baby’s age because they indicate that the baby is physically capable.
Signs That Your Baby is Ready to Eat Solids:
- Able to sit unassisted.
- Watches you eat, following your eating utensil.
- Reaches for food and is eager to participate in mealtime.
- Can pick up objects and food.
- Has lost the reflex that causes him or her to automatically push food out with tongue.