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Q&A: When to start solid foods?

My baby is 5 months old and I am so excited to feed her solids, I feel like I can't wait another day! Is it really a bad idea to start now?

Re: My baby is 5 months old and I am so excited to feed her solids, I feel like I can't wait another day! Is it really a bad idea to start now?

The Bump Expert

Introducing solids is a very exciting time for both you and your baby. Sometimes it is more exciting for us as parents -- we get caught up in the moment of the cute spoons and bowls and other fancy gadgets! Introducing solids can be a very pleasurable experience for a baby but it can also be quite scary, if your baby is not developmentally ready. It is very important to start feeding your baby solid foods when she is developmentally ready -- go by what she can do and not by how old she is.

Typically, your baby will start giving you signs that she is ready for solid foods around six months of age. At this time she will be able to play an active part in the feeding process. Here are some general indicators that your baby is developmentally ready to start tasting the delicious world around her:

[  ] She is sitting up (either assisted or unassisted) and holding her head up straight

[  ] She opens her mouth for a spoon and closes her lips over spoon

[  ] She is able to let you know that she is either full or hungry (turns head away from spoon if full or keeps mouth open if still hungry). This is important so that baby learns to self regulate the amount of food that she eats.

[  ] She keeps her tongue low and flat when you put the spoon in her mouth

[  ] She is showing an interest in food that others around her are eating

In addition, when a baby approaches six months of age, the enzymes in her digestive track are becoming mature enough to break down and digest solid foods. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, six months can be an important time for baby's nutritional needs. A baby may need additional iron that can be extracted from the nutrients in various solid foods, like the iron fortified cereals. Make sure to wait at least four to seven days in between new foods for signs/symptoms of any allergies. Remember, breastfeeding or formula feeding should remain the main source of nutrition throughout the majority of the first year.

Nicole Meadow, MPN, RD, nutritionist

Q&A: When to start solid foods?

At my daughter's 4 month check-up, my pediatrician told us to start her on rice cereal. He said we could spoon-feed her or put it in her bottle, starting with 2 tbsp of cereal twice a day. He said when she was ready to start her on baby food.

blusaphyer |

Q&A: When to start solid foods?

My daughter will be five months old next week, and we started her on rice cereal about three weeks ago. Since then, we've given her pureed carrots and sweet potatoes. She's doing really well with them - opens her mouth for more, swallows correctly, etc. But when we tried pureed apples, she got constipated, so watch out for that. @blusaphyer, your doctor recommended that you put cereal in your baby's bottle? I thought doctors no longer recommended that, because when your baby eats cereal mixed in with the usual contents of their bottle, they don't realize that they're eating more than usual and get too full and thus become uncomfortable. I've never done it with my daughter. I know someone who has and her baby is the fussiest little thing ever.

toooobsocks |

Q&A: When to start solid foods?

We mix cereal in our DS bottle (just at bedtime), but we also don't give him as much in a bottle as we normally do. He gets 1.5 oz less in this bottle & just a little bit of cereal added. Most doc's don't recommend cereal in the bottle anymore, but I base most of my decisions (with doc's thoughts/opinions in mind) on what other mom's do as well. I take the queues form my DS & use real life experiences to make the best choices for him -- even if they don't always follow recommended guidelines. He's very happy & healthy!

ashliem06 |

Q&A: When to start solid foods?

i started my baby on cereal 2 days ago and she is 3 months old.. my daughter already holds her head up straight and trys to sit up she's been so strong since day one and she eats so well.. she loves her cereal.. go by your instincts cause im very happy with my decissions and choices.

solomonster |

Q&A: When to start solid foods?

our ped told me to start on Rice Cereal also at 4 months. We started one bowl at night and added some to a few of his bottles during the day. I then started veggies after 2 weeks of cereal once he had gotten the hang of eating from a spoon better. They suggest introducing different foods only one at time for 3-5 days at a time. I also add cereal to his veggies so that they are a thicker and more familiar texture to my son. They also suggest veggies before fruits so the babies don't develop too much of a sweet tooth. My son is just over 5 months and our daily eating routine involves 1/2 container of fruit when he wakes up, 2-3 bottles during the day, veggies with cereal for dinner and a bottle with cereal in it right before bed! I think he has tried peas, green beans, squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, and peaches so far! I love feeding my baby food! and he loves to look at and watch what we eat so I"m excited for him to continue to eat more things.

cassieraeg |

Q&A: When to start solid foods?

My little one is 11 weeks, he was having alot of problems with acid reflux so my pedi told me to thicken up his formula with a little rice cereal in each bottle. He has been doing great, he holds down his formula alot better, he's not near as fussy and it hasn't seemed to interfer with his ability to know when he is full. I tried the Enfamil Spitup formula but it kept him constipated so I went back to regular formula and just adding the rice cereal myself. Since the rice cereal worked I would much rather give him that then medicine everyday.

ZachMatt11 |

Q&A: When to start solid foods?

Usually it is recommended to start giving solids only after six months. I've started to mix the baby formula with cereals when my baby was 5 months old and after that I introduced solids in his food. I didn't have any problems and now he is one year old and he eats almost everything.

AnandaRocker |

Q&A: When to start solid foods?

At my daughter 4 month appointment her pediatrician said that she could start solid foods. She recommended to start her on vegetables, then fruits and later on the cereal because she is already getting enough carbs from breastmilk and formula. She gets 4 tsp at a time up to 2 times a day at her doctors recommendation.

Jamie1025Adam |

Q&A: When to start solid foods?

I exclusively breast fed until 6mths and started giving rice/oat cereal and Stage 1 food the 1st 3 weeks, then Stage 2 for 3 weeks. I just feel that they have the rest of their lives to eat solids, so why rush it? Docs say to wait is best, so I did and my LO is fine -currently 7.5mths old

khenaa |

Q&A: When to start solid foods?

Our Ped had us start at 4 months. Age is only a guideline, as every child develops at his or her own rate. Talk to your baby's Dr if you aren't sure whether now is the right time. They have plenty of experience and will be able to help you make the right decision for your child based on development.

Eamonmomma |

Q&A: When to start solid foods?

My baby is 2 days shy of 4 months old. The doctor told me I could start him on 2 tbsp of rice cereal 2 x's per day. He is a big boy at 17lbs 7oz and he was just constantly eating formula. I felt like he never stopped. I tried to give it to him in a bottle and he didn't like it at all, so I'll just stick to feeding it off of a spoon. He loves it! I will probably wait a couple of weeks to start him on other food.

butterlfy2007 |

Q&A: When to start solid foods?

Starts around 4 months. Have you tried Kidsme Food Feeder? It is amazing. I would say one day every mom will get one of it just like every baby uses bottles today.

staceylongname |

Q&A: When to start solid foods?

No it's not really bad to start now at 5 months old. My pediatritian said that at 4 months, I could start my daughter on rice cereal. I did try it and she just wasn't ready at that time for it so I waited until she was 5 months old. At that time, she did just fine. Start out slowly with your baby, feeding only 1-2 tsp. at a time. If your baby doesn't want it, or spits it out, just keep trying but don't force it right away. Yes, rice cereal is very tasteless, you can add a very small amount of juice to it to help flavor it. Just look for juice that doesn't have much sugar. Gerber makes baby juice that you can try. Your baby will be the one to give you clues as to if he/she is ready to start baby food. It will take time so be patient with it. At first, it'll seem as though your little one is not eating much of it but that's ok, he/she is still learning, remember, he/she was used to only breast milk or formula. Good luck! My daughter is now 9 months old and is already eating some of the baby snacks!

kerrierageth |

Q&A: When to start solid foods?

My daughter was a late preterm baby and is small but developementally is surpassing milestones for full term babies. She just seemed like she was constantly hungry, there were times where she would eat a 4-8 oz bottle and then within an hour or so she would eat another 4-6 oz bottle, some days we would do this back to back feedings 3 times a day and still be giving her bottles spaced out inbetween. My 14 week old daughter was eating consistantly 40oz a day and she only weighs 12lb 6 oz. So I decided to add a little rice cereal into her bottle but since she is younger than recommended I only add 1-2 tsp. but she doesnt seem to be "starving" all the time like before. I am also itching to start giving her food but I figured I would be good and at least wait until the recommended 4 months old.

writericci1 |

Q&A: When to start solid foods?

I started trying things out with my LO when she a week shy of 5 months. I would give her just a few tablespoons a few times a week to practice with her. Once she was about 5 1/2 months, she was eating about 2 servings a day (I would do the same food for at least 4 days to check for allergies). So, once she turned 6 months, she was already used to the food and eating! And my pediatrician said it was fine to start trying it out that early, as long as I wasn't replacing her bottles with solids. But now she is 7 months and is such a good eater! She even takes the spoon and guides it to her mouth! I love it! :)

beckwithcl |

Q&A: When to start solid foods?

I started my son on cereal at 3months with a spoon then started him on baby food at 3 1/2 months. he is 4 months now and eats fruit in the morning veggie in the afternoon and cereal before bed, he has held his own head up since 2weeks old and started sitting himself up at 3 months old so my ped told me he was ready. but my ped did say to make sure that he is still eating the formula cause he needs the nutrition that is in the formula still.

sZgforever |