Moving from baby food to solid food is a huge milestone for you and your baby, but how do you know when they’re ready? After all, everyone grows and learns differently. While there are timeframes you can use for reference, it’s better to look out for indicators that your baby is curious about solid food and able to give it a go. Keep an eye out for these signs your baby is ready to try solid foods.
Babies are often ready to try solid foods at around six months old. However, keep in mind that every baby is different. Your little one might be eager to get their hands on finger foods as early as four months old, while others aren’t ready until eight months or later. Pay attention to your baby and how they react to food to determine if they’re ready to try solids or not.
An important indicator that your baby can try solid food is body support. Your little one must be able to sit up and support their head with minimal assistance. If your baby can’t support themselves, they’ll have a much harder time swallowing food. Body support—especially head and neck control—is essential for safely starting solid foods.
Interest in Food
When your baby is ready to start solids, they’ll show a natural curiosity about what’s happening around mealtimes. This might include watching you prepare food or watching you eat. It can also include reaching for food on your plate or as you’re feeding them. Your little one might even be so curious that they try to clumsily feed themselves. These are all great signs your baby is ready to try solid foods and see what all the excitement is about.
Babies have a reflex that causes them to automatically push solid foods out of their mouth with their tongue. This is why young babies often spit up food instead of eating it. Kids lose this reflex over time, making it another indicator that your baby might be ready and willing to try solids. If your little one takes spoonfuls of food, tastes it, and swallows it, they’ve lost their tongue-thrust reflex and are ready to try chewing solids.
Is your little one ready to try their hand at solid food? Start slow and experiment with healthy, easy-to-eat finger foods. With a little patience and practice, your baby will soon be happily experimenting with all kinds of food at the table.
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