As your baby grows and gets older, it's time to introduce new foods! Segueing your baby to solids is an exciting milestone, but it can also be overwhelming.
Where to start? What to offer? Which foods can be given, and which foods should be avoided? Let’s go through the transition to solids, month by month.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding until your baby is 6 months old.
It’s finally time to get baby started on solids! But before you begin, make sure baby’s ready. Here are signs that your baby can begin segueing to solids:
- Baby can sit with support
- Baby likes to mouth his toys or hands
- When baby sees food, he/she opens his/her mouth like he/she wants
- Baby can hold head up in steady upright position
Once you’ve ascertained that your baby is ready to start eating solids, the first thing we like to offer babies is baby cereal; preferably oatmeal since other baby cereals can be harder to digest. You can mix the cereal with a little bit of warm water and some formula or breastmilk.
Once your baby is eating baby cereal easily, it’s time to move on to single ingredient foods, such as baby jars, or pureed baby food. In order to rule out allergies, wait 3 to 5 days before introducing each additional new food.
Once your baby is comfortable eating baby jars and pureed foods, at around 8 months, it's time to start introducing your baby to regular foods! They should be sized as small finger foods. According to Rachel Dawkins, MD, medical director of the Pediatric & Adolescent Clinic at at John Hopkins Children’s hospital, “The key is to introduce small shreds of meat or pieces of food that are about the size of baby’s fingertip around 9-months-old.” You can set your baby up in his baby high chair with some finger foods, and help them along. French toast, pieces of pasta (not spaghetti), scrambled eggs, string cheese, small well-cooked sweet potato fries, pancakes, yogurt, banana, and pieces of soft fruit such as peaches or nectarines are just some ideas.
Any foods with an outer film (berries, grapes, chickpeas, corn kernels) should never be served whole. Big chunks of meat, cheese or poultry, popcorn, nuts & seeds, hotdogs, raw vegetables, and most candy can all pose a choking risk.
Segueing your baby to solids is an exciting time. Here’s to an easy, smooth and safe transition!