Signs your Baby is Ready to Start Eating Solid Foods

The recommended age to start weaning a baby onto solid food is six months. However, each child is ready to start solids at different times. Some infants tend to be ready sooner than the recommended age, and for some the transition may take a little longer. Knowing when baby is ready to start solids is a good indication to know when the time is right. There are some signs that signal baby is interested and ready to start eating solid foods, which is best to go by.

How can you tell when baby is ready to start eating solid foods?

Baby is hungry between feeds

When baby starts to become fussy in between feeds and wakes more often during the night this can usually indicate that they are still hungry. Once they get to the stage that their milk feeds are no longer satisfying their hunger, it is time to consider introducing solids into their diet. Other indications include a keen interest in food. Baby may even reach out to take some food from your plate. Signs of hunger and interest in food are a good indicator that baby is ready for solid foods.

Skills needed for starting solids

Baby needs to be able to sit unaided and support their own head in order to start solid foods. The weaning process can be considered once baby is able to sit independently and shows other signs of readiness. In addition, good coordination is important, as so baby can grasp food and bring it to their mouth. Baby needs to have mastered the pincer grasp to be able to pick up food. Being developmentally ready is important to ensure that baby doesn’t become frustrated.

Tongue-thrust reflex

The tongue-thrust reflex prevents baby from choking, while allowing fluids to be swallowed. At around 4 months this disappears to allow baby to be able to swallow solids. Up until this point, anything that is put into the mouth is pushed back out again. When baby has lost the tongue-thrust reflex and shows signs of readiness solids may be introduced. This isn’t something that is essentially recognized, unless baby is offered food and it is pushed back out of the mouth.

It is important to wait until baby is developmentally ready in order start the weaning process and for it to be successful. Follow baby’s cues to know when the time is right to start weaning onto solid food. When baby shows signs of readiness the weaning process can start. Consult your doctor if baby seems ready before the recommended six months of age before going ahead with offering solid foods.