Babies, solid foods, and when they should meet

Eating & Nutrition   |   Age: 5 months 1 week


Babies, solid foods, and when they should meet

After many months of feeding your baby a steady diet of breastmilk or formula, you might be thinking, “Isn’t she sick of this by now?” While your baby may not be old enough to crave a cobb salad or some yellowtail sashimi just yet, her palate may be ready for some culinary expansion. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend starting to introduce solid foods to complement breastfeeding or formula at around 6 months old. So where to begin? Just follow the ABCs...

A: Assess

your baby will let you know that she is ready to sample solids in her own way. Look for physical cues during mealtime, like an interest in the foods that you are eating. your baby should be able to sit comfortably in a high chair and keep her head up on her own consistently before attempting any non-liquid nourishment. She should also be able to lean forward and open her mouth when she's interested in food, and to turn away when she isn't hungry. Some babies might seem to be ready a little sooner, and some babies might not be quite ready for another few months, but keep in mind that if your baby does start trying solids before 6 months old, it should just be to sample the goods, explore, and have fun - it's important that breastfeeding or formula is still her sole source of nutrition.  

B: Blend and serve

Most parents officially start their babies' solids careers with pureed edibles like apples, bananas, squash, sweet potatoes, and other mild-flavored foods. These foods will be easiest to consume if they're finely pureed, and will be healthiest for your baby if they don't contain any additives, like salt or sugar. But before feeding her her first solids, try warming her up with a regular helping of breast milk or formula - a happy baby is more likely to enjoy this new food adventure than a hungry one. Then, take a plastic spoon and offer your baby a teaspoon or two of solid mush. If your baby rejects the offering at first, let her inspect this strange new spoonful for a few minutes. More often than not, this apprehension will be swiftly overruled by infant appetite. Babies who are especially wary of this new set of flavors may be more willing to give it a chance if the food is mixed in with a little breast milk or formula, so there's something familiar there. If your baby responds to a new solid by developing a rash, diarrhea, blood in poop, vomiting, or facial swelling, then the two of you have likely discovered a food that she is allergic to. If you suspect your baby might have a food allergy, it's a good idea to take that food out of her diet, and to consult with her doctor. Certain foods should never be given to children under a year old, including cow's milk, honey, and foods that could be choking hazards, like nuts, grapes, or candy.

C: Cultivate

your baby’s culinary growth should go smoothly if you give her at least 3 days to get used to each new solid. In general, you’ll want to allow plenty of time for your baby to get accustomed to different food tastes and textures. Once she warms to most pureed solids, try taking things to the next level by introducing mashed and strained foods, which are commercially known as Stage 2 baby food (Pureed baby food products qualify as Stage 1). Just remember to throw away any unfinished jars of baby food after the first use, because bacteria from your baby’s serving spoon will contaminate the leftover food.


More articles at this age

How common is postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression can feeling isolating and lonely, but it's more common than you might think.

5 tips for brushing baby's teeth

your baby may not get her permanent, grown-up teeth for a few years, but her baby teeth are just around the corner, and it's never too soon to start protecting those pearly whites - even if they're not visible yet.

How to help baby say your name

There are definitely more than four ways to help your baby say your name, but these might be a good place to start.

Getting your baby to fall back asleep on their own

In the dead of night, with a screaming, SCREAMING baby, it can seem like you'll never be able to get her to fall back asleep. Sometimes the only solution really is patience, but there are still some other things you can do to help your baby reach baby dreamland once again.

How do solids affect a baby's poop?

If you truly want to understand that old saying, "You are what you eat," look no further than one of your baby's dirty diapers. Poop is a reflection of what we put into our bodies, and as she branches out and samples her very first solid foods, you're going to notice some changes in the composition of your baby's next output. Here's what you can expect.

How does baby memory develop?

When your baby's a teenager, she will be crazy grateful to have no memories of parents wiping her bottom. But there are probably some memories that you hope last past the 'terrible twos.' Here's how much your baby is retaining in that precious head of hers, and some little things you can do to encourage her brain to remember more.

Welcome to lil'bee!

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. That's okay. Who doesn't? But without advertising-income, we can't keep making this site awesome. Please disable your ad blocker and refresh this page.

Thanks for understanding 🙏