Baby's First Foods: Introducing Solids To Your Baby
It’s hard to believe that the newborn you brought home just a few short months ago is ready to move beyond the bottle, but by four to six months, you can start introducing solids to your baby.
If you’re wondering when to start solid foods and what foods to offer, this guide can answer all your questions and help you navigate this exciting new milestone for your baby. Of course, before starting your baby on solids, talk to their pediatrician to get advice about how to meet the unique needs of your baby.
And remember that you can make mealtimes easier by using the Connect High Chair®. With features that include a one-handed magnetic tray attachment that easily glides into place, a dishwasher-safe tray liner, and a removable insert that’s easy to wipe clean, the Connect High Chair is convenient and easy to clean, so you can focus on making sure your baby is getting the nourishment they need instead of worrying about the mess they’re making.
Is it better to start solids at 4 months or 6 months?
There are a lot of opinions out there around the question, "when do babies start eating solid food?" According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), starting babies on solids is appropriate between 4 and 6 months but it ultimately depends on your baby. Look for these signs to know when to start solid foods:
- They can sit up (with support) and can hold their head and neck up well
- Their birth weight has doubled
- They’re interested in what you’re eating and may even try to grab food from your plate
- They can keep food in their mouth rather than letting it dribble out
- They show signs of being hungry after finishing a bottle or want to nurse more often
What Baby Food Should I Introduce First?
Once you’ve decided to start your baby on solids, it’s time to come up with a plan that gradually introduces a wide variety of foods over time. A typical plan for baby’s first foods might look like this:
4 to 6 months: Single-grain cereals
The first solid food for a baby that most parents give their little one is single-grain, iron-fortified rice, oatmeal, or barley cereal mixed with formula or breast milk. Mix 1 tablespoon of cereal with 4 to 5 tablespoons of breast milk or formula. Sit your baby upright in their high chair and offer the cereal on a spoon. You may find that more cereal ends up on your baby’s face and high chair than in their mouth, and that’s okay: at this point of starting your baby on solids, you want to get your baby used to the feel of food in their mouth and gradually learn how to swallow it.
4 to 8 months: Pureed veggies, fruits, and meats
Once your baby develops a tolerance for infant cereal, start introducing solids to your baby that include single-ingredient pureed fruits and vegetables. Try mashing bananas or avocados, or pureeing cooked carrots, apples, or even chicken. And if you’ve heard that advice about giving your baby veggies first? You can ignore it. There’s no research to prove that giving fruit to your baby as their first foods will make them prefer sweet foods later in life. You should also talk to your baby’s pediatrician about introducing allergenic foods around this time, as the AAP says it could lower your baby’s risk of developing food allergies.
6 to 8 months: Single-ingredient finger foods
While your baby’s not ready for solids like raw apple slices and carrot sticks yet, they should be able to handle small pieces of food that’s soft enough to mash with their gums (test it by making sure you can smoosh it between your fingers). Baby's first foods like these can include:
- Mashed sweet potatoes
- Cooked apples
- Steamed broccoli
- Smashed or sliced berries
- Hard boiled or scrambled eggs
- Rice puffs
9 to 12 months: Chopped, ground, or mashed foods
Once your little one has mastered smooth purees, start transitioning to textured solid food for a baby like yogurt and chunkier, thicker purees. You can also start introducing iron-rich foods like well-cooked meats and flaked fish.
Throughout all these stages of introducing solids to your baby, avoid giving your baby foods that are choking hazards, like whole beans, chickpeas, grapes or berries; nuts, raw fruits and vegetables, crunchy crackers, and popcorn; gummy foods like peanut butter that are hard to swallow; and honey, which can cause botulism.
As you move through each stage and start to master how to start feeding your baby solids, the Connect High Chair® can make the transition to solids easier by adapting to your little one as they grow (and its easy-clean design will make mealtimes a whole lot easier for you.)
Give your baby a solid start
The journey of how to introduce solids to your baby may seem daunting, but with a little bit of patience and consistency this new milestone can be a happy and exciting time for you and your baby. And the Connect High Chair® can help make it more fun to introduce baby's first foods by giving your little one a seat at the table, every bite of the way.