When is the right time to start my baby on solids?
The Nutritional Health and Medical Research Council in Australia states that babies should be starting to be introduced to solids between four to six months; most babies start showing signs of readiness around this time frame. Some signs that your babe is ready include:
- being able to sit upright in a highchair and hold up their head
- Seeming more hungry and fussy
- Showing interest in the food around them
When you can tell that it is time, it's time to start thinking about how you’ll introduce foods. While there is not a rule on what time of day to start, most sources prefer mornings, the first reason being - babies are more likely to be accepting of new foods when they are not tired, and second reason being - you are able to observe for the rest of the day before bed time.
What do I need to start my baby on solids?
- a high chair that supports your baby fully
- a blender or food processor for puree making
- a silicone meal set, including suction bowl and feeding spoon
- a silicone catch-it-all bib
These pieces are perfect for an easy clean up so you don’t have to stress about the mess!
Okay, I want to start introducing solids. How do I do this?
If you are around the four month mark, you should aim to start with nutrient dense purees and iron rich foods. The goal is to get your baby eating a pureed version of what you eat; but they don’t need to eat a lot of food when starting out. At first, start with about 1-2 teaspoons of food, then increase the amount according to their appetite.
If you are closer to the six month mark, you can start to encourage self-feeding, where all the fun happens! Encouraging your baby to play with and experience different flavours and textures in this time will lessen the likelihood of your baby becoming a fussy eater as they approach toddlerhood. Ideally, babies should eat around 3 times a day by the time they are 12 months of age, as well as continuing to be fed breast milk or formula.
Information sourced ~ Australian Breast Feeding Association