Your little one is growing like a weed and drinking you out of house and home. You may be wondering if your little one is ready for some solid food. Here are a few tips to help you determine if your baby is ready to take the next step.
Gone are the days when anxious moms start their little ones on cereal somewhere between six and twelve weeks. To be honest, these moms did this for their own convenience, rather than the baby’s health. Starting a baby on cereal early can help them sleep through the night sooner, which, I know, sounds heavenly. But here’s why it’s not a good idea. Your baby’s tummy is just not developed enough to properly digest solids, even watered down cereal, just yet. If you force the issue, you are inviting a tummy ache, or worse, a true gastric disorder. So, when those older ladies give you this advice, smile and ignore it. But don’t fault them too much. About 30 years ago, this was considered the thing to do, and even pediatricians endorsed it.
Today, most pediatricians will recommend that you wait until your baby is five to six months old to start solids. In addition to using this age as a guideline, there are some signs you can look for that indicates that your child is really ready. If you wait until you see some signs of readiness in your child, you will likely have much better success than if you just pick a day and start.
First, is your baby interested in what you are eating for dinner? At four and a half months, my daughter was literally grabbing for my plate when she sat with us at the table. Since she was clearly interested, we started her just a bit before she turned five months.
Another good indicator is that your child can sit fairly well, with only a little support. It’s much easier to feed them solids when they are somewhat able to support themselves. You will probably still have to support them with pillows or rolled up towels for a while, especially if you put them straight into the high chair. There are some great feeding chairs for younger children that can work better than a high chair in the early days.
If you think your baby is ready for solids, check out my article on the best starter foods. You can find it in “Mommy to Mommy – The Truth about Taking Care of Baby” at http://www.educatedmother.com.