2 Most Important Things to Know Before Starting Solids

4-6 Months

If you’re like most moms, you probably can’t wait to snap that picture of your baby covered in peas. But don’t jump the gun on introducing solid foods too soon. There are several reasons to wait until your baby is ready. What’s more, as a new and busy mom, you deserve a few more weeks to adjust to this whole new thing called food parenting. There’s a lot of information out there about introducing solids to babies, but here are the two most important things our experts want you to know before getting started.

1

Watch baby for clues she’s ready for solids

So your other mom friends are introducing solid foods to their babies? If that’s the case, it doesn’t mean you should too. Remember: Every baby is different, and your baby’s digestive system is still developing. Her body will show you that she is ready to start solids when she reaches the following milestones:

  • Sitting up on her own in a high chair
  • Turning her head
  • Opening her mouth for a spoon
  • Showing interest in what you are eating and/or drinking

Most babies hit these milestones between 4 and 6 months. Check out these other tips for figuring out if baby is ready for solids. And remember, if your baby doesn’t hit these milestones when your neighbor’s or friend’s baby does, that’s totally fine. Every baby has her own timeline. As a busy parent, feel free to take advantage of the “simple life” of breastmilk or formula a little longer.

2

Start with iron-rich foods

Remember all those prenatal vitamins and iron supplements you took when you were pregnant (you’ve been so busy you may have already forgotten what pregnancy was like)? Well, for the first 4 to 6 months after birth, your baby benefited from that iron. And now, at around 6 months old, your baby’s iron supplies are starting to get low, and she needs this important nutrient to grow healthy and strong. Foods like pureed meat or iron-fortified cereal are packed with iron, so this is a great place to start introducing solid foods. Read more about other ways to introduce solid foods to babies.