Is my baby ready for solids?
Use our checklist to be sure your baby can handle the next step.
It is recommended that you start your baby on solids no earlier than four months (17 weeks) but no later than six months. However, age is not the only indication that your baby is physically ready to digest solid foods.
Because it's a really big step in his development, we've put together a checklist of signs that indicate your baby may be ready for his first taste of solids:
- He is not satisfied by his milk feeds and is unsettled.
- He wakes up more frequently for night feeds than before.
- He is very interested in what you eat and reaches out for the food on your plate.
- He is able to sit unsupported with good head and neck support and balance.
- He reaches out for objects and puts them in his mouth.
- He is shedding some weight because at this age he is more active and milk is not enough to meet his growing nutritional requirements.
- He has lost his natural tongue thrust reflux; a reflex that young babies have that forces objects out of their mouths to help prevent choking. Babies usually lose this at about six months. He must lose this reflex so that he is able to keep the food in his mouth and swallow it.
- He makes chewing motions with his mouth.
Once your baby displays these signs he may be ready for his first bites of solid foods. Remember to start him on soft, mushy foods with quite a runny texture at first and then move on to more textured foods.
Before you start your child on any diet, it is important to speak to his paediatrician. When it is finally time to start solids it will not happen overnight. You will need to be patient and try out one type of food or purée until he develops his skill to eat properly. He may also not like the food at first, but as he gets used to the taste and texture he will start experimenting more.
Read: A diet fit for a toddler
Also read: Is it safe to give my baby water?
Find out: Are fat babies healthier than thin babies?