Health experts and breastfeeding experts agree that it’s best to wait until your baby is around six months old before offering solid foods. The American Academy of Paediatrics, World Health Organisation and many health organisations across the world, recommend that babies be exclusively breastfed (no cereal, juice or other foods) for the first 6 months of life. 

 

Please keep in mind not to confuse a growth spurt with readiness for solid food. A growth spurt will occur between 3-4 months of age. Your baby may begin to wake more frequently at night for a feeding and/or may begin to eat non-stop (cluster feed) as she once did as a newborn.  This growth spurt often attributes to increased hunger in your baby and it should not be taken as a sign that your baby needs solid foods added to her diet.

 

Developmental signs that your baby is ready for solid food 

 

Solids readiness depends on both the maturity of the baby’s digestive tract and baby’s developmental readiness for solids. Although the maturity of baby’s digestive system is not something that we can readily observe, research indicates that 6 months appears to be ideal. After this point, different babies are ready for solids at different times — developmental readiness for solids cannot be determined using a calendar. Most babies are developmentally ready for solids somewhere between 6 and 8 months.

 

Signs that indicate baby is developmentally ready for solids include:

 

Baby can sit up well without support

Ever tried eating something while you were lying on your back? Wasn't comfortable, was it? A baby should be pretty comfy sitting up in a highchair (with back support) so they can eat that way!

 

The Tongue-Thrust Reflex Is Gone

Ever tried to put something in your baby's mouth (a pacifier, your finger) and seen their tongue automatically push it out? That's what's called a "tongue-thrust reflex," and it usually goes away sometime after 4 months. Before it does, they aren't ready for a spoon of food in the mouth -- they're just going to push it back out.

 

Opens the mouth wide

Baby is ready and willing to chew. This goes hand-in-hand with being interested.

 

Pincer Grasp

Baby is developing a “pincer” grasp, where he picks up food or other objects between thumb and forefinger. If your baby is beginning to get the hang of grabbing things between his forefinger and thumb ... and shoving them in his mouth ... then it's probably time for him to pick up things they should REALLY be eating!

 

Interest in food

Baby is eager to participate in mealtime and may try to grab food and put it in his mouth. One of the biggest signs of readiness is an interest in what Mom is eating.

 

Doubled the birth weight

Paediatricians generally recommend a baby has at least doubled her birth weight (if not put on more weight than that) before they'll give the go-ahead to do a diet change.