How to know if your baby is ready for solids

Here are some signs to look for if you want to know if your baby is ready for solids and how to introduce them.

Man feeding a baby.

Man feeding a baby. / Photo: Rawpixel – Reference image

The Woman Post | Luisa Fernanda Báez Toro

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Leer en español: Cómo saber si tu bebé está listo para los sólidos

As you may know, health experts and organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization Health recommend breastfeeding your baby during the  first six  months of life without offering any other food.

As read on Kelly Mom, introducing solids to your baby depends a lot on the maturity of the digestive tract and his developmental readiness. There is a lot of research that shows that introducing solids at six months is ideal, because, according to Baby Centre, waiting until that age protects your baby's health as it reduces the chances of developing allergies or picking up infections from the food.

There are several signs that you can look for in order to know if it is time to start feeding your baby solids: 

1. According to What To Expect, one of the signs is if your baby is able to hold his head without support while sitting. This is very important because a good posture is necessary if you want to introduce food to avoid choking.  

2. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that if your baby has doubled his birth weight and reached at least 13 pounds, he may be ready for solids. 

3. He has lost his natural tongue thrust reflux, which is a reflex that helps your baby avoid choking by pushing food out of her mouth. If your baby has stopped doing that, he may be ready for more according to Parent 24. 

4. Your baby is showing interest for the food he sees in your plate and may try to reach some of it and put it in his mouth. 

5. According to Baby Centre, a good sign is coordination: your baby should be capable of looking at food, grabbing it and putting it in her mouth without your help. 

6. He is waking up more for night feeds and you notice that milk is not satisfying him enough. 

7. He should be able to chew. You will notice that your baby moves the food to the back of his mouth and swallows it. 

Also read. How to celebrate your baby's first christmas

When the moment to introduce solids comes it will not happen overnight, so try the following to make it easier for you and your baby: 

1. Make sure you are not in a rush and your baby is not moody when you are trying to feed him. 

2. As read on La Leche League, as milk is still your baby's preferred dinner, instead of trying to give him a full meal, offer small amounts of what you want him to eat and let him become familiarized with new textures and flavors. 

3. Don't push him. If you are trying to feed your baby some vegetable and he refused to eat it, don´t push him. Instead, you can move on and try again next week to see if he has changed his mind. 

4. Don't give him everything just yet. If you are giving him a soup, use only one ingredient at first and try to add something new next time. Identify what he likes and what he doesn't and try to make him eat by playing. 

5. See if he's reacting well to food and look for any signs of constipation. If you want further advice on what to feed him go to your pediatrician and ask him for a diet. 

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