How to tell if your baby is ready for solid foods

I have a four-month-old baby. I hear conflicting views on when to start solids. I am not sure if I am ready to give my baby solids yet. Is it okay to give them to her at five months?

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Sue Gilbert

Sue Gilbert works as a consulting nutritionist. For many years she worked with Earth's Best Organic Baby Food, integrating nutrition and... Read more

On average, the best age to introduce solids is between four and six months. Earlier than that, the baby's swallowing reflex is not developed as much as it needs to be, and later than that, you risk missing their 'readiness' or critical stage for introducing solids. Babies who are not offered solids when they are ready to learn to eat them often balk at them when they are finally introduced.

The question is not so much are you ready to give your baby solids, as it is is she ready?

Tune into her signals for the cue:

  • Does she show an interest in your food?
  • Can she sit unassisted?
  • Do you notice a more mature swallow than previously?

If she is telling you she'd like to try, then you want to take advantage of her desire. If there seems to be little interest, and you want to wait, then go ahead and wait for a while longer.

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