Is your baby ready to start eating solids?

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For first-time parents it isn’t always easy to tell if your baby is ready for solids. Current recommendations are that you should start introducing your baby to food at six months, although this should not replace breastmilk or formula. Your little one still needs the breast or bottle until they are at least 12 months old.

Here are five signs that your baby will give you when they are ready to start eating solids:

  1. Your little one has good head and neck control and can sit upright with minimal support. It’s important to remember that if baby’s head and neck is still a bit wobbly, it will be difficult for them to swallow.
  2. Your baby loves watching you eat and is showing an interest in food. This could include making chewing motions while they watch you, trying to get your attention while you’re eating or even grabbing food from your plate.
  3. Milk feeds alone are no longer satisfying and your little one is still hungry.
  4. When you offer food on a spoon your baby readily opens his or her mouth.
  5. Your little one no longer has the ‘extrusion reflex,’ which is a reflex that causes babies to push their tongue forward and upwards when feeding. The extrusion reflex is necessary for sucking, but it prevents babies from taking food from a spoon. If baby is still showing this reflex, they are not ready for solids.

These signs happen at different times, but you can usually begin to recognize them at around six months. Once it’s clear that your baby girl or boy is ready, you can begin to experiment with different first foods. If they aren’t displaying these signs, you don’t need to rush into weaning. Your little one is still getting all the nutrients they need from your breastmilk or formula and they will soon start becoming interested in food on their own.