The first year of your bay’s life is filled with mini milestones. One of these memorable milestones is when your baby goes from drinking milk to eating pureed foods or solid foods.
But when is the right time to supplement milk or formula for solids? Current thinking tells us that six months is the ideal time, but sometimes your baby is simply not ready to make the switch. If you are not sure, then here are 4 tell-tale signs that can help you make an informed decision about what’s for dinner.
1. Weight gain
Weight gain is a good measurement of growth. When you notice that your baby is double their birth weight, they’re most likely ready to start eating solids. When feeding your baby, make sure that you closely monitor his or her reaction to their new diet, because this will tell you if solid foods are a yay or nay for your little one.
2. Steady posture
Pay close attention to your baby’s posture, as it can tell you a lot about their development. At around eight to nine months, you can expect to see your baby sitting up well on their own. A baby who is able to hold their head up whilst sitting, even if their body needs a little propping up, is a baby that is ready to eat solid foods.
3. Spoon test
If you notice that your baby eagerly opens their mouth every time a spoon is in sight, it’s often an indication that they are ready for a spoonful of pureed vegetables. If on the other hand, your baby isn’t opening their mouth at the sight of a spoon, then the answer is simple: he or she’s just not into solids as yet. The best thing to do here is to give it some time and perform the spoon test at a later stage.
4. An eye for food
Lastly, if your baby keeps eyeing your food, then you know your little one is willing to give it a try. Depending on what you are eating, use your discretion around whether or not to give him or her a taste. Another sign that goes hand-and-hand with eyeing your food is if your baby reaches for your crockery and manages to take it out of your hand —then you know baby is ready for solids.
An important thing to remember is that solid food does not refer to baby carrots or even a piece of meat, it simply means pureed food. Some good first-time solid foods to try are pureed fruit and veggies like avocado, sweet potato, bananas and pears, as well as eggs and fish. Make sure to avoid dried fruit and nuts.
Remember that no matter how old your baby is, it’s always a good idea to get the official go-ahead from your paediatrician before introducing your baby to solid foods.