Baby books and websites will tell you that you can start introducing solids any time between four and six months if your baby is ready. But how do you know exactly when to introduce solids?
1. Is he curious about what you’re eating? If your baby is reaching out to snatch things off your plate (or out of your mouth!), this is a good sign he’s probably for something that doesn’t come out of a nipple.
2. Is he still a bobble-head? He needs to be able to hold his head in a steady, upright position before starting on solids. If he’s not, you know what that means: Hello, tummy time.
3. Can he sit up on his own (even with support?) Even if he can’t sit solo in a high chair quite yet, he still needs to be able to sit upright with some support.
If you answered yes to the above, congratulations; you can now enter into the super fun world of baby mess-making central!
A few things to keep in mind:
• If you try to spoon him a few bites, and he tongues it back out, he’s not quite ready yet. Try again in a week or two.
• Sweet potatoes, carrots, bananas, apples, peaches, and pears are generally well tolerated, but be careful to mix in some not so sweet things, too, or you’ll soon have a mini-sugarholic on your hands. (Read more of the best first solid food choices.) As you introduce new foods, brush up on signs and symptoms of common food allergies in kids, so you can take immediate action if your baby has a reaction.
• Babies often need to be introduced to a new food four or five (or more) times before they’ll accept it, so try to be patient. He’s not trying to be an asshole… really.
• Make sure you have bibs and wipes within reach, at every feeding, because things are about to get messier than you can imagine.
• Prepare for the poop. You thought the diapers were bad before? You ain’t seen – or smelled – nothing yet.