Starting Baby On Solids – Signs Of Readiness

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Starting baby on solids seems to be something that people rush into, as the age in which solids are introduced gets younger and younger. These days many people introduce solids to their child at 4 months and some even as young as 3 months. This however is not what the World Healthy Organisation recommends. They recommend that babies be exclusively breastfed until at least 6 months of age. Before 6 months they do not recommend that children be given solids. This is simply too early and their digestive system is not ready to take on solids before 6 months old.

Sometimes it is even recommended delaying solids until a child is at least one year if there is a history of allergies and a few decades ago it was common for a woman to breastfeed their child exclusively until age one.

Of course though some babies are just not interested or ready at 6 months. Many babies don’t really have an interest for solids on a regular basis until their second year.

As stated above the digestive system needs to be ready in order for a child to be ok eating solids. Of course though we can’t observe this but research suggests that the 6-month mark and beyond is ok and the ideal time to avoid allergies.

What can be observed though is a baby’s developmental readiness. This is a good indication of when your baby is ready to handle food digestively as baby really does know best when it comes to their eating habits. Generally babies show developmental readiness between 6 and 8 months but don’t panic if your child does. All babies are different and this is evident in the fact some walk early, others don’t as well as the same when it comes to talking.

Developmental signs that baby is ready for solids

Signs Your Baby Is Developmentally Ready
Baby is eager to be a part of mealtime and may try to grab food from your plate to put in their mouth.
Baby doesn’t automatically push solids out of their mouth with their tongue.
Baby can sit up on their own without support.
Baby is willing to chew and wants to.
Baby is developing the ability to grasp things between his thumb and forefinger.

The most obvious sign here is the grabbing of food to try themselves. This is something my son did fairly early. He grabbed my banana out of my hand and started chomping on it.

Despite this eagerness, generally a child will try solids every so often but may have days when they are totally uninterested. Its unrealistic to expect a child to be on three meals a day overnight, although many parents tend to try to force this on their child. Increasing solids is something that is gradual and breast milk is still usually the primary source of nutrition for the first year. Some babies will thrive on breastmilk well into the second year without too much solids and some babies may not even show very much interest in solids until well into their first