How to Know When Your Baby Is Ready for Solid Food

Learn how to tell when your baby is ready for solid food from Petit Organics founder Michelle Muller-Marinis in this Howcast video.

Transcript

I'm going to talk about the top indicators that your child is ready to start on solid foods. The first and most obvious sign is that your child actually shows interest in food. It's really important for mothers and fathers to try to sit down and eat with their children and especially with babies even before they're eating because this shows them what eating is all about. The hand to mouth movements and the fact that it is something that's pleasurable. So, once your child is starting to turn their head, is interested in what you're doing, that's a great indicator.

There's also something called the tongue thrust reflex, and this is a reflex that will occur in babies up until about 4-5 months and it's a way that mother nature protected our children from ingesting something they weren't ready for at a very small age. And so, when you put something in their mouth, like a spoon, immediately their tongue will press it out and this is to prevent choking.

So, once they've lost that automatic thrust of the tongue then you know that they are ready and capable of having solid foods. Another indicator you want to look for is the fact that they can communicate that they are full to you. So, whether their breast feeding or bottle feeding, that they can indicate to you they've had enough by turning their chin, their head away, or swatting the bottle with their hands.

Another indicator that your child's ready for solid foods is if they've been waking up at night after sleeping very well. This usually means that their body is processing the milk or formula quickly through and they need something more substantial to be able to take them through the night completely again. And then the last indicator you want to look for is the fact that they can simply hold their head up on their own. So they should be able to sit in a high chair and hold their head unassisted and this would prevent any sort of choking hazards. So those are the top indicators that your baby is ready to start on solids.

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