Starting Solid Foods: Is 4 Months Too Young?

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Starting Your Baby on Solid Foods
Photo by mamichan
So Kavya just turned 4 months old, and I've been deliberating whether or not to introduce her to some solid foods, like rice cereal or oatmeal.

In the past two weeks or so, she's become increasingly interested in what we're eating at mealtime, going as far to reach out and try to grab things. But I've heard mixed things about when babies are actually ready to start solids -- anytime from 4 to 6 months or even later.

Naturally, I turned to the web to start figuring out how and when to start. I see that there's a great debate on the subject. Which just makes it all the more confusing.

My baby's pediatricians -- who also happen to be her grandparents -- are old-school, and while they know the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, they say Kavi is signaling that she's ready for some alternate nutritional options, given her interest in our mealtimes, the fact that she's reaching for things, and the fact that she tends to be hungry frequently and eat quite a bit, surpassing the general guidelines. Plus, they point out (along with every other adult over 40 that I know), we all started on solids way early, and we're fine. That's their reasoning for everything: We turned out fine.

On the other hand, I read about allergy precautions, how a baby should be more than 13 pounds, and all the other reasons we should hold off.

So how is a new mom to decide? I don't know, really. But I guess we can give it a shot. I figure if Kavi's not ready -- and I've read all about the tongue reflex thing with babies when they first try solids -- she'll let us know. In which case, we'll hold off and try again later.

When did you introduce your little one to solid foods? How did it go?


development & growth, milestones, solid food

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APeve... APeveteaux

Solid foods already! She's getting so big.


We started our daughter at around 5 months and she immediately loved it. Our son we started earlier, and he was bigger, but it took him awhile to come around to the solids. Of course now he's an incredible eater. Two breakfasts and two dinners, even.


She'll totally let you know if she doesn't want it.


Have fun!

LoriA... LoriAnn87

I started my son with rice cereal at 4 month he really didn't care for it so I try the mix fruit kind and he loved it so I gave him the rice cereal for about a week before switching to soild foods and he love them but most took right to them.

RanaA... RanaAurora

how a baby should be more than 13 pounds


??? What are you reading?  I've NEVER heard this.  Check this out:


The following organizations recommend that all babies be exclusively breastfed (no cereal, juice or any other foods) for the first 6 months of life (not the first 4-6 months):



So um.  Yeah.


Also, you're nursing, right?  Read this which also applies to solids.


It's a couple of months more to wait... with the risk being a LIFETIME  of problems.  Is it REALLY worth it to not just wait a couple more MONTHS - even if you're not sure?  2 more months... or 90 years of issues...

mmlzrl91 mmlzrl91

I started my son on rice cereal with mixed fruit at 2.5-3 months, solids at 4-5 months, he is a perfectly fine 15 month old now, eating cut up adult food. I stayed and still am staying away from foods that contain Eggs and nuts because Egg and nut allergies run in my family but everything else is fine.

RanaA... RanaAurora

mmlzr, you started SOLIDS at 2.5 months then.  Rice cereal is a solid.

jeann... jeannesager

My pediatrician suggested we start at 4 months, and it was sometime in the 4th to 5th month that she lost the tongue reflex and we actually started her on rice cereal. By 8 months she was feeding herself everything we were eating (in smaller chunks of course!)

RanaA... RanaAurora

Jeanne, the suggestion to start at four months is over a decade old outdated, just FYI. :)


And actually if you really start looking into solids and waiting until baby is ready, you'll find that introducing small chunks of adult food (REAL food) is generally the way to go... as in START.  Aurora started at 6 months because she was ready - she had teeth, could sit upright all by herself, could feed herself... we STARTED her on pieces of steamed broccoli and yellow squash.  She's never had baby food because liquid food is often only necessary to trick the tongue thrust reflex.  Cool huh?  So it's funny that chunks are the "toddler food stage" when really, babies never need mush as long as you wait until they're actually ready!


Saves so much money when you can just give them some of the steamed broccoli you cooked for the family.

jeann... jeannesager

Rana -- everyone's child is different. As you say, your daughter was ready at 6 months. Mine was READY at 4.5 months.


And no offense, but my pediatrician is a neonatologist who graduated from Stanford, I take his advice any day of the week -- sometimes they know better from experience than the "recommendations."

najwa7 najwa7

I just started my baby eating peaches, bananas, peas so far. I am scared to give her any of that rice cereal stuff because I would hate for her to get constipated. She has been reaching for my food alot lately and I have noticed that she has seemed to breastfeed more ravenously as well. I figured now was the time. She is not doing the tongue thrusting too much and it is going well. My motherly instincts are guiding me though this stage and I'm sure she will be fine.


I agree with you, Jeanne... EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT. Like all of the older generations say... I turned out just fine. My mom started me on solids at 3.5 months or so.

RanaA... RanaAurora

I'll leave you all to it then.  I provided more than enough evidence of actual fact.  YOu guys can do the anecdotes.


'Cause you know, I wasn't in a carseat when I was a baby and I was fine.

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