7 Signs Your Baby Is Ready for Solid Food

Jeanne Sager | May 31, 2013 Baby
7 Signs Your Baby Is Ready for Solid Food

baby being spoon fed baby food

What's the most important milestone of a baby's first year? Ask a room full of moms, and you're bound to get a ton of answers. But mark my words, you'll hear "when the baby starts solids" more than a few times. It's one of the biggies for sure.

So how the heck do you know that your baby is ready for such a big transition?

signs baby is ready for solids

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding as the sole source of nutrition for the first six months of a baby's life, but around that time, most pediatricians give parents leave to start testing baby's readiness for solid foods. Here are some easy tests to see if it's almost time to whip out that food processor and start pureeing your favorite veggies.

When did your pediatrician suggest you start adding solids to your baby's diet?


Images ©iStock.com/AndreasWeber; via Jeanne Sager

  • He's Interested


    Image via iStock.com/Eva Katalin Kondoros

    Listen, there's no point in forcing a 6-month-old who is content with the breast (or bottle) to eat off a spoon. You're just going to drive yourself crazy. One of the biggest signs of readiness is an interest in what Mom is eating.

  • The Tongue-Thrust Reflex Is Gone


    Image via iStock.com/damircudic

    Ever tried to put something in your baby's mouth (a pacifier, your finger) and seen their tongue automatically push it out? That's what's called a "tongue-thrust reflex," and it usually goes away sometime after 4 months. Before it does, they aren't ready for a spoon of food in the mouth -- they're just going to push it back out.

  • He's Working His Pincer Grasp


    Image via iStock.com/dsteller

    If your baby is beginning to get the hang of grabbing things between his forefinger and thumb ... and shoving them in his mouth ... then it's probably time for him to pick up things he should ACTUALLY be eating!

  • Sitting Up Is a Breeze


    Image via iStock.com/SbytovaMN

    Ever tried eating something while you were lying on your back? Wasn't comfortable, was it? A baby should be pretty comfy sitting up in a highchair (with back support) so they can eat that way!

  • He Opens Wide


    Image via iStock.com/pelojum

    This goes hand-in-hand with being interested. If your baby doesn't want to open his or her mouth when you approach with a spoon, you're just going to drive BOTH of you nuts trying to get that cereal inside!

  • She's Doubled Her Birth Weight


    Image via iStock.com/Tamara Dragovic

    Pediatricians generally recommend a baby has at least doubled her birth weight (if not put on more weight than that) before they'll give the go-ahead to do a diet change.

  • He Imitates You


    Image via iStock.com/tiburonstudios

    Part of mastering how to eat solid food is watching what Mom or Dad does and imitating you. Watch your baby to see if they're able to ape your movements. If he can, he'll be much better able to start learning to use a spoon or put small morsels in his mouth.

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