After a few months of subsisting solely on breast milk or infant formula, your baby will soon be ready for his first taste of baby food. Starting baby food can be both an exciting and daunting time for you as a parent, but it doesn’t have to be stressful.
The first thing that you will want to know is when babies can eat baby food. There are varying opinions on the precise time when a baby becomes ready for solids, but experts agree on certain indicators. One of the most important of these is your child’s ability to keep his head upright. He also needs to be able to sit properly with some support. These two factors will ensure that your child is able to swallow food properly. Your pediatrician may also check your baby’s weight to find out if he is ready. Many parents start feeding their babies solids when they hit the sixth month, but your doctor may give you the go-signal as early as the fourth month if your baby has already doubled his birth weight.
Your child may also send you the message himself. If he starts making chewing movements or stares at you while you eat, then he is getting ready to experience new textures and tastes. He also may never seem to be satisfied, even after downing his usual bottle of milk or nursing for a long time. If you’re still asking yourself “when can babies eat baby food?”, then your baby might just be signaling: “Now!”
Starting baby food is a gradual process. Babies’ first foods should be easy to swallow and digest. It is a good idea to offer cereals and a variety of mashed fruit and vegetables. You can then move on from babies’ first foods to more substantial meals like chopped fish or meat in just a few months. Offering a good variety does not just help your baby discover new tastes, but it also leads to better nutrition from various sources. To keep salt and sugar levels to a minimum, try avoiding commercial baby food whenever you can. Homemade baby food is surprisingly easy to prepare and is much more economical.
Introducing baby food into your child’s diet can be a fun experience for you and your child — just another milestone among the many you will soon witness.