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5 signs to look for before your baby is ready for solid foods

There are a million books, guides, and blogs about when babies should be ready for the next milestone, but only you know your baby best. If introducing solid foods is the next on the developmental checklist, ask yourself these questions to know if your little one is ready. And of course, always consult your pediatrician before making any big changes with your baby’s diet.

1. Can he sit up by himself?

To be able to swallow, babies first need to support their body. If your baby can’t hold up his head or sit up by himself, he’s probably not quite ready for this step.

2. How much weight has she gained?

According to BabyCenter, experts say that most babies are ready to eat if they’ve doubled their birth weight, are at least 13 pounds, or are at least 4 months old.

3. Can he control his tongue well?

As an infant, your little one is still figuring out that crazy thing called a tongue. If he’s able to move food to the back of his mouth and swallow it, he may be ready for some pureed baby foods. If he’s still pushing food or milk out of his mouth with his tongue, he may not be quite ready to swallow a mouthful of solid food.

4. Can she pick up small pieces of food?

That “pincer” grasp is the key here. You know, the one where she picks things up with her thumb and forefinger. If she’s able to pick small items up easily, she may be ready. If she’s still fumbling with those fingers, you may need to wait a bit longer.

5. Does he seem to want solid food?

After a while, your little one will get curious about that strange thing his family members do every mealtime. If baby starts trying to grab your food, put it in his mouth, or open his mouth when food’s nearby, he may be telling you he’s ready to chow down.

These and other signs are things to watch out for when your little one reaches about 4-6 months. If you’re still not sure, feel free to contact your baby’s doctor. And remember, breast milk or formula should still be the main entrée until your little one has her first birthday.


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