Is My Baby Ready for Solid Foods?

Starting your baby on solid foods is an exciting time for the whole family. As much as I enjoy having that discussion and sharing in the fun, it's important to make sure he has the motor skills needed to keep him safe from choking. This usually happens sometime between 4 and 6 months of life, but some babies may need longer. And that's fine too!

The following milestones should be met before starting solid foods:

  • Hold his head up high on his own, and for longer periods of time.
  • Sits upright with support.
  • Shows interest in the food other family members are eating. For example, staring intently or reaching.
  • Opens his mouth when food on the baby spoon is brought near.
  • He can move food from the spoon, to his mouth, and then into his throat. If he sticks out his tongue, and dribbles all the food onto his chin, he may not be ready yet.
  • Just like every other skill, learning to eat and swallow solids takes time and practice to master. Keep trying every day, and don't be discouraged if the progress seems slow!

Once your baby is developmentally ready to start solid foods, there are a few good rules to follow.