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Is My Baby Ready for Solid Foods?

Updated: May 30



baby in high chair eating solid foods

You’ve already been feeding your baby since they were in your womb, but you know the next exciting adventure is quickly approaching: starting solid foods! Which begs the question, “how do I know when my baby is ready?” Babies are typically ready to start solids when they are around 6 months old, but it is really more about their skills than their age. 


Signs that your baby is ready for solid foods:


1. 6 Months Old

  • Since 2002, the World Health Organization has recommended exclusive breastfeeding from birth to six months of age. 

  • Giving breast milk or formula exclusively for the first 6 months gives your baby the essential vitamins and minerals for body and brain growth. 

  • Your pediatrician may say your baby can start purees at 4 months of age (ours did!), but babies are better prepared developmentally with their gross motor, fine motor, and oral motor skills to start at 6 months. 

  • Resist the urge to rush it, you have the next 18+ years of your child’s life to feed them ;) 


2. Gross Motor Skills

  • Your baby should have good head and neck control.

  • They need to be able to sit up with minimal support. Your baby should be able to sit in a supportive high chair without slumping over. 

  • Your baby’s tummy and back muscles should be getting stronger. This good trunk stability helps them do the fine motor movements listed below.


3. Fine Motor Skills

  • Crossing midline is your baby’s ability to reach across their body. This is a skill they need for grabbing food in front of them.

  • Your baby should be able to grab and pick up items with their whole hand. This means they can hold onto larger pieces of foods and utensils. Their pincer grasp (using index finger and thumb to pick up items) will emerge a few months later, and you can start introducing smaller pieces of food around that time. 

  • You’ll notice your baby bringing their hands and toys to their mouth. This is a good sign that they’ll be able to do the same with food once introduced.


4. Interested in Food

  • An interest in food is a positive sign that your baby is ready for solids, but isn’t a necessity. 

  • This may look like: intently watching you and others eat, trying to reach for your food, and/or smacking their lips/opening their mouth in anticipation.


If you already introduced solids before 6 months, don’t worry! If your pediatrician gave you the go-ahead and your baby is doing well, continue with purees until 6 months before introducing finger foods. If your baby doesn’t take purees well, take a break and revisit when they’re closer to 6 months.


Has your baby met these milestones and are you ready to introduce them to solid foods? Check out our virtual workshop Starting Solids With Confidence, where you will learn everything you need to know, including:

  • Step-by-step guidance on getting started

  • Essential gear (plus items to make your life easier!)

  • Recommended first foods

  • Tips for introducing allergens

  • Understanding the difference between gagging and choking

  • And much more!

View our monthly class schedule and register for a class today!

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