When do I start giving my baby solid foods?
Is baby starting to grab the foods off your plate before you can get a bite? In the first year of life, milk is the first and main source of your baby's diet, but at some point around four to six months old they may start to show an interest in what you are eating.
This is normal and you can follow your baby's cues to get an idea of when they are ready to try solid food. Food in the first year is really just for fun and exploration, so you don't need to worry about how much or how little food baby is eating. Here are some clues of when baby might start being ready:
Is baby sitting up without support?
Does baby have some teeth?
Is baby able to pick up little pieces of food all by themself?
If this sounds like your baby you may try offering them a variety of foods from your table at mealtime. Babies benefit from watching their families eat and being a part of meal time.
It can be helpful for baby to start exploring difference textures of foods and learn how to chew and swallow foods other than milk. Make sure to follow baby's cues and keep it fun. There is no pressure to start solids if baby isn't interested yet.
It is normally ideal to nurse baby first before offering solids in the first year. Too many solids especially if they are given before nursing, may lead to early weaning. There are special nutrients present in breastmilk that are important for baby's development during this first year, so solid foods must not be a replacement for their milk.
You may notice as your baby becomes more active with crawling and learning to walk, their appetite for solids may increase also!