(Last Updated On: May 25, 2021)

What to Know Before Starting Solids with Your Baby Starting solids with your baby is an exciting milestone your little one (and her taste buds) is sure to enjoy. When you start introducing your little one to the world of solid foods, you are helping them shape food and feeding habits while establishing healthy eating patterns. These guidelines that follow will help you through this next phase of his or her big move to solid foods.

When should babies start solid foods?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that breastmilk or formula be the sole source of your baby’s nutrition for the first 6 months of life. That’s why I waited to feed Lily solids until then. However, if your baby is physically showing signs of readiness then your doctor may give you the OK to start solids anywhere between 4-6 months.

What to know BEFORE Starting Solids with Your Baby:

  • Look for physical signs that your baby is ready for solids, such as she can sit up with limited support and has good head and neck control, and she can keep most of the food in her mouth, swallowing it.
  • Wait three to four days before introducing another food to your baby. If you suspect a reaction, stop feeding your baby the new food and contact your pediatrician.
  • Don’t stop breast or formula feeding. Continue providing breastmilk or formula as the main source of your baby’s nutrition and calories.
  • Never add honey, salt, or sugar to baby food. These should never be added to “entice” or “trick” your baby into liking a certain food.
  • Try to relax: Most of the first few solid-food feedings wind up on your baby’s face, hands, and bib.
  • Never feed your baby solid foods from a bottle. Always spoon-feed from a bowl, not from the jar of baby food unless she will finish it.
  • Never force-feed your baby. Stop feeding your baby when she turns head away from the spoon or keeps her mouth closed.

Looking for more tips on starting your baby on solid foods, first foods, baby-led weaning and more? Check out episode 5 of the Healthy Family Project podcast for more information!