Advice & Info Articles:

How will I know when my baby is ready to start solids?


  • She is at least 4 months old.
  • She weighs twice as much as her birth weight.
  • She weighs at least 13-15 pounds.
  • She can sit with support, allowing her to lean forward when she wants another spoonful and backward to refuse.
  • She has control over her head and neck muscles and can turn her head to refuse food.
  • She has stopped exhibiting the extrusion reflex when you put a spoon in her mouth.
  • She is drinking at least 32-40 ounces of formula per 24-hours and still wants more.
  • She is breast feeding at least 8-10 times per 24-hours (after the first few weeks), empties both breasts at each feeding, and still wants more.
  • The time between feedings becomes shorter and shorter over a period of several days.
  • She can bring an object in her hand directly to her mouth.
  • She shows interest in others eating around her.
  • She becomes fussy in the middle of the night, whereas before she slept through with no problem. Or her sleep periods are becoming shorter instead of longer.
  • What to start my baby on first?

The first foods you should feed your baby are those that are easily digested and least likely to trigger an allergic reaction. Opinions vary, but the most often recommended first food is commercial iron-enriched baby rice cereal. Other popular first foods are avocado, sweet potato, ripe banana, and if your baby is older, millet cereal and yogurt. You and your pediatrician should decide which food should be given to your baby at her very first meal.

Commercial Rice Cereal

Commercial iron-fortified baby rice cereal is the first choice of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Rice is very easily digested, is rarely an allergen, and thins readily when added to liquid. Most commercial cereals are refined and processed. Earth's Best is not--it is made from whole brown rice and is organic. If you wish to use commercial baby cereal, I highly recommend organic rice cereal found in most of our pick n pays, or spar, baby city.

Banana

Mashed ripe banana is an excellent first food for baby. As discussed on page 360, bananas are nutritious and very easy for your baby to digest. Many other cultures use banana exclusively as their first baby food. However, I have to mention that some experts caution that the sweet taste of bananas may give your baby a "sweet tooth" and cause him to refuse less sweet tasting foods later. I personally wouldn't be concerned about that. My baby started on bananas and he now happily eats brewer's yeast! If you've ever tasted brewer's yeast you know what I mean.

WARNING: Some experts recommend against feeding a young baby bananas because of the fungicides with which they (and all other imported fruits) are sprayed. Banana skins are porous, allowing the fungicides to be absorbed into the flesh. Try to buy only certified organically-grown bananas.

Avocado

Mashed ripe avocado is also an excellent first food for baby. They are so nutritious that some claim humans can live on them exclusively. Avocados are also an excellent source of the unsaturated fatty acids that your baby needs for brain development.

Cooked Sweet Potato

Cooked mashed sweet potato is another favourite first food. It is highly nutritious and rich in beta-carotene (vitamin A). This is a great first food for your 4-month old baby, if you don't wish to start her out on sweet bananas or a processed baby cereal. Sweet potatoes are an excellent vegetable for her.

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