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When to Start Solids FAQs

Introducing solids to your baby is a significant milestone in their development, marking the beginning of a lifelong journey with food. It's an exciting time for both parents and little ones, but it can also bring about questions and uncertainties.

When is the right time to start? What signs should you look for? Do they need to be sitting upright?

I have a whole section on when to start solids in my best selling book, The Nourished Baby. However, in this blog, I will delve into these questions and provide points on help you get started on getting started! 

Understanding Readiness Signs

It is important to keep in mind that every baby is unique, and readiness for solids can vary. However, there are some common signs that indicate your little one might be ready to explore beyond milk or formula:

  1. Age: The World Health Organisation recommends starting solids around six months of age. By this time, most babies have developed the necessary head and neck control and can sit up with support, which are essential for safe eating. It also means their gut has developed and matured enough. If you are like myself and just need a date to circle and not think about - use this and go forth! 

  2. Interest in Food: Babies who show curiosity about what others are eating, reach out for food, or seem eager to join mealtime may be ready to start solids. Just keep in mind that some babies will start to do this very early on and it is not recommended that babies start before four months of age. 

  3. Loss of Tongue Thrust Reflex: Around six months, babies typically lose the reflex that pushes food out of their mouths with their tongues, making it easier for them to eat solid foods.

  4. Ability to Chew or Gum: While babies won't have teeth at this stage, they might start making chewing motions with their jaws or gumming on toys, indicating readiness for more textured foods.

  5. Sitting Upright: There is some dialogue that a baby needs to be sitting upright on their own before starting solids - this is a myth! A baby needs to have some neck and core strength but they do not need to be able to sit unassisted. There is significant research to show the importance of not placing a baby in a sitting position on the floor until they can roll themselves in and out of that themselves. 

Still Not Sure?

Sometimes the only way to truly know if your baby is ready is simply to give it a go! From six months of age a baby does need to be given an opportunity to try solid food each day. So if you have started before this age you can simply stop and start again closer to six months. If you are six months or beyond and struggling with solids I have a lot of resources, virtual events and blogs with free tips to help (see below) and you can also book a 1:1 with me for individual help - you do not need to struggle alone with this! 

Other Helpful Links and Recipes:

-Why I Don't Recommend Baby Rice

- Freezing Baby Food

- Best Milk for Babies Starting Solids?

- High Iron Mexican Baby Food

- Grain-free Mussel Fritters

- Baby Led Weaning Pancakes - Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free & Nut-Free


Other Helpful Resources

- The Nourished Baby

- Baby and Toddler Cookbook

- Baby Pumpkin Porridge

- My Podcast 

- Starting Solids Coffee Groups

- Virtual Events


xx Dr Julie

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