When Is Your Baby Ready For Solid Food?
When should you introduce solid food to your child? Let her tell you when she ready.
Generally, solids can be safely given to your child around four months. However, developmentally by this age he or she may not be ready. You should watch for signs to know when he or she is ready for solid foods.
By 4 months, the reflexes your baby was born with begin to change. The suckling reflex begins to change to the mature suck, meaning your baby is able to start sucking and swallowing liquids and pureed food. If introduce too early, you may notice that he or she pushes the food out with his or her tongue. Therefore, the mature suck has not developed yet.
Here are the signs you should watch for:
* Is he or she able to hold his or her back straight and head up?
* Does he or she seem curious about eating? Does he looks at the food with anticipation (opening his mouth or making chewing movements)?
* Can he or she open and close his mouth around the spoon?
* Can he or she move food from the front to the back of his or her mouth without pushing it out with his or her tongue?
* Can he move the food around his mouth and make chewing movements?
* Can he or she move his fingers in order to hold the spoon?
The previous list were signs that your child is ready for solid foods. Ideally this first food introduced should be cereal. Purchase iron fortified cereal that is made for babies. Rice is the least likely to cause allergies so you might want to start out with rice first. The rule of thumb in preparing the cereal is one part rice to four parts breast milk or formula. Read the directions on the box for confirmation.
Be Patient! Your child is learning something new. He may not be receptive at first, If not wait another weak before introducing food. Introduce one type of food every week. Once he or she begins to consume more food, they will begin to consume less milk.