Starting solids is an exciting and fun milestone, but how do you know when to start? Solids can mean anything from adding cereals to milk to giving cooked foods in its original form (à la baby led weaning style) or in purée form. Most doctors recommend introducing solids between 4 to 6 months when their digestive systems are more mature and when babies are strong enough and coordinated enough to chew and swallow smoothly.
Gagging (which you can hear, vs choking which is silent) is very common as babies become accustomed to new textures in their mouths, but that is another story for another day.
So how do you know when you can start? Here are 3 signs to look out for
#1 Your Baby Shows An Interest In Food
Whether you're going the baby led weaning approach or puree approach, trying to get your baby to take solids when they have no interest is going to be painful! Babies are naturally very curious, so the more they see you eating, the more they'll be curious to participate and try what yummy things you're putting in your mouth
#2 Your Baby Can Sit Up Unassisted
This doesn't have to mean that they can sit perfectly straight on their own for a prolonged period of time, but if they can sit on their own without falling over, their core is usually strong enough to hold themselves up to give them space for the food to pass through their digestive tract. Have you ever tried eating while curled in a ball? Me neither, and I wouldn't like to try it
#3 Your Baby Can Bring Food To Their Mouths
This is another sign that your baby is developmentally ready, if they have the gross motor skills to pick up food and bring it to their mouths. They will be a long way's away from being able to scoop up food, but they will be able to pick up food or dip something into mushy foods like yogurt, cereal, congee on their own, which is why we love the NumNum Dips
Once you start solids, make sure that you are supplementing with a little bit of water to make sure they are hydrated, and give them solids after their main milk meals until after the age of 1 year old.
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Disclaimer: This is not intended to be medical advice. Please consult to your paediatrician if you feel you need guidance