6 Months Is The Current Guideline
The current guideline on when to start your baby on baby food is around six months of age. (Before that, baby should be exclusively on breast milk or formula.) However this is a guideline and each baby is unique, so here are the things to watch for to see when is the best time to start your baby on baby food.
Signs That Baby Is Ready For Baby Food
Your baby will indicate to you when he or she is ready to start trying other foods than breast milk or formula. Here are some signs babies give when they’re ready:
- Have at least one tooth – a baby who has at least one tooth tends to be more ready for food than toothless babies.
- Wants to be included in meal time – if you set baby some place other than the table for mealtime and baby acts fussy until you bring her to the table, it’s a good sign she may be ready to try food.
- Baby is interested in food – if your baby intently watches other people eating it’s a good sign to start on baby food.
- Baby mimics eating food while at the dinner table – if baby is opening his mouth and pretending to chew while watching other people eat, it’s a good sign to start on baby food.
Some babies may be ready for food as early as 4 months, while others may not have interest until well after 6 or 7 months, but it’s important for the parents to watch for the signs that baby is ready and when the signs are seen consistently, start on baby food. Parents who ignore the signs may unintentionally put baby off food and have a more difficult transition.
What Baby Foods Are Good To Start With?
A simple way to start with baby food is to mash up a small section of banana and start with small spoonfuls of that. Applesauce is another good early first food. You can also get small jars of ready to go baby food and these are marked with some indication of how complex the food is. Start with a stage 1 food.
Many babies have a tongue reflex that automatically wants to kick out any object or food that gets in their mouth, so you’ll often see this when you start with baby food. Don’t take it as an indication that baby does not like the taste or does not want to eat, it’s simply a built-in response and baby needs time to learn how to control his tongue and mouth to move the food back and swallow. To help baby learn, take the baby spoon with baby food on it and after putting it in baby’s mouth, scrape the food off on baby’s upper lip. This gives baby the best chance to get the food back in her mouth.
Baby Starting On Baby Foods Affect Breast Milk Production
Once baby gets the hang of eating baby foods and begins to get more and more of her calories from solid food, you may notice your breast milk production decreasing.This is a normal step in the weaning process but many moms continue to breastfeed for months after baby starts on baby food. If your milk supply drops dramatically, try Lactiful Supply Max to boost it back up.