Growing Every Day
As your baby grows, he will need foods along with breastmilk or formula.
Is My Baby Ready for Solids?
As your baby grows, he will need foods along with breastmilk or formula. Watch your baby for signs—he is ready for solid foods when he:
- Is around 6 months old
- Sits up alone or with help.
- Holds his head up steady and straight.
- Is interested in the foods you eat and how you eat them.
- Can close his lips over a spoon and keep food in his mouth.
- Swallows food without gagging, coughing, or choking.
- Shows he is full by leaning back, turning away, pushing the spoon away, or closing his lips together.
Every baby is different, and not all are ready for foods at 6 months. Some babies born prematurely, with a low birth weight, or with other medical problems may wait longer. Talk with your baby’s doctor about the best time to start baby foods.
It is exciting to see your baby try foods. Start with pureed baby foods with a smooth texture. Baby food is “pureed” when foods are softened and crushed into a paste or liquid. Try vegetables, fruit, infant cereal, or meats. It doesn’t matter which you offer first, as long as the texture is smooth and thin.
- Feed breastmilk or formula before offering purees. It will be easier if your baby is not too hungry or fussy.
- Babies have small stomachs and only need a little bit of food at first. Start with a small amount, about 1 to 2 teaspoons. Let your baby guide you on how much food to feed.
- Introduce single-ingredient foods one at a time. This will let your baby get used to the taste and texture of each new food.
- If your baby doesn’t like a food, try it later. It may take many tries!
Starting a Cup
Switching from a bottle to a cup happens little by little over time, usually around 6 months of age. At first your baby will be messy, but be patient. He will learn with time.
- Choose a training cup that works well for your baby.
- Start by letting your baby play with a cup, then slowly add breastmilk or formula.
What drinks can I put in my baby’s cup?
- You can put breastmilk, formula, or small amounts of water when you offer your baby the cup at meal and snack times.
- Babies do not need juice or any other sweetened drinks. They have a lot of sugar and can leave your baby too full to eat other healthier foods.