I’m asking myself this question now. Little Jillian is 5 months old now and many of the women in my baby group are discussing this very question. Is it time? How do I do it? What comes first?
I’m also getting this question from my relatives. The older generation is asking “so when do they recommend starting solids now?” They are realizing that research changes and views change with generations.
So what is the right thing to do?
As with any parenting decision I think the most important thing is to be confident in your own decision. All parents will do things differently, so you need to be ok with that. Gather the information and make informed decisions about everything. This can seem overwhelming, but listen to your intuition and also to trusted health care professionals.
I’m referring back to what I learned in Pediatrics class with my mentor in naturopathic medicine. So here are a few considerations to take into account:
Is my baby ready for solids?
- Able to sit up well without support
- Tongue reflex is gone – baby doesn’t automatically push solids out with her tongue
- Teeth are starting to come in
- Baby is interested and watches what you are eating
- Baby can pick up food and put it in her mouth with pincer grasp
The following are NOT good reasons for starting solids:
- Baby is “big” or has doubled her birth weight – the AAP recommendations of starting solids at 6 months make no execptions for babies who weigh more
- Baby is “small” – ounce for ounce, breastmilk has significantly more nutrients than any type of solid food and is easier to digest and assimilate
- Baby doesn’t sleep through the night – 2 studies have shown that babies who eat solids before bed had the same patterns as those who had no solids
If you want more information on how I’m going to introduce foods, what order etc, bring your baby in for a well baby check to become a patient and I can coach you through it.