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Diet & Nutrition

When to start your child on solids

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Up until around six months of age, your baby will thrive solely on your breast milk, or an appropriate infant formula. At this time, solids are now needed to supplement your baby's diet to provide iron and other nutrients and to encourage chewing.
Some signs that your baby is ready for solid foods include:
  • Your baby is able to sit with support and hold their head up.
  • Your baby is watching you eat and is reaching for food.
  • You will notice that milk may no longer seem to satisfy your baby, who seems unsettled and may want more feeds.
  • Your baby can move their tongue from the front to the back of the mouth.
It's always a good idea to introduce solids when both you and your baby are feeling relaxed and you have plenty of time.
Other helpful tips to make this exciting time a smooth and enjoyable transition include:
  • Don't rush it: Try one food at a time, every two or three days. If a food is refused try again a few days later unless there has been a reaction (eg vomiting or a rash). New foods may be rejected at first. A food may need to be offered more than 10 times before it is accepted.
  • From about age seven or eight months, start offering solids first before a breast or formula feed. And remember, never put solid foods in your baby's bottle.
  • Utensils: Use a small shallow rubber or plastic spoon with smooth edges.
  • Don't overheat: Your baby will accept food better at room temperature or only slightly warmer. Always test the temperature on the back of your hand or wrist before giving to your baby — no heat should be felt. And remember, microwaves heat unevenly. Always mix the food thoroughly after heating in a microwave to ensure even distribution of heat, and wait a few minutes before offering.
  • Never leave your baby alone while they are eating.
If you have any questions on introducing solids feel free to e-mail one of our dieticians at nutrition@sanitarium.com.au or download our infant nutritionfact sheet.
Introducing solids can be a time of fun and discovery for both you and your baby.
This information is provided by the Sanitarium Nutrition Service.
Your say: Do you have any stories or tips on introducing solids that you'd like to share with us? If so, we'd love to hear from you! Share with us below...

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