Signs Baby is Ready for Solid Food
Studies show babies are not developmentally ready to tolerate solid foods before 17 weeks of age.
If your baby is hungry and not gaining weight before 17 weeks, you can increase their weight by providing extra breast feeds or introduce an additional bottle of Infant Formula. Seek professional guidance for the appropriate Infant Formula to use for your baby.
When to consider starting your baby on solid foods:
- The ‘tongue thrust’ is gone.
- Baby can sit in a semi-controlled, upright position. Not being able to sit or hold his back reasonably straight will prevent him focusing on eating
- Baby’s weight gain has slowed down
- Baby is waking at erratic times overnight when previously had been sleeping through
- Baby is constantly dissatisfied when being breastfed. They are constantly pulling off and on the nipple and feeding is becoming less enjoyable
- Baby is wanting to breastfeed more regularly during the day instead of spacing it out to every four hours
- Baby is watching you eat with greater interest and could even be trying to take the spoon or food from your hand.
If you see any or some of these signs start your baby on some soft and sloppy foods. Start giving food once a day during their awake-time 15 - 45 mins after a milk feed. Food is best offered after the mid morning feed when your baby is alert and less tired. Add another solid food mid-afternoon when your baby looks ready and willing for more. Milk is still important for your baby's nutrition so avoid introducing too much food too quickly. Introduce a third meal when they're ready.
This can vary depending on:
- Individual metabolism
- Energy requirements, especially if they are sick or very active
- Interest in food
- Whether they are eating in a stressed or rushed atmosphere.
Jan Murray has been committed to studying and working as a Registered Nurse, Midwife and Child Health Nurse for over 25 years. Jan has a bachelor of Behavioural Science, is a mother and nanna, who co-founded and directs Settle Petal. Jan provides information and support for parents to develop their knowledge base and confidence.