When to Start Feeding Your Baby Cereal & Solid Foods

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Cereal & Solid Foods

Continue to provide breast milk for your baby throughout baby's first year.

Your baby's digestive system is not ready for solid foods until your doctor tells you your baby is ready. Your baby will probably start showing the signs listed below around 4-6 months, but until then breast milk or formula provide your baby with the proper nourishment necessary.

Your baby will give you clear signals when he/she is ready for solid foods. Some of these signs include:

  • Significant weight gain
  • Better head control
  • Sitting well when supported
  • Curiosity about what you're eating

When giving your baby solids, you can start by giving infant rice cereal to your baby after nursing or bottle feeding. Serve the cereal with a rubber-tipped spoon to avoid injuring your baby's gums. Start out with just a small amount of cereal on the tip of the spoon.

If your baby seems uninterested in eating the cereal off of the spoon, don't force your baby to eat; instead let him/her get acquainted with the cereal first. After your baby gets used to solid foods, start feeding him/her daily. Slowly begin putting a little more cereal on the rubber-tipped spoon each day. This allows your baby to get used to solid foods and realize solid foods are becoming a part of his/her nutritional diet.

Keep in mind that your baby will not eat the same amount of solid food every day. It will vary from day to day, depending on his/her appetite. If your baby begins playing with toys, turns his/her head or refuses to open his/her mouth for another bite, it is a sign that your baby has had enough for the day.