Introducing solid food to your baby is indeed an exciting (and messy) moment in the first year of your baby's life! For the first six months, many health organizations including the WHO, recommend babies be exclusively breastfed or (formula-fed, whichever works for you!). But as babies get older they need enough iron and other essential nutrients for growth and development. Hence why they need to be introduced to solid foods.
Giving babies solid foods is also important to help babies learn to eat, exposing them to new tastes and textures from a variety of foods. It also helps to strengthen their teeth and jaws as well as builds other skills that they will need later for language development. But how can you be sure that they are ready to embark on the journey? Here are the 5 signs your baby is ready for solid food!
1. Baby has good neck and head control and sit upright when supported
They may need to sit on your lap at first. A high chair can be used a little later when they can up on their own, without assistance.
2. The tongue thrust reflex has disappeared
Try placing a very small amount of baby-appropriate food with some breast or formula milk in your baby's mouth from the tip of a baby spoon or your finger. If the food comes back out again with the tiny tongue and continues to be so even after a few tries, it is a clear indication that your baby is not ready for spoon-feeding yet.
3. Baby shows an interest in table foods
At family mealtimes, is your baby eyeing for your food and watching excitedly as you take every bite of your food? That may be a sign that your baby is hungry and ready for some grown-up food!
4. Baby can make chewing motions
Your baby should be able to move food to the back of their mouth and swallow. How can you tell? Just observe carefully!
5. Baby is able to open wide
If your baby opens their mouth when you offer them food from a spoon, it's a sign that they are ready to be spoon-fed.
Most babies begin to show these signs at around six months, but the signs could show at different times for different babies. It is always best to get a go-ahead from your baby's paediatrician prior to starting this journey.
Check out our various healthy, organic baby food here.