6 signs your babies are ready for solid food
Introducing solid foods, and why they are necessary for your children
During the first six months of babies’ life, they use iron stored in their bodies which were produced when they were in the womb. Breastmilk and/or infant formula also provide an extra source of iron. However, the mount of babies’ iron decreases as they grow. At six months, they won’t be able to acquire the iron they need from breastmilk or infant formula alone.
As babies get older, a new nutrition plan must be considered, such as solid food in their diets so they can receive enough iron and other essential nutrients that supports growth and development.
Alongside the nutritional benefits, introducing solids also plays an important role in helping babies learn to eat, providing them a brand new experience of unfamiliar tastes and textures from a range of foods. Solid foods also help develop their teeth and jaws, and they will also link to the development of other motor skills and cognitive skills which are required further development.
6 signs your baby is ready for solids:
Your baby’s development progress and behavior will be indicators which tell you when will be the time for solids to be introduced.
The 6 major signs include:
1. Babies start putting their fingers in their mouths
Even though this not a clear sign to show whether your baby is simply hungry, or want to try solid foods, but this sign can be of useful especially when your baby has grown past the 6 month olds milestone.
2. An increased appetite for breastfeeds or formula
During feeding time, does your baby consume more milk than usual? If he does, then this is your kid’s way of telling you that they want to try eating solids. In this case, you can let him try a small amount of solids right away. If they reject it, you can try again in the next few days.
3. Your baby opens wide at the sight of a spoon coming toward his mouth:
If your baby eagerly opens his mouth for a spoon and then chews and swallows the food without showing any sign of extrusion reflex, then it’s a good sign that your child is ready for solids. If your baby isn't willing to open his mouth for an empty spoon, then maybe he's not ready to taste solid foods. In this case, you can wait a week or two and try again.
4. Your baby can hold his head steady while sitting:
A solids-ready baby should be able to hold his head up steadily well when sitting, even if his body needs a little support. But it is recommended to feed him with purees for a while, as your little one won't be ready for more sophisticated foods until he's able to sit on his own with ease (this is around eight to nine months).
5. Your baby is eyeing or reaching for your food
Does your baby watch you closely as you eat, try to grab your food and cutlery or fuss and wriggle when she sees you eating? Does your baby shows excitement when he watches you eating a burger? The ability to grasp objects is another sign your baby is ready to handle solids.
6. Pick up random objects and put them to their mouth
When your baby begins to pick up and puts random objects such as toys or household items to their mouth, then you should pay attention as that moment can be a turning point where your babies may become a solids-ready diners in no time.
If you start to notice any of these signs, then it’s time to feed them a small amount of solids and don’t be worried too much in the beginning. Just give it a try and see what happens. If not then simply try again in a few days, or when you notice these signs occur again.